Only nine years ago Manchester Pride Fringe Festival was a small event looking to establish itself and attract more fans.
This year, the festival celebrates a wide range of activities ensuring there is something for every taste.
In a crowded launch at Cornerhouse yesterday, honoured by Pride trustees Vicken Couligian, Clare Simpson, Les Pratt, John Ryan and Russell Craig, this year’s Manchester Pride Fringe Festival unveiled ten days of exciting and colourful events starting from August 17.
A glimpse through the programme proves that the organisers have aimed high and have lived up to the challenge to increase quality and diversity as well as expand their international reach.
As previously announced, the overarching theme of this year’s festival is the 100th birthday of genius mathematician and Enigma code breaker Alan Turing. His legacy will be honoured by a range of free events hosted by the University of Manchester.
Manchester Pride Chief Executive John Stewart said he was ‘surprised and delighted’ by the extensive media coverage of Alan Turing’s anniversary.
Along with a rich programme of plays, exhibitions, films and life music at different venues across the city featuring old favourites like It’s a Gay Knockout, the festival welcomes the UK premiers of three international productions.
The Hispanic music and comedy diva Margarita Pracatan will entertain the audience with her brand new cabaret show Stranger in the Night on August 18 and 19.
The performance of the Cuban chanteuse, famous for her renditions of Broadway standards and the likes of ABBA, Boy George and Britney Spears, is widely considered to be one of the highlights of the programme.
Connecting Manhattan and Manchester, three acclaimed US artists will present their photographic exhibition Wolfpack!: Man2Man for the first time in the UK, on Friday, August 24.
In their acclaimed work Wolfpack!: Man2Man, the painter Scooter La Forge and photographers Walt Cessna and Krys Fox share their unbending view on urban living and gay sexuality and question the perception of beauty.
The international presence at this year’s festival is rounded up by the groundbreaking documentary The Right to Love: An American Family, that chronicles a Californian gay couple’s fight against discrimination, homophobia and ignorance.
Language enthusiasts should not miss the Polari Mission – Bona Eak exhibition presented by the John Rylands Library, in which artists Jez Dolan and Joseph Richardson take on a mission to save Polari – one of the world’s most endangered languages.
The organisers of the festival were also proud and delighted to highlight that three events on this year’s programme were funded by the Arts Council England – the photographic exhibition Tribute, a series of Chamber Music concerts as well as four monologues by a quartet of leading British writers.
The lunch and evening Chamber Music concerts will feature work by Queer composers and will be broadcast by BBC Radio 3.
A four-day Big Weekend, from August 24 to 27, will include the ever popular and much awaited Manchester Pride Parade that will take place on August 25.
To remember all those affected by HIV/AIDS, this year’s celebrations will culminate in the George House Trust Candlelit Vigil, or as Mr Couligian called it ‘the soul of Manchester Pride’.
Growing in popularity, diversity and reach, this year’s Manchester Pride Fringe Festival promises to be one not to miss and forget.
You can buy tickets here.