Organisers have unveiled ambitious plans for Northern Pride 2024, which is expected to make the event more inclusive than ever before.
Northern Pride have announced Pride in the City which will be held across Newcastle city centre from 19-21 July.
Traditionally Northern Pride has been held on the outskirts of the city, having taken place at both Exhibition Park and the Town Moor in previous years.
Under the theme “unapologetically visible” the aim is to bring around 80,000 people to Newcastle during the Pride weekend, by bringing all the festival favourites right into the heart of the city.
Director of Northern Pride, Ste Dunn, outlined the plans to an audience of supporters and members of the business community at a launch event held at Northern Stage.
He said: “Our mission is clear. We’re using our festival to highlight the vibrant and beautiful queer community, the valuable impact they have on society and the richness of their talents, from makers and creators to performers and activists.
“This will also be a fantastic opportunity so spread the Pride message across the city which in turn will also benefit both the event and the local economy.
“This is a very different look to Northern Pride, but our core messages remain the same.
“We have included everything that people expect at Pride – including our march which will begin and end at Newcastle Civic Centre.
“We truly believe that this will move Northern Pride to the next level and that we are creating something very special.”
The programme of events
The plans will see Central Park at Times Square become the Northern Pride Arena, with the first wave of artists will be announced in the coming weeks.
On Saturday, the Curious Arts Stage will this year move to Northern Stage, where a full programme of art and culture will be performed.
The Family and Youth Zone will be housed in the recently refurbished Assembly Rooms at Westgate Road where there will be a host of activities including arts and crafts sessions aimed at LGBTQIA+ families and young people, as well as live performances.
The Health and Wellbeing Zone will be based at Newcastle City Centre, where a range of organisations will offer advice and support, along with a mobile sexual health clinic with STI and HIV testing.
Continuing its commitment to giving LGBTQIA+ people more access to sport, Northern Pride’s Sport and Active Life Zone will take place at Northumbria University’s Sport, where several taster sessions and general information about sporting activities will be available.
The Rainbow Village, which traditionally host market stalls sharing information and selling a range of unique products, will also return, staged around Grey’s Monument, Old Eldon Square and Blackett Street.
Leader of Newcastle City Council, Cllr Nick Kemp, has supported the plans.
He said: “Pride is always a very important event, and one which Newcastle City Council is always very proud to support.
“Bringing it right into the heart of Newcastle will mean more people than ever before can get involved and it will truly become a citywide celebration.”