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The organisers of the award winning Bristol Pride Festival have confirmed that the annual event will return to the city again this year after the 2020 hiatus caused by the pandemic.

The popular festival’s planned return will span two weeks from Saturday 3rd July – Friday 16th July, supported by returning headline sponsor Unite Students, a provider of student accommodation. 

During the two weeks, favourites from the festival’s usual programme of events will take place in venues across the city providing a boon to the city’s LGBTQ-friendly hospitality industry, one of Bristol’s hardest hit sectors. 

Pride Day will take place on Saturday 10th July and this year will be held in Castle Park. The LGBT+ community and its allies have spent so much time apart over the last year, that organisers have pledged  to create an event that will allow people gather together, to be proud and to celebrate safely. The special event in Castle Park will host a food market, family and youth areas and roaming live performances, all delivered with some Bristol Pride flair. 

Eve Russell, Festival Director, Bristol Pride said, “We are so excited to be working on delivering this year’s festival in person again and to be able to bring everyone back together to celebrate safely. It’s been an incredibly challenging year for everyone, and the LGBT+ community has been disproportionately affected, so it feels right that we create events that will focus on community, giving us all the chance to reconnect but also to be loud, proud and visible once more. 

“We’ve received a huge amount of support over the last year but without government backed insurance a last-minute cancellation of our festival in its usual format would risk the future of Bristol Pride and we are not prepared to do that. We have loads going on in July and almost all of it can happen with social distasting if required, we can’t wait to see you all there and we will be back on The Downs in 2022.” 

The highly anticipated Pride Parade March will also make a physical return this year, filling the city with colour. The march is an integral part of what pride is; not only is it a chance to celebrate proudly but it also serves as a reminder that the LGBT+ community continues to push for equality. Further details of the route and times will be released in  due course. 

Other events include the return of Pride Night including the official afterparty at O2 Academy, the ever popular Dog Show, a spectacular drag Cabaret Night featuring queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Comedy Night, Circus Night, Theatre Night and Queer Vision Film Festival. Further details of the planned programme will be announced over the coming weeks. 

The organisation has taken a robust approach to planning, ensuring that events can be delivered in accordance with any guidelines that may be in place at the time. 

While the event in Castle Park is open access, where a ticket or wristband will not be required, organisers are encouraging attendees to purchase a Supporter Wristband. Priced at £5, they enable future events like Pride Day to remain accessible to those who may not be able to afford to attend an exclusively ticketed event. Supporter Wristbands entitle wearers to various offers and discounts and will be on sale from next week. 

Organisers are encouraging people to sign up to their mailing list to hear about all the latest plans, ticket releases and vital information. 

Richard Smith, Unite Students’ Chief Executive, said:  “We are delighted to sponsor Bristol Pride for the fifth year in a row and thrilled that this year’s festival can return to being an in-person event. 

“Bristol Pride is a place where the community can unite in celebration, showing solidarity and support for all. We are proud to continue our sponsorship of this great event in our home city.” 

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