Tickets, date and what’s on

Manchester Pride Festival 2023 takes place over the August bank holiday weekend, with free events and the famous Gay Village Party making a return.

The popular festival will once again bring thousands of people onto the streets of Manchester.

Tickets for almost all Manchester Pride 2023 events are free this year, with the exception of the Gay Village Party.

Centered around Canal Street’s LGBTQ+ hub, this four-day street party features a variety of performances by LGBTQ+ artists. Tickets for the Gay Village Party went on sale on Wednesday 8th March at 12:00 GMT.

When does the Manchester Pride Festival take place?

Manchester Pride begins on Friday 25th August and the celebrations end on Monday 28th August 2023.

All events on the last day, Monday 28 August, are free to attend.

How do I get tickets for Manchester Pride Festival 2023?

Six of the seven events are free. Tickets to attend the Gay Village Party can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

Low income tickets, family tickets and VIP options are available, whilst £2.50 from each ticket will be donated to the Manchester Pride Community Fund.

Money raised for the Manchester Pride Community Fund is used through grant distribution for LGBTQ+ causes and projects in Greater Manchester.

Manchester Pride March
Tickets for the Manchester Ride Festival Gay Village Party are on sale now, all other events are free. (Manchester Pride)

All tickets are subject to a 10 per cent booking fee, the fee being charged on the ticket only and not on the £2.50 fixed donation.

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How much do Gay Village Party tickets cost?

Manchester Pride Festival 2023 events are free to attend, with the exception of the Gay Village Party. These can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

Ticket options and prices include:

  • Weekend: £37.50
  • Friday Ticket: £21.00
  • Saturday ticket: £31.00
  • Sunday ticket: £31.00
  • Monday Ticket: Free plus £2.50 donation
  • Diamond VIP (weekend): £182.50
  • Gold VIP (weekend): £122.50

Manchester Pride Festival says: “To ensure the event is accessible and inclusive, more low income tickets have been made available in response to the cost of living crisis.”

These are available at the following prices:

  • Weekend: £20.00
  • Friday ticket: £11.75
  • Saturday ticket: £16.75
  • Sunday ticket: £16.75

Family tickets are also available, priced at £57.00 for Saturday 26th August and £53.00 for Sunday 27th August. These tickets grant access to a family of up to four people.

What’s on at Manchester Pride?

On Friday, August 25, the Human Rights Forum will bring together activists and leaders to discuss the challenges the LGBTQ+ community continues to face.

On Saturday 26th August the Manchester Pride Parade returns to the city center with a loud and colorful march for equality.

The four-day celebration hosts the renowned Gay Village Party, which provides a space for the community to enjoy live music. The event, which requires admission, will include a variety of performances by queer artists and performers.

A person at Manchester Pride holds a sign that reads'Not a Sin'
The Manchester Pride Parade 2023 takes place on Saturday 26th August. (Manchester Pride)

On the festival’s closing day, Monday, August 28, a candlelight vigil will be held in Sackville Gardens to remember those lost to HIV and persecuted for who they are.

Part of Manchester Pride’s year-round arts and culture programme, Superbia Weekend provides creative space with a range of alcohol-free events and premieres of new work by LGBTQ+ artists.

Family Pride MCR has space for all ages and will be held over the four days with a program of events for the little ones, while Youth Pride MCR will offer free events for 14-18 year olds.

What is Manchester Pride?

Since the late 1980s, fundraisers have been held in Manchester over the August bank holiday weekend to raise money for the LGBTQ+ community.

It all started in 1985 when Manchester City Council received a £1,700 bursary to hold a two week celebration which, according to Manchester Pride, became the Manchester Pride Festival.

The first pride began as a gay pub and club Olympic, complete with events such as tug of war and egg and spoon races.

At the time of her birth, homophobia was widespread and in 1988 an anti-Section 28 protest was held in Manchester against the law banning the “promotion of sexuality”. The law was in force in Scotland until 2000 and in England and Wales until 2003.

Manchester Pride takes place throughout Canal Street.
Manchester Pride’s Gay Village Party takes place in and around Canal Street. (Jonathan Nicholson/NurPhoto/Getty)

In the summer of 1991, the Village Charity established the Mardi Gras Festival which raised £15,000 for HIV and AIDS. This event grew over the years and in 1999 the council took control and introduced ticketing and fencing.

Wanting to organize the event themselves, the LGBTQ+ community took control of the event, which became known as “Gayfest” in 2000 and 2001.

At the closing ceremony of EuroPride, held in Manchester in 2003, it was announced that all subsequent events would be known as ‘Manchester Pride’.

Manchester Pride became a registered charity in 2007 and works year-round to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people in Greater Manchester. Last year, in 2022, the charity raised a staggering £120,062.38 for LGBTQ+ good causes in the region.

Why should I attend Manchester Pride?

In 2022, Manchester Pride won Best Big Festival at the UK Festival Awards.

During the August bank holiday, the events held have a £34 million impact and contribution to the City of Manchester’s economy.

Manchester Pride offers LGBTQ+ individuals and allies the opportunity to gain skills and ensures talented members of the community have the platform and audience they deserve.

Manchester Pride CEO Mark Fletcher said: “We are delighted to announce the return of Manchester Pride Festival 2023 with an exciting program of events and our partnership with

“We know how important it is to make the festival as accessible as possible, which is why six of the seven events are free.”

To get tickets for the Gay Village Party at Manchester Pride 2023 go to Ticketmaster. Tickets, date and what’s on

Adam Bradshaw

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