Sonia To Headline Liverpool Pride

ORGANISERS of Liverpool Pride Festival 2016 revealed their full programme of entertainment last night at the official press launch at the city’s Epstein Theatre, for the main Festival day on Saturday, 30th July which runs across three stages. Taking up its new position in the St George’s Quarter, from 1pm to 9pm, The Festival will host a full day of entertainment – with something for everyone. Hosted by Claire Simmo from Radio City 2, last night’s event had speeches from Liverpool Pride trustees Zoran Blackie and Joan Burnett, DC Tracy OHara, Chair of Merseyside Police LGBT network. There were also taster performances by Phoenix and Destiny from the cast of The Ruby Slippers and young singer Eleanor Nelly, both of which are appearing in the line-up. Headlining the main Festival Stage will be Liverpool’s very own queen of pop Sonia. She will be joined by X Factor bad boy Mason Noise and also former X Factor contestant Lucy Spraggan with her own brand of original songs blending a mixture of acoustic, folk and hip hop. Eurovision’s Karl William Lund and Welsh singer songwriter Christopher Haul also perform the main stage. The line-up also includes Rupaul’s Drag Race UK Ambassador – The Vivienne, Girl Talk, Butch Boiz, Jo Samuels, Miss Stylie, Darren Suarez, Beth Sherburn, Dorian Reyland, The Lotharios and Clare Sophia. Acts taking to the Plateau Stage include The Martini Lounge, The Ruby Slippers drag queens Destiny and Phoenix, Trash Bang Love, Sing Me Merseyside, Emma McGann, George Gallagher, Alan Cross and the Snazzy Swing Band and Gerry Potter. For the first time, Liverpool Pride is supported by Awards for All to host a dedicated Find Your Pride Youth Zone. Pride has partnered with GYRO, Brook Wirral and The Action Youth Trans* project to provide a day of support and activities for people under 25. In St John’s Gardens between 1-6pm, the Find Your Pride Marquee will be holding events including content from GYRO and Action Youth, Wirral Brook’s Working It Out, The What’s Our Pride Story writers and the Garden Stage will host a full music programme throughout the day featuring Splintered Uke, Jack Woodward, Anthony O’Sullivan and Eleanor Nelly. The YPAS Building by GYRO and Action Youth offers a safe space to ensure all LGBT+ young people have somewhere to go to think and be themselves in a supported environment. There will be workshops and social events throughout the day. Lucy Day, Chair of Liverpool Pride Festival, said: “We’re delighted to be working with a wide range of cultural partners and sponsors who have helped us to put together an exciting and different programme of entertainment for this year’s festival, it is now two days and it is absolutely free. This year’s Liverpool Pride festival has something for everyone, it is looking to be the best Pride to date and we look forward to entertaining the crowds.” Liverpool Pride Festival 2016 offers a week-long programme of activity which culminates with a two-day event on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st July and features the well-established Liverpool Pride March on the Saturday. The ‘We Are Family’ day on the Sunday is the latest addition to Liverpool Pride Festival 2016 which creates a festival atmosphere for all the family to enjoy. Other new initiatives for 2016 include LOOK’s Liverpool Icons, a photography exhibition in Liverpool ONE; ‘What’s Your Pride Story’ in partnership with Writing On The Wall; ‘Dress With Pride’ to encourage customer facing businesses to dress up during the week of Pride to help raise funds for the Liverpool Pride charity; and ‘Come Out Of The Shadows’, a campaign to see the city’s iconic venues lit in the Pride rainbow colours in a bid to make Liverpool the most visibly LGBT friendly city in the UK, this is supported by the Police Commissioner’s Fund as a Hate Crime initiative. As always, the festival coincides with the anniversary of murdered gay teenager Michael Causer, who tragically lost his life on 2 August 2008. The Liverpool Pride festival was specifically created in his memory as a way to celebrate his life and to empower the LGBT communities.