LIVERPOOL Pride Festival has announced Manchester Airport as its first main sponsor for 2017. Liverpool Pride is a free event, and this year’s festival will again take place across two days – Saturday 29 July and Sunday 30 July 2017. Patrick Alexander, Manchester Airport’s Head of Marketing, said: “We are delighted to be working with Liverpool Pride for the first time to support such a worthwhile event. “We have sponsored other Prides in the UK and thought it was time to widen our reach to showcase the great work undertaken by Manchester Airport, with many of our passengers coming from Merseyside. “We’re looking forward to working closely with the Liverpool Pride team on what I am sure will be a world class event.” Liverpool Pride’s International Love theme will also complement a city-wide season of events and performances to mark the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. The 50 Summers of Love season will run from May to August 2017. Joan Burnett, Trustee of Liverpool Pride Charity said: “Our theme this year is International Love and with Manchester Airport coming on board, it’s shaping up to be our most creative Liverpool Pride yet. “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Manchester Airport, and we will work together to take Liverpool Pride to new heights and audiences. Their support means we can further develop our programme and offer a more exciting and diverse line-up featuring music styles from around the world to celebrate international LGBT culture, while remembering places where LGBT life is not so free and easy.” The Liverpool Pride Festival began as a community response to the death of murdered gay teenager Michael Causer, who tragically lost his life on 2 August 2008. The festival was specifically created in 2010 in Michael’s memory as a way to celebrate his life and to empower the LGBT communities. The festival continues to remind the community to stand up for LGBT culture and equality through a city-wide celebration where everyone is welcome. Each year, the Liverpool Pride March is an increasingly popular and poignant part of the special weekend – and again the march will play a major role in the weekend’s programme. Full details will be announced in the coming months.