London Pride 2019: when is the parade and what else is on?
Pride month is coming to a close - it must be time to hit the streets of the capital
As the bumper Pride month draws to a close, it’s almost time to get out the rainbow flags and hit the streets of London for the most colourful event of the year: the Pride parade.
This year’s celebrations look set to be even bigger and better than last year’s extravaganza, which saw approximately one million people descend upon the capital and around 30,000 individuals take part in the procession.
LGBT icon Billy Porter will be headlining on the Trafalgar Square stage and will be joined by 100 other performers.
Pride 2019 has added significance as it marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. The series of demonstrations, which were carried out by members of the gay community in 1969 in response to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York, are seen as the foundation of the modern LGBT+ movement. The month-long celebration has been a staple of London’s LGBT calendar since 1972 and is one of the world’s largest festivals of its kind.
So, when is the big parade and how can you get involved?
When is it?
For most people, the highlight of the month-long Pride festival remains the main parade, which takes place through the centre of London on the final day of the festival.
The 2019 Pride in London parade will start at 12pm on Saturday 6 July and last for around four hours.
More than 300 groups and floats will travel from Portland Place to Whitehall, going through Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square, “where there’s a party, music, theatre performances and more camp fun”, says Time Out.
Many busy roads are likely to be partially or fully closed, including Regent Street, Pall Mall, Pall Mall East, Cockspur Street and Whitehall but “you’ll have to turn up to see what’s planned this year though – everything’s a surprise until the parade starts”, says the magazine.
How can I watch the parade?
Tickets are not needed to attend the parade or to join in the celebrations, unless you want a Grandstand seat.
Under-18s are welcome and the parade route is fully wheelchair accessible, although it can get very busy, Pink News warns.
Guests heading to the party at Trafalgar Square are advised to arrive early as “access to the Square is regulated and becomes one-in-one-out later in the day when crowds thicken”, the site adds.
There are dedicated volunteers along the parade route, accessible parking, and a viewing platform and wheelchair recharging points at Trafalgar Square.
What else is going on?
The Pride in London website has a full rundown of events taking place over the month that cater for all ages.
After the parade itself finishes around 4pm, if you take a stroll up to Soho, there will be many street parties to keep you going until later in the evening. After those finish, nightclubs all the way from Vauxhall in southwest London to Clapton in east London will have parties until the small hours.
Alongside Pride in London, UK Black Pride is taking place on the Sunday. The event promotes unity and co-operation among people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American descent, who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, as well as their friends and families.
Now in its 15th year, Black Pride will move from Lambeth to Haggerston Park in east London for 2019.
“We are so energised by Hackney’s diversity, historical significance as a welcoming place for people from such a broad range of diasporas and the wonderfully enthusiastic response from local government,” says Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, co-founder and executive director of UK Black Pride
More information about what is on will be released nearer to the time but in the meantime, applications are still open for stalls, food vendors, performers and volunteers, as well as for the wellbeing and workshop area, where a separate and smaller stage will host panel discussions, interactive performances and poetry readings.
The day’s celebrations “will carry on into the evening, with live entertainment being hosted on several stages across the route”, says The Independent, while in nearby Leicester Square performers will be on stage in the Woman’s Area from 12.35pm until 7.45pm.
Performances on the Cabaret Stage on Dean Street will be held from 12.05pm until 7.40pm, while entertainment on the Trafalgar Square stage will commence at 11.45am and end at 8pm, including a performance from the cast of West End play Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at 12.15pm.