what to do this pride weekend

It’s almost here, one of the best weekends in the year, yes, it’s Brighton & Hove Pride! Are you ready for a sparkly weekend of love, fundraising and Kylie-filled celebration 50 years on from the Stonewall riots that changed gay history? We sure as hell are. There are so many rainbowtastic events and parties on, it can be hard to know where to start, so we’ve waded through the (biodegradable) glitter on your behalf to narrow things down.

We know music is the food of love (thanks, Shakespeare) and Pride is all about love, so we’d recommend getting in the mood with the official Brighton & Hove Pride – Generations of Love party-starting playlist and 201 Dance Company’s fabulous double homage to Kylie and Brighton. Then get your sparkles on and check out the fabulous Queen Josephine’s rainbowtastic Pride forecast, a lovingly camp tribute to our city where love lives.

Want to get started early? Well, the Pride Pleasure Gardens is back for a fourth year of everything from camp pop to stunning cabaret and spicy clubbing (with many free events) and opens its doors on Friday evening for three whole days – and nights – of fun. We can’t wait for some more of Boogaloo Stu’s bingo, Sink The Pink with the oh-so-Spicy Mel C (tickets on the door only) and, of course, the famous (free) Sunday afternoon line dance.

If you feel the need to get some exercise in via the medium of sporty fun and games before a weekend of hard partying, then head to Hove Lawns on Friday at 6.30pm where The Box are hosting a pre-Pride party.

Where to get your party started on Saturday 3rd August
It might be too late to book some of the main Pride brunches, but if it’s a party with food you’re after, Cin Cin in central Brighton’s Vine Street (the Parade is going through the North Laine this year because of the work on the Old Steine) is always a good shout. They’re offering a tasty pared-back menu of bar snacks, arancini, crostini and affogatos (yum) served with negronis and bellinis to a non-stop Kylie playlist (midday – 9.00pm). We’re spinning around… oh, no, it’s just that fifth Bellini.

Where to watch the parade
If you’re not watching it over breakfast or brunch, then The Jokers front terrace on Preston Road is a great place to see the Parade on the last run into Preston Park. And, this year, Preston Circus fire station is opening its doors for Pride from 10.00am. Or, head down to Hove Lawns to watch the approach into the city.

Where else to celebrate
Obviously you may be spending the day with Kylie at Preston Park (you lucky thing), but if you didn’t manage to get a ticket, there are plenty of other places to celebrate in style. The Mesmerist on Prince Albert Street are welcoming Wonderland Brighton back to their rooftop terrace for post-parade daytime shenanigans (midday – midnight; free). In their words, it’s going to be a “glittery, sassy stonker of a party”. Bring. It. On. You can also still get tickets to the Village Party on St James’ Street and Marine Parade – just make sure you pick up your wristbands in good time to make sure you get in (from £15).

And one of our favourite coffee and bar stops, The Marwood on Ship Street is holding a Pride Secret Jungle Party in the garden with a day of disco, house and techno music from 2.oopm until late. And it’s free! It’s not the biggest space, though, so get there early to make sure you get in. Meanwhile, Bitch Craft are back at The Hope and Ruin on Queens Road in the evening welcoming one and all for a day of fun (9.00pm to late; free) with the gals spinning everything from 60s to 80s tunes to grunge, disco, and riot grrrl. Oh, and there’s free glitter.

What to do on Sunday
If you’re still going strong after Saturday, first of all, we salute you. And if you’re up for continuing the party, then you’ve a stronger constitution than us and you might be glad to know there are still tickets available to LoveBN1Fest (from £34.95), the Sunday part of the festival at Preston Park with Jessie J and the inimitable Grace Jones headlining. Or head to the legendary Sunday Sundae terrace party at Patterns (3.00pm – 3.00am) for a juicy slice of seaside Miami-style clubbing.

But if you’re feeling a bit partied out, then the legendary line dance (see above) or a beach-side sauna session may be just the ticket followed by some chilled brews by the sea at the Bison Beer pop-up at Sea Lanes on Madeira Drive. Phew.

Happy Pride, one and all, with lots of love from Team BOTI