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 Xtina-filled celebration 50+ years on from the Stonewall riots that changed gay history? We sure as hell are. It’s been three years, after all!

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 a party-starting Pride playlist and 201 Dance Company’s fabulous double homage to Xtina and Brighton.

A sporting chance
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 sign up for the Brighton and Hove Rainbow Run (skipping is entirely ok, too) on Friday, with a proportion of ticket sales going to Lunch Positive Friends, a supportive peer-led HIV community space. The colourful fun is hosted by Brighton drag queen Mable and there’s a live DJ set by Gaydio, too. (SOLD OUT)

Alternatively, dance your way over to everyone’s (not-so-) favourite phallus, aka the i360, for an open-air Pride silent disco on the terrace (7.30pm with a kiddies version at 5pm; from £15).

Getting in the mood
For rather more raucous Pride partying, you need Mrs Fitzherberts Terrace Parties. They’re hosting shindigs on the Friday, Saturday AND Sunday with live drag, musical bingo and free games. You can book a table if you want to secure your spot, but walk-ins are fine, too (you may still be there from the Friday, of course).

Or kick off the weekend at the Hove outpost of T @ Coffee Shops, where they’ve teamed up with Mama’s Cocktail Bar for a margarita pop-up (they mix up some of the best margs in town, take our word for it).

Or head to any one of all-year-round faves, such as The Queens Arms, The Bedford Tavern, The Fitz Regent, The Grosvenor and new LGBTQ+ spot Arcobaleno.

Where to get your party started on Saturday 6th August
Get your ride on at Rox Life in Hove – they’re hosting two Pride-themed spinning sessions in the morning. But for a more chilled start to the day, head on over to Brighthelm Gardens (10am – 4pm) where they’re holding a very special Pride edition of the Paper Daisy Events makers and food market – complete with Pride accessories and a glitter bar.

Fuel up at Med where Wolfsmouth are making a cameo one-day-only appearance, just for Pride. They’ll be serving up tasty beverages alongside their lipsmackingly good (meat and vegan) burgers.

We hear that if you get there early, you may even get a bacon sarnie and coffee for parade-watching fuel!

Or get stuck in to a Pride breakfast at the fabulously flamboyant Regency Tavern from 10am (there’s a meat, veggie and smoked salmon option).

Looking for a Pride brunch that hasn’t sold out? You’re in luck, you can still get stuck into the special Pride boozy brunch (9am-1pm; £40) with live DJ set at the Hove and Seven Dials branches of T @ Coffee Shops.

There’s also a Pride brunch at new spot Arcobaleno (it means rainbow!) in Kemp Town (where you’ll find Polyglamorous Brighton’s Friday night pre-Pride party, too) with all-day entertainment (from 10.30am).

Where to watch the parade
It kicks off at 11am officially, but it’s often closer to midday by the time things get moving – we’d recommend finding a spot early though if you want to be sure of the best view. If you’re not watching it over breakfast or brunch, then The Jokers front terrace on Preston Road is one of the best places to see the Parade on its last run into Preston Park. Come for the parade – and the glitter – and stay for the always-killer party (11am – 3am). Or, head down to Hove Lawns to watch the approach into the city. Or park your bum at Selina on Kings Road for a perfect parade-watching spot with a full day of DJs and killer hibiscus margaritas from the bar at Tlaloc.

Where else to celebrate
Obviously you may be spending the day with Xtina at Preston Park (you lucky thing), but there are plenty of other places to celebrate in style. You can just wander around and get stuck into some Pride fun, but if you want something organised, these are some of our picks.

You can also still get tickets to THE Village Party on St James’ Street and Marine Parade – just don’t forget to pick up your wristbands in good time to make sure you get in (from £15).

Mrs Fitzherberts have got an afternoon of cabaret and drag courtesy of Ophelia Payne and Tequila Thirst (3-9pm; free) – you can book a table if you want to make sure you get a seat, but they’re also welcoming walk-ins.

Head to our absolute favourite musical theatre bar, Bar Broadway, to get your face (paint) on. You can get your face – or your bod – painted for free on Saturday from 5-8.30pm by Tick Boom Body Art while enjoying all the cabaret entertainment – Ophelia Payne, Dick Day, Portia de Fosse, Mercedes Bends, and more – at their street party (5-11pm).

Wander down to Dukes Lane (pictured above) for Pride on the Lane – there’ll be live cabaret from drag artist Lovinia Belle in the courtyard from 1pm, while Gaydio will be broadcasting live coverage of the main Pride event with interviews and a DJ set in the afternoon. There will also be cocktails and giveaways a-plenty.

And if you’re in the mood for some debauchery (who isn’t?), North Laine Brewhouse are holding (11am – 3am; free) what they say is their most debauched Pride yet. Think DJs, bands, face painters, cocktails, beers and all the smiles! Bring. It. On.

Concorde 2 are hosting what they say (and who are we to argue?) is Brighton’s biggest Pride after-party for a night of ‘disco deviance’. Think immersive visuals and some of Brighton’s best DJs, hosts, dancers and queens.

Want to get started earlier in the day and need a side of donuts to soak up the booze? Head to their Donuts Pride terrace party where hip-hop meets free donuts.

Something different?
The gorgeous Brighton Open Air Theatre have got Drag in the Park, hosting by brilliant drag prince Alfie Ordinary and featuring Cherry Liquor, Son-of-a-Tutu, and more (7pm; £15).

Or there’s an Afrobeat Pride party (11pm – late; free) at The Actors in Kemp Town – think afrobeat, Congolese, Fuji music, soukous and heaps more to get your boum boum shaking.

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, you’ve a stronger constitution than us, and you can still get tickets to the second day of We Are Fabuloso, which Paloma Faith is headlining.

You could also get yourself back to Bar Broadway! Top up your face paint, get stuck into some burgers and enjoy a drink at one of their seven (!) bars at their fabulous street party (3pm – 9pm), featuring over 20 acts, including Miss `Kate, Flick the Drag Queen and Absolutely Dragulous. Or back to BOAT for the family-friendly version of Drag in the Park.

It’s all about the Sunday refuelling now, so move on to the Argyle Arms (it’s their first Pride) in Preston Circus for their Pride brunch (10am-2pm).

Or head to the always-brilliant Bedford Tavern for recovery roasts from midday – and then stay on for musical bingo with Portia de Fosse at 6pm.

For more foodie tips, check out some of our reviews of where (we said where!) we’ve been munching recently.

READ ALSO:

A bit partied out? The North Laine Brewhouse are also there for all your post-debauchery needs (they’re big on debauchery this year) or head over to the Brighton Tavern or the Grosvenor Bar in Hove (it’s right by the Bedford).

Or go and watch Pride, the film, at Brighton Bier brewery and taproom (3pm; free). They’ve got a great beer terrace, too.

Or you could check out the Kemptown Artists’ summer exhibition at St George’s Church (10.30am-4pm) or queer radical bookshop Queery Brighton‘s Queer Market (46 George Street, Kemp Town; midday to 5pm), with independent queer artists and crafters selling a wide range of wares.

Want to help clear up the inevitable (sadly) mess? Surfers Against Sewage are holding a big Pride beach clean from 7am to midday. If you stay for the duration, you can get a free ticket to the Sunday session of We Are Fabuloso, so there’s double the incentive to help out!

Alternatively, a beach-side sauna session may be just the ticket. Phew.

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