London Pride see’s the capital filled with cheery queers and everyone across the LGBT+ spectrum, merrily wishing each other a happy pride while wading through empty plastic cups and beer cans. It’s a beautiful sight. Saturday 28th is the day official Parade, but there’s so much going on that you can easily miss out if you aren’t prepared.Never fear, Vada is here to guide you through it.
The Big Opening – Sink The Pink Summer Ball, 8pm Saturday 21st June
There are loads of events taking place in the run up to Pride, but the official launch party comes courtesy of Sink the Pink hosting their Summer Ball. Taking place on Saturday 21st June, a week before the Parade, they are taking over Troxy with help from Jodie Harsh and the Vengaboys. Check the official calendar over at Pride in London for more goings on, including a screening of Rocky Horror and the Gay Outdoor Club evening walk for the more gentile amongst you.
The Parade – 1pm Saturday 28th June
Of course, the main focus of Pride is the parade. Fabulously disrupting as much traffic as possible, the parade will leave Baker Street at 1 and travel down Oxford street, through Soho and on to its final destination on the other side of Trafalgar Square. Naturally there’ll be a hugely diverse group of participants, including many LGBT+ charities, community groups, and campaigners. Of course there are plenty of corporations involved and the parade is slightly bizarrely shared with Armed forces day, but I’m sure there’s already been plenty of think pieces about pride and politics this year so I’ll leave that there.
The Street Party
Although it’s strangely not advertised on the official Pride in London site, there should be a street party going on in Soho around Dean Street/Old Compton Street. If it’s anything like last year, it’ll be messy, busy and a lot of fun. If you’re drinking you are better off bringing your own or heading to a corner shop, far cheaper than heading into the darkness of Village.
Go anywhere, just don’t bother with Heaven. That’s probably good advice for any day of the year, but you don’t want to bother making the exodus from Old Compton Street to Charing Cross only to find out there’s a two hour queue (like I did last year).
If you’ve had enough of Soho and fancy paying entry, the DJs behind Push the Button are running Trendy Discotheque, a night of pure Scandipop up at the Black Cap in Camden. Summer Rites is putting on Out on the Dock over in East London, a gay dance festival featuring the likes of East Bloc, Room Service and Sink the Pink. It promises to be a good time, but for me, a dance festival at a closed off venue is not quite in the spirit of pride.
The Picnic – Sunday 29th June
Running from lunchtime onwards, if you can drag yourself out of bed, there’ll be a picnic in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. It’s actually quite nice if you’ve ever seen it in daylight and there’ll be a whole host of activities going on. Slightly less alcohol and dance music oriented than the usual, but it’s a nice way to cap off the weekend if its sunny.