I have been living in Brighton since 2013, and this was my 4th pride I’ve been to. The first year in 2014 did the Festival with some friends, and then 2015 and 2016 did the Pride Village Party, so thought I would give the festival another go. Now this is just my personal preference, I am no way saying that the festival or PvP is a hit or miss. You will need to discover this for yourself based on what you like
Day 01 – Parade and Festival
I wasn’t sure if I was going to go the parade this year, a couple years ago in 2015 me and the wife at the time went and then was delayed for over two hours because there was a bomb scare and they had to reroute the parade. So I had seen the parade before, but I told myself if I woke up in time I would go. Well 9am rolls around and yep I was awake in plenty of time. So I said screw it and got ready to watch the parade and I knew just the spot
Camped out on the wall at 9:45 I had my drink and some breakfast and was ready for the 11am start. Various vendors starting pacing up and down the street selling various knock off pride tat. As the streets started to fill I met three lovely punk rock/alt metal group. They were all called Jules, Charlie, Andy, and a dog called Diesel. apparently they had the same idea i did and come back to the same spot every year. we all go very friendly and shared some laughs and waited for the parade to start.
Finally around 10:30 sky divers fell from the sky and deployed various flags, and quickly came landing on the Hove Lawns. this aerial group did the jump twice. to the point we were worried that they were coming to fast and were going to crash. the crowd cheered and held their collective breath in a matter of minutes, but a brilliant start.
11:04 hit and the drums started and the parade started to kick into full steam! and went on and on and on and on. I loved it though, I was dancing and singing to all the classic anthems that were belting out of all the various floats. But it struck me that this parade felt very long. it wasn’t until about half way through that I learned this was a big pride due to the 50 year anniversary of homosexuality being decriminalised in the UK (you must forgive me I am not originally from UK)
The Parade finally came to a close at 12:45ish and I said good bye to my parade buddies, joking that I would keep our spot for next year, and I think I will. I had such a lovely time and for me thats what I enjoy about pride is meeting strangers and having a chat.
Jules gave me one of her ciders as a way of saying thank you for helping her get up and down multiple times since she had double hip replacement. I made my way back to the flat where my room mate has been getting ready all morning.
So after a quick outfit change and a lot of spray glitter ready, the rucksack was packed and we got in taxi to head towards the park. which of course the minute we got in the taxi the sky decided to open and it started to rain. a stark contrast from the warm sun that was blaring down on us an hour earlier. The taxi graciously dropped us off at the Shell petrol garage that was just across the street from our gate entrance.
we made a mad dash and I bought two ponchos since I had just taken the umbrella out of my bag moments before we got in taxi like an idiot. Me and the room mate quickly threw the ponchos on and headed into line. we made our way through the gate but no one checked our ticket…I mean why did i just pay 60£ for two people only to never once have someone check our ticket. So frustrated for being so honest.
After my bag was checked we were in and we made our way to the market right away so the room mate could have an umbrella because you know the poncho wasn’t enough…whatever. We get an umbrella and finally meet up with our friends by the wild fruit tent, only to have the sun come back out no more than 5 minutes later…wish this weather would make up its mind.
Rain gear packed in the back pack we made our way to the bar to get this party started. drinks in hand we started our aimless walk around the park to the urban tent (which was playing my kind of r&b circa 90s and 00s) to then some food, to a cabaret tent, to then sitting on grass, to queuing for toilets. and this continued for 3 hours… this is why I am not meant to do festivals in a group of people…we did this in 2014 and it just wasn’t fun to me. Plus I was the pack horse of the group carrying a rucksack.
as we were sitting outside the cabaret tents this very ominous cloud came from the west and it just looked awful. and once again the heavens opened up and by this time the group was split, two people fled for the ford tent while the other two were waiting for toilets…so I decided to stay put with the large rainbow umbrella that was bought earlier so we could all try to meet up again because reception was non existent.
after an hour of waiting aimlessly and everyone talking shit in their drunken state the rain let up and we headed towards the bumper cars and haunted house. I didn’t partake myself because I was on a 20£ budget for the day. I started to get concern because the room mate hadn’t eaten yet so suggested we get some food…meaning as a group…but there was one person in our group that is literally a drunk version of Dory…turn your back and fuck knows where she is and who she is talking to, and sure enough we all got separated again.
By this point im getting pissed off, so me and the room mate stayed together and got some food, went to toilet, get a drink at bar and by then it was nearly 6pm. we still hadn’t watched any music, or looked around any market stalls, we danced in the urban tent for 10 minutes when we first got in the festival, the rest has just been walking around aimlessly
finally we met up with one member or our group. we’ll call her Dory’s sister…(she was her sister in real life) and then Dory and her on and off again girlfriend, who is my room mates old class mate join us again. and its very clear something is up, classmate has such a face on her I thought she would freeze water with that stare. Don’t get me wrong, i love this gal, she is amazing when its just her and the two of us ( room mate and myself) but when she is around Dory…man things get awkward…by this point I’m ready to go. but we watch Years and Years perform, which was nice 10 minutes, and then we make our way to the Wild Fruit tent to wait until Petshop Boys. once again Dory is running her mouth and talking to room mate that i am losing classmate and Dory’s sister who has walked ahead of us. By god I was not getting separated again! I was fed up. we make it to tent and I am in there 5 minutes and room mate suggests we should go, and I was so relieved. so we said our goodbyes and made our way outside the park. we contemplated staying but decided to get dinner, which that took an additional hour to get anywhere finally landing in TGI Fridays at 9pm. Finally some peace just me and the room mate. So we made a pact that next year just us…no more groups…no drama.
Day 02 – Pride Village Party
I woke up feeling so hung over when actually I only had two alcoholic drinks all day yesterday. Reflecting back I actually think I was dehydrated, but a major plus I wasn’t sunburned since I was religious with the sun screen.
Today I wasn’t carrying a bag so I wore my rainbow wings and the room mate did her kick ass glitter make up on me and we were ready to rock and roll. We took the local bus that dropped us off right by the Pleasure Gardens and entrance to Pride Village Party, and the room mate made a executive decision to get some food before we go in, which was smart. So we headed into the Royal Pavilion Tavern for some cheap porn star martinis and some burgers.
After we were sufficiently fuel up we walked around the pleasure gardens before making our way into the PvP, making a bee line for the Queens Arms to watch the Drag acts, which were fabulous! sadly I dropped my phone today in toilet so I wasn’t able to save photos from the acts in time on my google drive so not as many pictures from day 2. I love it survives all of pride but dies in a clean (luckily) toilet at work on Monday.
After we watch some drag acts we made our way to Charles Street and had some Vodka Redbulls and just took in the environment. Last year this was our landing spot because the music was great, but today not so much…so we actually decided to leave the PvP and headed back to All-Bar-One that ironically was next to the Royal Pavilion Tavern where we got our food earlier that day.
This is where we landed, 241 cocktails and there was so many options and they were to die for! we ended up drinking at least 4 each. The music was classic top 40 from like the last 10 years so everyone was singing and dancing to all the hits…we were having so much fun we decided not to head back into the PvP.
I will confess due to the multiple cocktails day 02 is a very short entry because I only remember bits, hahah. We left the bar just in time to catch the fireworks at 09:30pm and then rested our feet before getting into a taxi to head home.