As Pride Cymru celebrates its 20th birthday this bank holiday weekend, over 40,000 people are expected to attend across the three days.
With this year marking such a special occasion, people from all across Wales and the UK will come together on the Cardiff City Hall lawns to celebrate diversity and make a stand for acceptance and inclusivity.
Since 1999, the event, which was formerly known as Cardiff Mardi Gras, has grown significantly as more and more acts come to Cardiff to perform across the weekend and make a stand for inclusivity.
Among this year’s acts are legendary Scottish band Texas, Gok Wan, Liberty X, Atomic Kitten, Samantha Mumba and Bang Bang Romeo, as well as comedy sensations Joel Dommett and Robert White.
Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend aims to highlight the ongoing fight against hatred and discrimination that the LGBT+ community faces on a daily basis. This year the event’s campaign is titled #StillProud, a campaign which celebrates the journey made by the LGBT+ community and the journey that is still to be made.
With 2019 being the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York and Pride Cymru’s 20th anniversary, it is an important year to reflect on how far legislation has come but how far society still has to progress to achieve equality and tolerance. With increasing incidents of hate crime being reported by the LGBT+ community, Pride is as important now as it was back in 1999 with the first Cardiff Mardi Gras.
Over the last 20 years, one of the highlights of Pride Cymru is the annual parade that passes through the city centre. Over the years the parade has grown significantly in size and colour as businesses and individuals alike join together and march in support of equality and LGBT+ rights. The parade welcomes people from all backgrounds to take part and you can still register to take part now. Last year, up to 15,000 participated. This years’ parade will take place on Saturday the 24th starting at 11am and is expected to be bigger and louder and more colourful than ever before!
Gian Molinu, Chair of Pride Cymru, said: “With this year marking such a significant milestone for the LGBT+ community in Wales and around the world, I am honoured and proud to be part of the Pride team and we are very excited about this years’ event. It is really humbling to think that in a climate of such divisiveness, we are able to put together an event that is going to unite so many people regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity or social background.
“Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend is more than just a celebration, it started out as a protest and is a reminder that people who identify as LGBT+ continue to face hostility, prejudice and hate in today’s society. Despite legal changes, we still have a long way to go to be more inclusive.
“I am so excited for us to welcome thousands of people to Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend and to see them unite as one. The range of local and national bands, drag and comedy acts, as well as tribute performers that are going to hit our stages across the weekend is fantastic and I can’t wait to be part of the atmosphere.”
To make the event as accessible and as inclusive as possible, Pride Cymru’s Faith Tent will be back as well as special viewing platforms for anyone with accessibility needs. This year will also see an increasing number of British Sign Language interpreters at the event and the introduction of the ‘Quiet Hour’ from 12noon on Sunday 25th August. Organisers are also thrilled to introduce Wales’ first Deaf Pride in partnership with the Cardiff Deaf Centre.
Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend takes place on the 23rd, 24th and 25th of August. Tickets can be bought online at www.pridecymru.com as well as on the day.