We were delighted to be back outside Cardiff City Hall for the first in-person Pride Cymru event since 2019. This year’s theme, #UniqueAndUnited, highlighted the importance of coming together to celebrate our individual identities while ensuring inclusion for all parts of the community. In a year when celebrating 50 years of Pride coincided with a rise in anti-trans rhetoric, we made sure to loudly and proudly declare that there is no LGBTQ+ with the T.
Starting off with a bang, Saturday morning saw more than 15k people join the Parade. The two mile route through Cardiff sparkled with spectators lining the streets with colour. Charities, LGBTQ+ organisations, and local businesses turned out in force to show solidarity with our primary message; ‘Ban Conversion Therapy’. When a small anti-trans group tried to disrupt the parade, they were quickly drowned out by thousands chanting ‘trans rights are human rights’. In that moment, the crowd showed that there is no place for hate at Pride.
The end to the parade marked the opening of the festival gates and the crowds rolled in to enjoy the festivity. Inclusion was pivotal and our dedicated access volunteers were on hand all weekend to support with any additional needs. Our Faith Tent, hosted by The Gathering (Cardiff and Llandaff Diocese), provided a safe space for LGBTQ+ people to explore beliefs. BSL interpreters ensured attendees from the Deaf community enjoyed the lineup, while the Deaf Pride Cymru Community Space, hosted by Deaf Hub (Wales) & Deaf Cymru Pride, allowed friends, family and allies to meet and spend time together. The lineup included standout performances from Deaf talent, including a high energy set from Deaf Rave and an emotive performance from Fletch@.
As always, the family area was a big hit! Wandering away from the busy marketplace into Alexandra Gardens, little ones could learn with Techniquest, chat with Scouts, or shelter from the sun under the trees. On Saturday, Cardiff Pottery Workshop joined us to help children produce a collection of colourful ceramic hearts which are now on display at St Fagan’s National Museum of History. Sunday was a treat for animal lovers thanks to some special guests from Plantasia Tropical Zoo, including Stumpy the tortoise and Zilla the bearded dragon. The Storytime Drag Queen, Aida H Dee, captivated and entertained, teaching the kids in the most enjoyable way that all identities are valued and worthy of love. Many volunteers were approached by parents during and after the event, thanking them for providing the environment for their children to feel free, accepted and safe to explore.
This year was particularly special for young people, as we debuted our first Youth Area, organised in close collaboration with the youth service and LGBTQ+ youth groups Goodvibes, Impact and Constellation. Trustee Lisa Cordery-Bruce says, “It was the first Pride for so many young people and the first time they had been able to truly celebrate who they are”. It was a safe space away from the buzz of the main stage and marketplace where young people could chat with qualified youth workers (many trained in mental health first aid), or just chill out on the bean bags, socialising and making new friends.
There really was something for everyone, and the lineup was no exception. Local singer- songwriter Zoey opened the main stage with a beautiful set, and later on alt-pop fans flocked to see one of Cardiff’s rising stars, Dead Method. We were honoured to be joined by Drag Race superstar Bimini, whose punked-up versions of classic floor fillers got the crowd jumping. Throughout the weekend, up-and-comers of the Cardiff drag and music scene graced the community stage, featuring performances from Justin Drag, Cardiff Theatre Company, and Dixie Normous - to name but a few! The final day started with an incredible selection of local singer-songwriters including the proudly-bilingual Bronwen Lewis, and the fabulously energetic Rokat. Global superstars Mel C and Boney M brought nostalgia to their headline slots with performances that had the entire crowd singing and dancing along.
The weekend flew by, coming to an end with an unforgettable set from DJ-extraordinaire Adele Roberts. Before saying good-bye, we were excited to announce that next year’s event will be held on 17th - 18th June 2023 at a new venue - keep an eye on our socials to find out where! A massive thanks goes out to all volunteers, sponsors, traders, performers, partners and supporters that made Pride Cymru 2022 happen. We can’t wait to do it again next year!
If you have any stories you'd like to share with us about your time at Pride Cymru 2022, please send us a message. We'd love to hear from you.