A Guide to London Pride
London Pride is taking place on July 1st 2023!
The first gay Pride parade took place in London on July 1st 1972, following the success of New York’s inaugural Christopher Street Liberation Day - the parade organized to commemorate the momentous evening in July 1969 when queer patrons fought back against police harassment at the Stonewall Inn. The influence of the Stonewall Riots on the queer community was transatlantic and it wasn’t long before plans for London’s own Gay Pride parade began to materialize. Marching to the sound of screaming members of the National Front, the first Pride attendees carried signs reading 'Lesbians and Gay Men Come Out On the Streets' and ‘GAY IS FUN; GAY IS PROUD; GAY IS BEAUTIFUL!’.
By 2007, London Pride parade was in its 35th year and had grown to be one of the world’s largest and best-attended Pride celebrations. Today, Pride in London routinely attracts over 30,000 participants and the parade remains the only annual event to shut down the city’s iconic Oxford Street. Paired with some of the world’s most liberal and progressive LGBTQ+ legislation, Pride in London is a fantastic choice for gay travelers eyeing up this year’s Pride calendar.
London, with its sprawling scale and patchwork of boroughs, can be overwhelming at times, but thankfully the bulk of Pride in London’s events are concentrated around the Soho neighborhood and marble-lined Oxford Street. That being said, thanks to the city’s claim of multiple gay districts, you’ll find Pride-inspired events wherever you look.
London Pride will be held on July 1st 2023, featuring an inclusive selection of workshops, parades, parties, and performances. With events ranging from the Trafalgar Square Stage, which will host Idina Menzel, Todrick Hall, and Adam Lambert, to the PrideBoat, a tranquil midday cruise along the Thames, regardless of what your dream Pride looks like, you can make it a reality in non-stop London.
London Pride Parade
Kicking off at Hyde Park at 12PM, the London Pride parade will snake through the streets of London in a dazzling procession of beautifully decorated floats and marchers. Thanks to its consistently large turnout, London’s Pride parade has become one of Europe's most distinctive and popular.
One of the benefits of celebrating Pride in London is the abundance of fantastic vantage points found along the parade route. The iconic architecture of the UK’s capital means your Pride experience will be framed by one of the world’s most famous cityscapes. Spectators and revelers tend to descend on the parade route in the late morning/early afternoon, so it’s best to head off early if you want the best view of the parade in all its glory. If you’re keen to avoid the crowds on the 1st of August, it’s never a bad idea to book a spot at one of the city’s many rooftop bars and restaurants, whereby you’ll enjoy a spectacular bird’s eye view of the procession.
London Pride parade will begin in Hyde Park in 2023, with a main grandstand being erected in Haymarket. From Hyde Park, the procession will wind its way through the city's vibrant streets.
London Pride Events
London is home to a number of neighborhoods known for their creative energy and queer history, and throughout Pride in London, it’s in these districts that visitors will find the bulk of the celebrations community events, and pop-ups. There’s no one way to do Pride, and in London, visitors will find a diverse array of activities ranging from Burlesque and drag brunches to rock operas and Pride picnics. A full list of the community events taking place during London Pride can be found here.
Whilst the Pride in London Parade kicks off at 12PM near Hyde Park, the festival’s Grandstand will be open from 11.30 AM for eager spectators to secure one of the parade route’s most enviable vantage points. The focal point of Pride, the Grandstand promises to be a buzzing hub of the queer community for the duration of Pride in London.
Taking place on the evening of the 1st of July, the Ministry of Pride event promises to be the highlight of Pride in London’s evening schedule. Featuring a lineup of DJs and artists including DJ Fat Tony, Chris Brogan, and Reece Spooner, the event will showcase the world’s premier queer electronic music pioneers. Ministry of Pride will take place at the Ministry of Sound from 10PM on the 1st of July 2023.
For the perfect combination of entertainment and education, don't miss out on the chance to partake in one of London Pride’s Drag King and Queen Walking Tour. On a 3-hour adventure through London's vibrant and renowned queer district, you’ll enjoy fascinating tales and local insights from the perspective of a fabulous drag artist. Prepare to delve into the origins of Soho's name and uncover the intriguing secrets lurking beneath the surface of Broadwick Street. Get ready to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of London's queer district and create unforgettable memories along the way.
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