This Saturday, for the first time in history, the annual Nottingham Pride celebrations will be happening entirely online.
Organisers have had to adapt this year’s festivities to observe ongoing restrictions on public gatherings, developing a totally digital celebration of the local LGBT+ community.
And although Leigh Ellis, chairperson of Nottinghamshire Pride, is “disappointed” that the in person celebration has had to be put on hold, he’s also “so excited to be…venturing into the online world” for the first time.
There will also be music from Nottingham favourite reggae group, Concrete Rose, singer-songwriter Harlee Rosanna and Miss Bowie, a David Bowie tribute band with a female lead vocalist, among others
The online event, taking place this Saturday 25th July, will include acts like local drag queen comedy troupe, Scream Queenz (who have previously hosted the city’s Pride events), activist, writer and speaker Maryam Din, and Ravelle Sadé, a poet and mental health advocate.
There will also be music from Nottingham favourite reggae group, Concrete Rose, singer-songwriter Harlee Rosanna and Miss Bowie, a David Bowie tribute band with a female lead vocalist, among others. A virtual bingo will also be held alongside the broadcast.
The Pride event this year (which traditionally takes place in Hockley) will instead be recorded in the Nottingham City Council House Ballroom and broadcast online on the official Nottinghamshire Pride social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) from 7-9pm on Saturday 25th July.
The history of Pride in Nottingham stretches back to 1997, when the first small parade was held on Broad Street
Nottingham is not the only UK city to have cancelled Pride celebrations this year – Belfast, Edinburgh, Bristol, Cardiff and Brighton have all cancelled in-person parades and festivities, and the two flagship Pride events in London and Manchester have also moved online.
The history of Pride in Nottingham stretches back to 1997, when the first small parade was held on Broad Street (where there is now a permanent ‘rainbow road’, similar to those on campus) under the name Pink Lace.
Events have moved locations across the years as they gained in popularity – from the Victoria Embankment, to the Forest Recreation Ground and ending up in its current home of Hockley in the city centre.
However, never has Pride moved ‘location’ quite as drastically as this year.
“Pride is always a wonderful celebration in our city and, while we understand the event will look and feel a bit different this year, I’m glad we’re still able to mark the occasion in a ‘virtual’ sense” says Councillor Rebecca Langton, portfolio holder for communities at Nottingham City Council.
And, in a bright spot for those disappointed by this year’s cancellation, Councillor Langton stated that the council is “committed to working with the Pride committee this year and hope to be back together again for next year’s event”.
Musician Rob Green, who will be performing at the online event, is “excited and honoured to be taking part in this year’s Pride celebrations”, adding that “[Pride is] something that is needed now more than ever and it’s an honour to part of making this day extra special and a positive memory for us all”.
A full list of performers can be found at the official Nottinghamshire Pride website, as well as links to the official social media pages, where a full line-up and agenda will be posted in due course.
In article images courtesy of Alina Tebbutt.
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