A Guide to Brighton Pride

A Guide to Brighton Pride

Brighton and Hove has long served as the unofficial gay capital of the UK, with the highest percentage of LGBTQ+ households and a proud history as a mecca of queer expression in the country. Brighton and Hove Pride began with a demonstration in Brighton in 1972 by The Sussex Gay Liberation Front (SGLF), and a full pride march was first held in July 1973. The event then returned to the city in 1991 and has been gaining popularity amongst locals and tourists since then.

These days, you can expect around 500,000 people to descend on Brighton and Hove for Pride weekend, and the event is now considered one of the UK’s best. Whether you choose to watch the colorful parade, see pop superstars at the Pride Festival in Preston Park, or wander around town and join the street parties – all of Brighton and Hove comes out in celebration of its diversity and LGBTQ+ community during Pride weekend. Get your most colorful, fabulous, or scandalous outfit ready, Brighton Pride certainly won’t disappoint.

Home to the Laines, a meandering network of Victorian alleyways, the iconic pier, and a bounty of vintage shops and independent boutiques, Brighton is the home of alternative living in the UK. The city enjoys a reputation for edginess and is a consistently popular destination for gay travelers, with a fantastic selection of gay bars and clubs.

Brighton and Hove Pride is usually held the first weekend of August, featuring a world-class range of workshops, parades, parties, and performances. With events ranging from the Pride Village Party, which will see Kemptown’s most beloved gay bars and clubs come together in one all-out street party, to the Pride Festival, featuring Steps and the Black Eyed Peas, regardless of what your dream Pride looks like, you can make it a reality in eclectic Brighton.


Brighton Pride Parade


Brighton’s famous Pride Parade typically starts off at around 11AM at Hove Lawns. It will move along the seafront, through the city center, past St Peters Church, along London Road and ends at Preston Park around 4PM. Visitors can expect colourful floats, thousands of marchers, lots of balloons, your favorite pop divas’ songs blasting from speakers, fantastic outfits, and much more!

The further along the route you choose to watch the parade, the busier (and wilder) the crowd will be. People tend to arrive increasingly throughout the day, yet there is often quite a bit of space in the area around St Peter’s Church, where lots of people congregate post-parade to celebrate and dance the evening away.

Early birds can make the most of Brighton and Hove's stunning seafront by securing a place along Hove Lawns. Here you’ll get to witness the parade at its best, with participants not yet energy-zapped by the August heat. Another good spot to watch the parade is Preston Circus. Located just before Preston Park, this is where the parade finishes and the Pride festival takes place.


Brighton Pride Events


You can always hit up the usual LGBTQ+ haunts in Brighton for club nights and events over the Pride weekend, though there will be plenty of pre-parties, Pride-parties and after-parties across the city. There are so many more exciting events organized as part of the Brighton Pride schedule and you can find a complete list of Brighton Pride’s events here.

Just like the parade, Brighton’s Pride festival has been one of the biggest and best in all of the UK. With previous headliners such as Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue, Christina Aguilera, Sister Sledge, Pet Shop Boys, Jessie J (and technically Mariah Carey and The Pussycat Dolls who were confirmed for 2020), the festival has a track record of securing better headliners each year. The festival starts at 12pm and ends at 10.30pm on the Saturday. On Sunday, the festival opens from 1pm to 9.30pm. In 2023, the Pride Festival will be headlined by the Black Eyed Peas, Steps, Melanie C and Zara Larsson.

Not in the mood for a huge festival, but still want to party? Well, fortunately there are street parties happening all over town! Join the Pride Village Party in Kemptown on Saturday and Sunday, stretching across St James Street and Marine Parade. During the Pride Village Party, local businesses such as pubs, bars and restaurants come together to celebrate Pride, and raise extra funds for the Brighton Rainbow Fund and Pride Social Impact Fund. You can expect live entertainment including Djs, drag artists, singers, and more.

How many Pride celebrations can count a dedicated dog show amongst their events? Well, Brighton certainly can. The Pride Community Day & Dog Show is presented in conjunction with Coastway Vets and invites LGBTQ+ dog owners to celebrate their four-legged best friends with a day of fun and barking frolics.

Brighton Pride Bars

You can always hit up the usual LGBTQ+ haunts in Brighton for club nights over the pride weekend. There will be plenty of preparties, pride parties, and afterparties. But there are so many more exciting events and places to go just off the main track.

Arcobaleno in Kemptown has some fantastic events on over the Pride weekend – this year the Brighton favourite is hosting a 6-day Pride extravaganza in the heart of the city’s gay district. From swing mixers to drag-queen-hosted celebrations, you won’t want to miss out on the fun this Pride weekend.

Find out more: Brighton Pride

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