Birmingham Pride 2016 was definitely my highlight of the year. There’s never going to be a weekend that will top it. The whole experience is one to treasure and remember, and it’s difficult to imagine Birmingham Pride topping this next year. 20 years and still going, and boy did they put on quite the show!
Friday night is the night to have a catch up, meet up with everyone you haven’t seen since last pride. Go out drinking, have some fun, and see if anything’s changed. The clubs are packed, the bars are just as busy and the drinks are slightly cheaper, what more can you want?
Birmingham Pride truly kicks off in style on Saturday, with their Pride Parade in the city centre streets of Birmingham. Kick that hangover to the curb, breathe some fresh air and watch the parade on the street. Full of love, harmony and friendship, the atmosphere is one to remember and the parade is a must-see.
Plans go out the window when meeting up with friends. The funfair is the one-stop area that will cost a fortune, left me battered and bruised for days, but it is definitely a massive highlight, so much fun, the fairground is the place to be.
The main stage is crowded and stuffy. I managed to catch a few favourite acts. Dakota was nothing special, would much prefer to hear the studio version of “Fast Car” than the live version she performed, but I guess following Anne-Marie faltered her completely. Anne-Marie was stunning, vocals were on-point and “Alarm” and “Do It Right” were performed to perfection. Lawson gave a great rock vibe across the audience, but the sound quality wasn’t quite there. Fleur East blasted all competition out of the water. Vocals were electric. Choreography was performed faultlessly. This girl is a superstar, batting out “Uptown Funk” and “Sax” with brilliant energy that flew across the crowd. Tulisa came back with star presence and worked that stage like she owned it, she deserves to be up there performing.
Then it was time to get ready for our night out. We hit Missing first and then later Nightingale to watch Liberty X perform. With all three floors open and four different rooms, the Nightingale is the place everyone ends up, if they can afford to get in.
Sunday had the exact same energy and vibe, the atmosphere was even more calm. Sunday was more of an exploration day, I wanted to explore what I usually miss out on. So after a long search we finally found the dance arena tent, just in time to catch the 99 Souls DJ set. These two were amazing, pairing up songs that I love together to unrecognisable dance tunes had us loving every minute of it. Until the beach ball started getting tossed around the tent, after an hour of fearing for our lives, we had to get the hell out of there. Missed out on hearing “The Girl Is Mine”, but I didn’t need that in my life after hearing the amazing other remixes these guys blasted out of the speakers.
We saw K Stewart do her thing on the main stage, but opted to go to the funfair instead and waste more money on the dodgems and the waltzers. But our favourite was definitely the tagada, so much fun such a massive laugh and that is the cause of our aches, pains and bruises that we’re still suffering from a week on.
Returning to the main stage, we forced ourselves to watch Lisa Stansfield, so that we got a great viewing of the next act. Her vocals were on-point and she definitely owned the stage, but we didn’t know any of her songs apart from the last one which was “All Around the World”. Next was the Vengaboys, and wow they were amazing, energetic, electric. They know how to put on one heck of a show that got us all dancing, singing and recording. This was the act not to miss.
Then it was time to get ready and go out again. I hit the cabaret tent with my group of friends, but we were too busy drinking and talking that to watch the act. We hit Missing for a bit, as I avoided my first ex, then joined the queue for Nightingale, where Alesha Dixon was set to perform. Running behind schedule, she made up for it by putting on one mighty show. She can sing, dance and entertain, if there’s one person you have to see live, it has to be Alesha Dixon.
Overall my Birmingham Pride 2016 is a memory I’ll never forget. A brilliant parade, a perfect Saturday day and night, and a brilliant ending on Sunday day and night. It’s going to be hard to top Birmingham Pride 2016, but that won’t stop me coming next year. It’s the event that kicks off summer, it’s the event that fills me with pride, and it’s the must-see event that is a massive experience every year.
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