I have to admit I was worried about Liverpool Pride this year. First there was the announcement of a new security policy, whereby the festival site would be fenced off, with guards posted at the entrances to ensure no alcoholic drinks were taken in. It all sounded a bit draconian.
Still, I decided to go anyway, and it turned out absolutely fine. Rather than take part in the march, as I have done in previous years, I picked a vantage point in Queen Square and let the march go past me. When I arrived at the main festival site at the Pier Head, the security personnel were friendly and easygoing. Well, they were for me, at least – I did see someone being summarily ejected from the area, presumably because he was causing trouble.
I gave the Stanley Street area a miss – I had memories of previous years when I have been squished into The Lisbon with barely enough space to breathe, let alone reach the bar. Also, it was a lovely sunny day, so better to stay outdoors where it was warm and there was plenty of space.
The atmosphere was friendly and jolly. I saw people of all ages, gay and straight, all mingling together happily. There were some frankly amazing costumes on display as well.
The performances on the main stage at the Pier Head were quite good, with enjoyable sets from the cast of Rent in Concert, Kameelion and Sam Callahan. I didn’t stick around for what must surely have been the highlight of the day – Black Lace – in fact I found myself heading home at around 5pm because I am old and feeble and felt tired.
It was an enjoyable day all round, and best of all, I got a free pen from the Northern Rail stand. Result!
More pictures from the march below. As usual it was led by the Michael Causer Foundation, with participants from unions, student groups, political parties, gay organisations and… er, Nando’s.