A guide to Reading Pride

Sophie Smith
Reading Pride

What is Reading Pride?

Now in its 14th year, Reading Pride is a celebration of our town’s LGBT+ community, as well as of diversity and openness for all.

The centrepiece is the parade through Reading town centre, in support of both the Pride movement and the ongoing campaign for equality. There is also the Pride Festival, a full-day of entertainment, fun and music at King’s Meadow.

The theme for Reading Pride this year is ‘Love Unites’ , which the Pride committee hope will spotlight discrimination still happening to members of our town’s LGBTQ+ community.

What’s there to do?

Join the Pride Parade. A celebration march with a party atmosphere, it leaves Reading Station and loops along Broad Street and though town to King’s Meadow. Everyone is welcome to join to support the Pride movement. Organisers say they would like this year’s parade to be ‘a spectacle of noise and colour that cannot be missed’, so dress in your most colourful outfit, bang a drum or blow a whistle to get in the pride spirit.

After that head to the Pride Festival at King’s Meadow. Last year saw over 10,000 attendees in the festival spirit. At the day-long festival there’s two stages hosting music, cabaret and performers, as well as talented MCs Sandra London, Joe Cooper and Wilma Fingadoo to keep things flowing throughout the day.

Headlining the Unite The Union main stage is dance duo Uniting Nations, who will bring their 2005 choon ‘Out of Touch’, as well as a rousing DJ set to get everyone moving. There’ll also be pop rock from London Pride performer Eleni C, and a performance from ‘oriental songbird’ Sum Ting Wong.

Ray Wills

On the smaller Pride aLive stage there will be exciting performances from local artists and LGBTQ+ allies and friends, including indie rock five-piece Valeras and soulful singer-songwriter Ray Wills, who is fast becoming a name to watch on Reading’s music scene.

Another huge part of the day is the Marketplace, where you can browse stalls and find information on local charities, support services and community groups, such as Launchpad, Support U, No.5 Young People’s Counselling and the Thames Valley Gay Chorus.

The Pride celebration after party is also a big tradition to keep the fun going. This year it’s taking place at Public on Castle Street with a DJ set from The Freemasons.

Where and when is it?

Saturday 2 September, 11.30am-6.30pm.

The Pride Parade leaves from Reading Station at 11.30am. Meet from 11am. The Festival starts from 12pm at King’s Meadow.

The day event ends at 6.30pm, and the after party at Public opens at 6pm, running until 3am.

How much is it?

Reading Pride is a free event and suitable for all the family.

Tickets for the after party start at £12. Buy them online here.

Find out more at the Reading Pride website.

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