Pride In London’s Pride Festival Is Back – And Here’s How The City Is Celebrating

Pride In London Festival 2018

Pride In London Festival has is back for 2018, featuring a whole month of awesome events.

Pride in London might be most well-known for its colourful, jubilant annual parade (taking place on Saturday, July 7 this year), but in 2018, they’re hosting over 100 LGBT+ events throughout the city in the run-up to the big day, as part of the Pride Festival. [Photo: Chris Beckett]

From cultural happenings to social occasions, there’s a truly diverse selection of stuff going on. (You can even get apps for iOS and Android to help you navigate it all!) Here are how a few of London’s biggest venues are marking the occasion…

1) Tate Britain: Queer and Now (Saturday, June 23)

Queer and Now, Tate Britain, 24/06/2017
Photo: Queer and Now, Tate Britain

Back for its second year, Queer and Now celebrates the powerful role of LGBTQ arts and culture in today’s society at Tate Britain. The day-long programme of free events welcomes people of all ages and identities to engage in a host of live performances, talks, tours, music, film and dance from artists rooted in the UK’s queer community, inspired by the vibrant history of LGBTQ activism. From family-friendly events, food, craft stalls, drop-in activities for all ages, to DJ sets, music and more, this event is for everyone. More info.

2) British Museum: Queer Asia Film Festival 2018 (June 24, 29)

British Museum Pride Flag
Image: British Museum

‘Queer’ Asia Film Festival 2018 will be held over five days starting and ending at the British Museum (on 24 and 29 June), with screenings in-between on at SOAS, University of London. The theme for this year is ‘Bodies X Borders’, with stories from Indonesia, Thailand, Argentina, Macedonia and beyond. Tickets are free.

3) V&A: LGBTQ Tour (June 24, 30)

v&a-entrance

Join this volunteer-led tour which explores gender and sexual identities through a selection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer-related objects in the V&A’s rich collections. More info here.

4) Science Museum: Sexuality Lates (June 27)

Pride in London 2018 Lates
Photo: Science Museum

The Science Museum is teaming up with Pride in London for a Lates event that celebrates human sexuality. As well as free talks, performances, music and visual arts from the LGBT+ community taking place across the whole Museum, the legendary Mzz Kimberley plus special guests will come together to perform a one-off Pride in London Variety Show exclusively for the Science Museum Sexuality Late in their IMAX theatre. With energising performances by some of the most talented and beloved acts from within the LGBT+ community, expect to be wowed by this special event in the IMAX theatre, hosted by Pride in London drag royalty Michael Twaits. An after-party with DJs Jay Jay Revlon and Michelle Manetti keeps things jumping until midnight.

5) National Gallery: Celebrate Pride (July 6)

National Gallery
Photo: Mariano Mantel

Hear about paintings that tell stories of same-sex desire on a lively and informative Gallery tour. The free tour starts at 6pm and is repeated at 7.15pm. Or, join a life drawing class with artists James Davison and Simon Gray at this free-flowing life drawing session, inspired by the Pollaiuolo brothers’ Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. Expect a soundtrack from DJ Jeffrey Hinton, dramatic lighting, and a real-life Sebastian adorned in costume by designer Max Allen. Tickets, from £16, here.

 6) National Maritime Gallery: Fish Out Of Water (July 6)

Little Mermaid Singalong

Join the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich for a sing-along screening of Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ like you’ve never seen it before; brought to life through live drag and gender-bending performances. Enjoy a drink, explore queer history and celebrate the start of LGBT Pride in London. Tickets from £13 here.

Other Pride in London events in 2018

Looking for something a little more active? The Pride Festival programme also offers all kinds of fun events, including bowling, room escapin’, hockey, retro gaming, ping pong, badminton, boxing, morning raving, cycling and more.

Pride Picnic London LGBT

Or if you’d rather just knock back some Pimm’s, join a Pride picnic in  Victoria Park on July 1.

Meanwhile, venues across the city will be hosting special Pride performances throughout June and July. Keep an eye out for The End of History at a Soho church, Lonely Planet at Trafalgar Studios, Romeo & Juliet at Waterloo East Theatre, Grindr: The Opera (!!!) at Above teh Stag Theatre, and Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story at The Other Palace, among many more.

Pride Parade Day: Saturday, July 7

Pride in London Parade 2018
Photo: Dani Oliver

The second-biggest public party in the country after Notting Hill Carnival, Pride Parade brings a day of rainbow vibes to the very heart of London. Along with the huge parade, there’ll be four stages of entertainment in 2018, featuring over 100 performers, including all 22 finalists from this year’s Pride’s Got Talent. There’s the main stage in Trafalgar Square plus the Women’s Stage in Leicester Square in partnership with DIVA, a Dean Street Cabaret Stage and the Family Stage in Golden Square.

Finally, you can dance until dawn at some awesome Pride afterparties: three big’uns include the official event at Clapham Grand, a VIP party at a secret London location and the female-led party from Mint at Leicester Square’s Studio 88.

Find out all you need to know at the Pride in London website including their full list of events.

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