The Pride In London parade may have already marched on by last month, leaving nothing but a trail of glitter and happy memories in its wake, but the Pride celebrations certainly aren’t over just yet. Next weekend, another landmark Pride event will be hitting the capital city: UK Black Pride – and it’s officially all grown up as it celebrates its 18th birthday.
Founded by a group called Black Lesbians in the UK, UK Black Pride grew out of a dissatisfaction with the visibility and representation of BAME people at mainstream Pride events, and a desire to celebrate heritage alongside sexuality. Aiming to cross racial and cultural lines to celebrate the entire LGBTQIA+ spectrum of identity, UK Black Pride also does a lot of advocacy work in communities, promoting mental and intellectual health. A widely inclusive bunch, their annual bash is dedicated to LGBTQIA+ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, and Latin American descent, making it the largest such celebration in the world.
Having grown rapidly each and every year, 2022 was a record breaking event for UK Black Pride, seeing 25,000 people party and protest together at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (the largest space the organisation has occupied since its inception). Hoping for this years’ event to be just as big – if not bigger – UK Black Pride needed a sizable space, and after many months of negotiations between UK Black Pride, Newham Council and the team at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, it became clear that remaining at Olympic Park was the best way forward.
The theme for the 2023 event is ‘legacy‘ to symbolise the 18 years of awe-inspiring progress. UK Black Pride co-founder and executive director, Lady Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, says: “UK Black Pride has gone from strength to strength over the last 18 years and we are so proud to have continuously given the community a space and platform to live and love unapologetically. ‘Legacy’ is the best way to describe the balance between looking at the last 18 years and looking forward to the next 18.”
The full line-up is yet to be announced but we know to expect a full-out main stage programme, jam-packed with music, performances, speeches and DJs. There will also be a community stage with a series of talks, workshops and discussions, a family area with activities for children, stalls with various organisations and charities offering their services, and 30 street food vendors serving up a wide range of cuisine.
The festivities kick off at 12pm on Saturday August 19, and will run through until 8pm, the party will then shift over to Evolutionary Arts Hackney, where the official afterparty will continue until 3.30am.