Event Review: Bury Pride 2023
Event: Bury Pride
Date: 29th April 2023
Location: Bury Town Hall
I recently had the pleasure of attending Bury Pride 2023, a vibrant local pride event held on April 29th at the Elizabethan Suite in Bury Town Hall. This was my third time participating as a stall holder, having attended in 2019 and 2022, and I was excited to be back for my first Pride of 2023!
Organisation and Atmosphere:
One of the smaller Pride's I attend, Bury Pride 2023 is very much a local, community event with a friendly vibe, although the organisation had a few hiccups. Initially, stall locations were communicated in advance, but upon arrival, there were some changes which caused confusion amongst stallholders. Nevertheless, the organisers and management were friendly and accommodating. Parking proved to be eventful, and the unavailability of disabled parking spaces was a noteworthy issue for disabled attendees.
Crowd Control and Accessibility:
The event struggled with crowd control, leading to overcrowding inside the hall, which made it challenging for visitors to access all of the stalls. Last year's venue, the now closed down Castle Armoury Drill Hall, was much roomier and in my opinion provided a better location.
Accessibility was also a concern, as the broken lift and the absence of a ramp made it difficult for people with mobility challenges to access the inside hall. Moreover, the noise from the lively crowds and the stage performances made it hard for stallholders to communicate effectively with potential customers. I ended up wearing my noise cancelling headphones and even still the music etc from the sound system was still extremely loud. This issue was raised to organisers but sadly no action was taken to reduce the volume.
Performances and Food:
Despite the venue constraints, the performers at Bury Pride 2023 received enthusiastic responses from the crowd. The small inside stage, reminiscent of a primary school hall, hosted various acts, including an entertaining performance from my personal favourites, Manchester Prairie Dogs LGBT+ Line Dancing Club, that got the audience involved.
Being inside the venue I unfortunately didn't get to see any of the headline acts and having both an inside and outside area I believe was one of the downsides to the event. The bigger acts performing outside meant that some attendees never actually made it inside and this was further impacted by the overcrowding in the hall.
In terms of food options, there was a limited selection with just a burger van located outside the hall and a drinks stall inside which sold alcohol as well as a few sweet treats. However, the town centre was just a short walk away, where there were plenty of choices from high street vendors such as Subway and McDonalds.
Stalls and Highlights:
Most stalls at Bury Pride 2023 focused on raising awareness of LGBTQ+ acceptance and equality, representing the local communities, and offering support to LGBTQ+ residents. There were a few stallholders offering LGBTQIA+ themed pride goods including our friends at Sent with Pride, who provide greeting cards and other pride goods; Deliciously Diverse, a family-run business specialising in LGBTQ+ themed gifts and cards; and LazyPins Illustration, a non-profit stall operated by a Trans, Disabled, Queer, Cub artist.
As a reward for reaching this far in the review, use code FREEBADGE at the checkout to receive a free badge of your choice, with every order placed before 30th June 2023.
Overall Experience and Conclusion:
While the change in venue impacted the overall experience negatively, it was heart-warming to witness the incredible support from the local community for this pride event. Bury Pride 2023 retained its unique community-centric vibe, despite some organisational challenges.
I would rate this event a 3 out of 5, with hopes that future editions will address the venue limitations and improve accessibility for all attendees.
Bury Pride 2023 showcased the resilience and spirit of the LGBTQ+ community, providing a space for celebration, awareness, and unity. It served as a reminder that even in the face of obstacles, local pride events play a vital role in fostering acceptance and equality.