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Event Review: Durham Pride 2023

Adam and his Mum stand behind the Rainbow & Co stall which is full of LGBTQIA+ goodies including badges, stickers, flags, enamel pins, and shoelaces.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Event: Durham Pride

Date: 28th May 2023

Location: The Sands, Durham

This year, I was a part of Durham Pride 2023 for the very first time, a vibrant celebration of diversity and inclusivity. From the moment I arrived, the air was filled with excitement and a sense of unity. Join me as I take you through my experience at Durham Pride 2023.

Organisation and Atmosphere:

We arrived at the Sands common festival ground, in the heart of Durham city, on a breezy, overcast Sunday morning. The pitches were well organised, with each stand marked out on the field. The organisers and stall holders were all friendly and welcoming, many of which had been to the event many times previously. Car-parking was super easy as there is a multi-story car park opposite the festival ground and we were allowed to set up and dismantle with the car parked next to the pitch (thank you organisers!💖).

Crowd Control and Accessibility:

Being an outdoor event, there was plenty of space for stall holders, the main stage area, fair ground, and visitors. Accessibility may have been tricky if you had limited mobility, due to the event being on field. I did spot a few people struggled pushing wheelchairs over the grass. Plenty of portable cabin toilets were provided and there were many areas that were less crowded if you needed more space. 

One of the most beautiful aspects of Durham Pride 2023 was witnessing the brilliant support from both the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. Local businesses, organisations, emergency services, and charities showed up to demonstrate their solidarity and commitment to equality, bringing the community together, united in their efforts to create a more inclusive society.

Performances and Food:

The heartbeat of any Pride event is undoubtedly the parade, and Durham Pride 2023 did not disappoint. As the procession made its way through the streets, it was tremendous to see the diversity of participants. With marchers in amazing costumes, dancing down the cobbles, radiating positivity, confidence, and happiness as they brought Durham city to a standstill.

The main stage at the back of the festival ground had a line-up of talented performers, including the groovy Nadine Coyle, Tess Tickle & the Dragettes and Jaymi Hensley, as well as my personal favourite,  Steps tribute band, Stepz The Experience. They all had the audience entertained and got the crowd pumped with their energy.

On the left is a fire engine decorated in rainbow colours and on the right are a woman wearing large rainbow angel wings and two stilt walkers with shiny rainbow coloured trousers.

Stalls and Highlights:

Near the main stage was the refreshment area, a funfair, and food stalls. There were a few food stalls selling standard fair of burgers and chips to frozen slushies, and a bar near the stage. However, within a 10-minute walk you could visit a raft of restaurants and bars offering food from around the world, for all budgets. 

Various stalls provided valuable resources and information from large corporates and small local charities to wellness and legal rights, allowing festival goers to deepen their understanding of LGBTQ+ issues and learn about important initiatives happening within the community. In addition, there were a few stallholders offering LGBTQIA+ themed pride goods, a couple of glitter bars and a tombola for a local charity. 

As the day was a little chilly from the north east wind, my T Shirts and Hoodies sold well to visitors who were maybe feeling a little cold on the day! But the best sellers again were from my newest range, the Retro Pride Collection, with the A Day Without Lesbians shirt being a real talking point.

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:

Durham Pride 2023 was the 10 year anniversary of the event, and what an incredible testament to the strength and resilience of the LGBTQ+ community. From the colourful parade to the engaging performances, every aspect of the event was designed to promote love, acceptance, and equality. The festival showcased the power of unity, bringing people together from all walks of life to celebrate diversity.

My rating for the event was a 4 out of 5, and I’m looking forward to hopefully heading back next year to this historic and vibrant city.

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