“Every city should have a pride!” says author and GayAgenda writer Jason Shaw, “Not only for the entertainment and celebration aspects, but also because it can financially benefit a whole region” he says as he looks ahead to the UK’s forthcoming north east festival that is estimated to boost the Tyneside economy by around £1m.
Last year, Newcastle Pride attracted around 23,000 visitors for the one day event held in Newcastle’s Exhibition Park, with people coming from all over the not only the north east, but also from around the United Kingdom. Some people came to enjoy northern hospitality from as far away as Sweden, Holland and Italy. “There are a number of Pride events in the UK and the major ones attract large numbers of people, both from the local population, but also from the rest of the UK as well as Europe. Many of these visitors don’t just come for the Pride event itself, but also to have a mini holiday, staying on average at least three or four days in the city, this brings in much needed funds to the hospitality industry of the local area as well as giving a boost to the wider community.” Jason explains.
The organisers of this years North East Pride believe their line-up will bring in even bigger crowds to Tyneside – giving a huge boost to hotels, restaurants and bars across the city and beyond. Initially they had planned to move to event to Leazes Park, however it has now been decided to keep the July 20th event at the remain at National Exhibition Park to ensure the expected large numbers of festival goers can be accommodated.
“We’ve every indication that this year will be even more successful,” said Peter Darrant, chair of Northern Pride, which stages Newcastle Pride. “We’ve got a fantastic list of performers and have extended the range of activities and we hope that people from across the region will come and join the LGBT community for what will be an incredible event.”
“We know people travel from across the UK to come to Newcastle Pride and we have estimated the economic value to the area, based on last year’s spend, to be around £1m for the 2013 event.”
Headlining the entertainment at this year’s event will be a finalist from the UK’s X Factor TV show, Amelia Lily, along with the sensational 1980’s original punk/pop star Toyah. Other acts appearing in the line-up include Steptastic, Katrina of the Waves and Titch, who recently supported Olly Murs on tour.
Newcastle Pride will also a health zone, a cabaret tent, sports arena, trans zone, dance tent, tea tent and a funfair to ensure a good time is had by all. For the first time this year Newcastle Pride will also be running a family zone with a range of activities and advice from organisations such as leading adoption agencies. “Pride events are great fun, they show off our diverse community to the wider world, encourage closer cooperation and links between communities and boost the income of the city or region that hosts them – so its a win win situation for all concerned.” Jason added.