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Chase Pride Returns to Hednesford Park in September 2023
Via SeventyOne Media for Chase Pride
Chase Pride’s two day festival returns Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd September 2023 with thousands of people expected to flock to Hednesford in Staffordshire. The event will celebrate diversity, support the local LGBTQ+ community with the aim of breaking down barriers.
This year Chase Pride will pay tribute to Brianna Ghey, the transgender teenager whose life was tragically taken in a callous attack. The tragic death of Brianna Ghey rocked the LGBTQ+ community earlier this year, and the team behind Chase Pride were keen to dedicate the main stage in her memory.
Festival Founder, Kathryn Downs, said she felt great sadness and anger that Brianna had been ‘let down so badly’ by society. She said:
I set up Chase Pride to help people. I transitioned in 2010 in the Cannock Chase area and it was a very public and painful process.
I didn’t want other people to go through what I had. To see what has happened to Brianna is heartbreaking and frightening. From all those years ago when I transitioned, I hoped things could be better, but it’s worse.
The community turned out right across the UK for vigils held in Brianna’s memory, including one here in Hednesford. In dedicating the stage to Brianna, we hope to honour her memory, and remember her tragic loss at such a young age.”
More than a thousand tickets had already been sold for the event, which promises a packed day of entertainment and activities for all, including a rainbow-clad parade, funfair, community marketplace and more.
Headline artists include RuPaul’s Drag Race UK winner Danny Beard, dance music legend Angie Brown and Union J’s Jaymi Hensley. Appearing alongside them will be the likes of George Windsor, Vicki Vivacious, Nate Ethan and many others. There will also be performances from local groups including Crystal Dance Academy and Class 3 Productions.
Kathryn Downs said:
There will be two stages – the Brianna Ghey Stage and the Localz stage – and there is a packed line-up of brilliant entertainment for everyone. We’re especially excited to add Queer as Joke to the event this year, who will be taking over the Localz stage from 4.30pm bringing their unique brand of LGBTQ+ comedy to the event.
The Localz Stage will also return this year, showcasing the best home-grown talent and giving up-coming performers, entertainers, comedians and drag queens the opportunity to perform in front of our audience.
There will also be around 50 stalls featuring traders, community services and many more. One of the highlights will be the parade, last year we were blown away with the positive community response and vibrant atmosphere, and we can’t wait to see all those bright costumes and smiley faces again for 2023.”
The event runs from 11 am until 9pm, and this year the organisers have supersized everything – including the bar and food court. A free community movie night also returns on Friday 1st September, with the chosen movie being kept tightly under wraps for the moment but sure to have the crowd singing and dancing along.
Given the ongoing economic pressures, like many other Pride’s, its proving harder to secure funding for the event this year, but we’re thrilled to be working again alongside McArthurGlen – the West Midlands Designer Outlet – and One Stop Stores who are sponsoring the Community Zone and Queer as Joke stage.
We’ve also had lots of other support offered from local businesses and we are hugely grateful to organisations like Aggreko and Veolia for their support.”
The event follows the huge success of the inaugural Chase Pride in 2022, which attracted over 5,500 attendees and raised £14,000 for local charitable causes. Kathryn said:
An event of this scale always takes months of planning, but our committee are hard at work behind the scenes on finishing touches and we’ll soon be opening recruitment for volunteers to help make the day enjoyable for all.
Given the huge success of 2022, we’re keen to see what we can achieve for the LGBTQ+ community of Hednesford. We heard so many amazing, heart-warming stories from last year’s event, we’re spurred on and keen to spread the benefits of pride wider than ever.”
For more details, to get involved, or to buy tickets, visit chasepride.org.uk.