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Queer Editorial

pride19.jpg It’s Pride O’Clock!

Northern Pride returns to Newcastle in July for three days of what can only be described as high-jinx. And the cost to you? Absolutely nothing. Still.

There has been plenty of hoo-hah this year about the cost of tickets for Manchester Pride with people having to fork out upwards of 65 quid to see a bunch of has-beens like Ariana Grande, Years & Years and Kim Petras. I will give them some credit though, because they’ve had the foresight to stick the brilliant Liberty X on. But why tramp all the way down to Manc to see Michelle Heaton and co. when you can see them in Newcastle for absolutely nothing. Zip. Zap all. The band formed on the talent show ‘Popstars’ and went on to enjoy a string of hits including ‘Thinking It Over’, ‘Just a Little’ and ‘Got To Have Your Love’. And no doubt they’ll be wheeling out all their biggies when they play this year’s festival, which will run from Friday 19-Sunday 21 July.

The party is so huge that this year it’s spreading itself luxuriously over two parks: the historic Town Moor (which is where you’ll find the Pride Festival Arena, which will be home to the main stage, food & drink and fairground) and Exhibition Park (which will house the Community Village, home to the Family & Youth Zone, Health & Wellbeing Zone, Rainbow Village stalls and some added extras).

Liberty X are all set to go through their paces on the Sunday but taking headliner duties on Saturday will be Fleur East. She’s the lass who rose to fame on the X-Factor, reaching the final, and secured a number one single on iTunes with her knockout version of ‘Uptown Funk’ before the song was officially released. She went on to enjoy worldwide success with her debut single ‘Sax’.

More X-Factor royalty will arrive in the shape of Saara Aalto. The singer-songwriter established herself as one to watch in her home country of Finland after finishing runner-up on shows The Voice and Finland’s Got Talent (and voicing Princess Anna in the Finnish version of Disney’s Frozen). She then rose to fame in the UK when she reached the finals of The X-Factor and represented Finland at last year’s Eurovision.

Other acts of note appearing on the main stage will be Janice Robinson (from Liv’in Joy), Jaymi Hensley (from Union J), Lorraine Crosby (who duetted with Meatloaf on ‘I Would Do Anything For Love’), Michael Rice (who had the distinction, ahem, of representing the UK in this year’s Eurovision). Add in the likes of Sonia, Baby D, Katherine Ellis, Danni Dee, Marcella Woods, Northern Proud Voices, Choriza May (Drag Idol 2019 winner), Khalysis, Felix Shepherd and host Miss Rory, and you’re in clover.

As mentioned above, it’s all free, but if you would like to pay for a cheeky Platinum Pass then that will give you access to a private bar, Platinum Garden (whatever that is), better view of the main stage, and posh toilets (and who doesn’t love a posh piss?).

Northern Pride 2019, Friday 19-Sunday 21 July, Town Moor & Exhibition Park, Newcastle. Free. northern-pride.com