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We’re here! We’re queer! We’re watching a nice bit of Toyah!
Toyah! Amelia! Katrina! (From the Waves)! Someone pretending to be Steps! It can only mean that Newcastle Pride 2013 is nigh and about to shower you in excitement.
Where would Newcastle Pride be without the parade? Putting several whistle makers out of business, that’s where, but, thankfully, it’s back again this year to kick-start a full day of celebrations by sashaying from the Civic Centre, down Northumberland Street, up Percy Street and on to Exhibition Park. The theme this year is apparently “colours of the rainbow”. (ISN’T THAT THE THEME EVERY YEAR?) And yes, the main event is back at Exhibition Park, which is all well and good because the capacity is large enough to fit in the huge numbers due to attend.
Appearing on the main stage this year is Amelia Lily who wowed X-Factor acolytes a couple of years ago, but, more importantly, has now hooked up with the amazing Xenomania label (who helped turn Girls Aloud and the Sugababes into the premier proponents of UK pop over the last decade or so) to work on her debut album which is due to arrive at the end of July. Also appearing on the main stage is Katrina, who, along with her band The Waves, scored huge hits around the world (“Walking On Sunshine”, “That’s The Way” etc) as well as the UK’s last Eurovision win with “Love Shine A Light”. And then there is Toyah. She scored huge success in the 80s with hits such as “It’s A Mystery”, “Thunder In The Mountains” and “I Want To Be Free” but here she’ll be showing off her experimental drone-noise (only kidding - she’ll be playing the hits). The Main Stage will also play host to Metro Radio’s Gaynor Marshall, Northern Pride Voices, Maggie May (as Dame Shirley Bassey), RAW (local boy band), Steptastic (Steps Tribute), Raya (up and coming R&B star in the making), Tich (currently touring with Olly Murs), Dee Stokes (another up and comer who has supported Basshunter and Tynchy Stryder), Class A (boy band currently working on their debut album) and Miss Rory (your host, whom no Pride would be complete without).
Naturally there will be plenty of other stuff going on away from the main stage action including the Women’s Zone (featuring plenty of acts), the Cabaret Tent, the Family Zone, Sports Zone (jammed full of info on LGBT clubs as well as half hourly events such as tug-of-war, football shoot-out, 3-legged race etc), Steve Paske Health Zone and a Trans Zone. There will also be five licensed bars plus eight different food stalls. (Note: This year your own alcohol will not be permitted on the site.)
The parade and festival will take place on Saturday 20 July and the long-term forecast is set for thrills.
Newcastle Pride and Festival, Saturday 20 July. The parade will start at 12pm from Newcastle Civic Centre. More info: northern-pride.com