UK

Brighton Pride Draws 300,000-Strong Crowd As Pet Shop Boys Headline Event

The first Pride march was in 1973 but it did not return until 1991.

05/08/2017 16:40 BST

An estimated 300,000 people descended on the seaside city of Brighton on Saturday for one of the UK’s biggest annual summer Pride celebrations.

The Pet Shop Boys headlined the event in Brighton and Hove in what will be the duo’s first Pride performance in 20 years, organisers said.

Other acts appearing at the ticketed event, in Preston Park, at the end of the route include Years & Years, Louisa Johnson and David Morales.

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Some 300,000 people attended Brighton Pride on Saturday

Saturday is the main day of celebrations which marks 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales.

Pride director Paul Kemp said: “As we celebrate the milestone of the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, this year’s Pride is all set to be one of the best ever.”

The first Brighton and Hove gay Pride march was staged in 1973 but its return was not seen until 1991 amid political anger over Section 28′s ban on the promotion of homosexuality.

As the years passed, the event grew but it hit financial trouble in 2010 despite that year’s Brighton and Hove Pride attracting 160,000 revellers.

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Pride participants adjust their costumes ahead of the parade

It underwent a revival with new management in 2012, and organisers say that over the years it has helped change attitudes and promote acceptance and equality.

Assistant Chief Constable Laurence Taylor, of Sussex Police, said: “Months of preparation have taken place in the lead up to Pride and, as in previous years, public safety is our main priority.

“We are taking all reasonable steps to ensure the well-being of those attending as well as minimising disruption to those going about their daily business.

“Similarly to last year, we will have a number of armed officers working across the city over the weekend and we will again be making use of other safety measures such as road barriers in some parts of the city.”