Warwickshire pride deemed a success with record crowd numbers

Warwickshire Pride festival 2017.
Warwickshire Pride festival 2017.

Thousands of people descended on Leamington’s Pump Room gardens at the weekend for the fifth Warwickshire Pride festival.

The festival took place on Saturday August 19 and this year’s theme was Love and Freedom.

Bradley Hunt at Warwickshire Pride Festival 2017.

Bradley Hunt at Warwickshire Pride Festival 2017.

It was officially opened by Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western, who spoke about how far LGBT+ rights have come and how far there is to go before true equality is achieved.

Festival goers were entertained by a range of performances across two stages throughout the day. Headline acts included 90s pop star Kavana, X Factor finalist Relley C, and the UK’s first Muslim drag queen Asifa Lahore. There were also performances from local artists including Shanade, Thomas Pearce, the Sambassadors of Groove and Chica Latina, who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent in 2012.

The festival also featured fairground rides, a transgender chill out zone, guest speakers and a dance competition.

Daniel Browne, chair of Warwickshire Pride, said: “This year’s Warwickshire Pride will go down as the biggest and best so far, which is exactly what we were hoping it would be.

Ferrah P at Warwickshire Pride Festival 2017.

Ferrah P at Warwickshire Pride Festival 2017.

“It was great to see people of all ages enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of the festival and embracing LGBT+ life and culture.

“I’d like to thank everyone who took part in this year’s festival, including all of the stallholders, performers and people who attended.

“I’d also like to thank Warwickshire Pride’s sponsors and funders, including Mister V Street Food, the Equality and Inclusion Partnership, Leamington Town Council, the Love Leamington Fund and Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme.

“Warwickshire Pride costs around £10k to put on and every year is a struggle, but thanks to the kindness of sponsors, funders and donations, we just managed to pull it off again this year.

Kavana at Warwickshire Pride Festival 2017.

Kavana at Warwickshire Pride Festival 2017.

“Most of all I would like to thank the family of volunteers who worked incredibly hard on the day to help the festival run smoothly.

“Without them, Pride simply couldn’t take place. Planning for Warwickshire Pride 2018 will soon begin. We’ll be recruiting new trustees and volunteers for that, so welcome anybody who wishes to help getting in touch.”

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Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western opening Warwickshire Pride Festival 2017.

Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western opening Warwickshire Pride Festival 2017.

Warwickshire Pride Festival 2017.

Warwickshire Pride Festival 2017.

Warwickshire Pride Festival 2017.

Warwickshire Pride Festival 2017.