Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Pride Alternatives and Alternative Pride

Last year, for the first time in ages, I bought a wristband for the Gay Village over Pride weekend. I wanted to go to Pumping Iron (which was brilliant) and I wanted to see Kelis (but we couldn’t get into the enclosure). This year I don’t have many reasons to brave the fences that shoot up in my neighbourhood overnight. I had to Google ‘Pixie Lott’ (nope, not ringing any bells) and ‘Alexandra Burke’ too (shocking isn’t it? … I run an RnB night too …) My favourite thing about Pride weekend is the feeling that for one long weekend we own the city. I need to be able to see the city to get that feeling so no fences for me this year.

Besides, this year’s official Pride Fringe events, which either take place on dates before The Big Weekend or in venues outside the Village, or both, are varied and impressive and can be found listed in a handy PDF guide HERE.

Aside from all of that you could do a lot worse than camp out at Kraak for three days. Recently name-checked in the Guardian as one of the best crossover venues in the country, Kraak, off Stevenson Square in the Northern Quarter, boats a devoted studio/gallery space and, just across the tiny alleyway, a club/gig venue to boot.

Art-wise, Kraak Gallery will be home to the ‘Queer Kraak Art Show’ kicking off the long weekend on Thursday 25th with a morphing roster of visual art, performance, music and discussion. Think of it as ground-zero for meeting the most creative queers in the city for the whole weekend. Eyes peeled too for rumoured renegade guerrilla art happenings on late Thursday afternoon down Canal Street itself before the gates are erected … Queer Kraak Art Show runs until September 1st and whatever your taste in art (or sex for that matter) remember that venues like this one are an asset to the city, go and find out why.

Friday 26th is my very own party, Off The Hook, taking all the butch/femme/queer dancefloor appeal of RnB culture and dishing it up to our friendly and frankly gorgeous punters. Our last party at Kraak was our best yet, it’s a venue that makes everyone feel at home and we did. We play RnB, hip-hop, Motown, reggae, soul, disco and straight up shameless pop, 10 pm till 4 am. Don’t ask me for funky house you’ll only make me cry, Canal Street is thatta way … ‘She-rapper she-rapper wicked ‘n’ mean ….’

Saturday 27th is the inspirationally-named ‘Tranarchy’, presenting their special ‘Showgirls’ Party. The remit: ‘celebrating the best and most outrageous in Manchester's drag and alt queer cultures!’ These kids pulled off the legendary Vogue Brawl so this will be epic. Early doors at 8 pm if you want to get inspired by the appallingly good movie itself. The Blige Sisters and Pumping Iron DJs are amongst the array of post-movie entertainment.

Sunday 28th and no Pride Weekend would be complete without Club Brenda and Manchester’s Queer Patron Saint David Hoyle providing a moral corrective to your lavish mainstream leanings. Brandish your wristbands in glorious shame! (if you’ve got ‘em ...) David will be joined by Twat Boutique DJs and Organ Freeman, both of which are a pleasure simply to TYPE. Party starts 9 pm.

Whatever you’re doing for Pride, whatever your gender and your affiliation, whatever your taste in music, have a lovely time.

1 comment:

Queer Resistance North West said...

Hey, if you want to go on the Pride Parade, but wonder what the commercial heart of Manchester Pride has to do with you, come and join Queer Resistance North West. We have an entry on the march. We are meeting at 10.30 outside Hilton tower, to get to Roman Fort in Castlefield for about 11. We are marching in Pink and Black. Bring banners and placards, as political as you like. Funny is good! We are the real queers, take back the streets and have fun! xxxx