A look back at Pride Cymru's Big Weekend in 2018 in anticipation of this year's festivities! 

Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend has become an event many mark in their diaries each year. Since 1999, the LGBT+ event has grown rapidly - welcoming people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds to join them in celebrating diversity and striving for equality in support of the LGBT+ community and other minorities.

It celebrates diversity

Over the years, Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend had developed into Wales’ largest celebration of equality and diversity. It has become a weekend where people come together to celebrate their uniqueness and where everyone is equal, regardless of sex, age, gender, race, social background and of course sexual orientation.

Someone at Pride Cymru holding a small dog
Celebrating diversity

The colourful parade brightens up the streets of Cardiff

Each year the Welsh LGBT+ charity encourages visitors to enter their annual parade on the Saturday. Whether people join individually, with friends or family, the parade sees thousands of people march peacefully through the streets of Cardiff city centre. Over the years many businesses like Admiral have entered the parade to promote equality and to stand behind employees who identify as LGBT+, joining what has become one of Cardiff’s brightest parades.

A colourful parade at Pride Cymru
A colourful parade

Welcomes big names

Each year more than 50 acts join Pride Cymru in August. Since 1999, great performers have joined the main stage during Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend, ranging from Tina Cousins and Iris Williams to Gok Wan and Charlotte Church.

Crowd in front of the stage with someone filming on their phone
The stage at Pride Cymru

The location

Held on the City Hall Lawns in Cardiff, Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend takes place in the heart of the city. Not only has it made the event easily accessible for anyone travelling to the capital of Wales, but it is also in one of Cardiff’s most vibrant areas.

Opens the curtains for drag performers and comedians

From drag queens and drag kings to tribute acts and comedians, Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend has it all. In a designated comedy tent, visitors can expect to laugh with some of Glee Club’s finest talent. A dedicated cabaret stage is the ultimate place for any musical and performance lover, seeing some big characters live. While the Welsh charity might not welcome Cher or Britney Spears directly to the stage, there are always great tribute acts who bring the spirit of music queens and pop princesses a little bit closer, by covering some of their major hits.

Performer on the stage with crowd cheering at Pride Cymru
Drag performance

It is community-focused

Given Pride Cymru’s involvement with local communities, Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend has become the perfect opportunity to find out more about local LGBT+ communities and other charities. Pride Cymru even offers stalls to community organisations that don’t have the necessary funds, to ensure they are represented throughout the weekend. There’s also a Faith Tent each year to show that religion does not exclude anyone who identifies LGBT+.

A colourful market stall at Pride Cymru
The market stalls at Pride Cymru

Its dedication to accessibility

Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend is one of only two Pride events in the UK that has received a Gold award in accessibility by Attitude is Everything. This event has developed into one of the most welcoming events making performances accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing community. With British Sign Language interpreters, a dedicated disability platform to the main stage, disability facilities, designated accessibility tickets and even a quiet zone, anyone who wants to enjoy their Pride can, regardless of their disability.

People using wheelchairs enjoying Pride Cymru
Access for all

Some great street food to try

All around Cardiff City Hall Lawns food stalls are set up, where you can grab a bite to eat. Whether you’re vegan or a meat lover, fancy Caribbean-infused food or a classic burger, there’s something there for everyone.

Woman working at a food stall at Pride Cymru
Street food at Pride Cymru

The volunteers

Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend wouldn’t be the same without the hundreds of welcoming volunteers. The Welsh LGBT+ charity wouldn’t exist without them and during the weekend all volunteers come together to celebrate diversity with visitors and bring the LGBT+ community closer together.

Supporting local acts

Alongside the big names attending, Pride Cymru also welcomes some of South Wales’ finest local performers, ranging from drag acts to singers to choirs, meaning visitors are spoilt for choice.

It is great for children

With a designated Family Area and reduced ticket prices for kids, Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend has become a great day out for families with children of all ages. The family area hosts a range of activities for the younger visitors and even a dog show.

Children being entertained at Pride Cymru
Family Area

One big fun fair

Adrenalin junkies can search out thrills, while taking a break from the music and acts, simply by crossing the lawns to one of the festival rides.

It continues to be a safe space

Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend was originally created in response to a rise of hate crime. Whilst diversity and equality is celebrated throughout the weekend, the fight against intolerance and abuse continues. Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend continues to be one of the biggest events where minority groups can highlight the difficulties they face. Ever since its creation in 1999, as Cardiff Mardi Gras, it has become an event where people can come together and be true to who they are, without feeling judged or unprotected.

Each year families and friends come to Cardiff to show their support to loved ones who have recently come out to them, making it one big celebration of love.

Image signifying a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community
A safe space

Where and when?

Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend, from Friday 23 August to Sunday 25 August on Cardiff City Hall Lawns.

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