City’s economy set for huge boost over Pride weekend

Business owners in and around Birmingham’s Southside are bracing themselves for a bumper weekend as tens of thousands of visitors flock to celebrate Pride 2012.

Birmingham Pride 2012Organisers of the annual event, which kicks off with a carnival parade on Saturday June 2 from Victoria Square are hoping for the biggest turn out in its history.

And they predict a substantial spike in trade for businesses, particularly bars, clubs and hotels as thousands of party-goers from both the gay and straight communities celebrate Pride over the Jubilee weekend.

Lawrence Barton, festival director and owner of the iconic Nightingale Club, said: “Pride has a long history in the city but over the past four years it has gained a new momentum which has benefitted many business owners not just in Southside but across the city.

“Pride creates a fantastic atmosphere and pulls in visitors not just from the region but from London, Brighton, Manchester and abroad. Our social media sites and twitter account have been red hot with people talking about this year’s Pride and this suggests to us that the local economy is set to benefit as well as the city as a tourist destination.

“This year we have some fantastic sponsors including Birmingham City Council, who along with all the bars, clubs and members of the LGBT community have worked extremely hard ready for the weekend ahead.”

Mr Barton, who also owns The Loft Lounge, The Penthouse and The Village, said his own club The Nightingale was providing some of the biggest names in entertainment in the event’s history.

Glam girl band The Saturdays will strut their stuff as the Nightingale main stage headline act at Birmingham Pride along with Stooshe, Kerry Katona, BBC Radio 1 Scott Mills and many more.

The club then hosts X Factor star Marcus Collins on Monday June 4 to keep the party going.

Although the general festival site will still be free to the general public, the Pride Entertainment Zone – which includes The Nightingale Main Stage, The Village Inn Cabaret Marquee, the Chic Dance Arena and the Fox Entertainment Zone – will be ‘by ticket only’ for the first time.

The tickets will also include other benefits, like fast-track entry at the main security entrance to the general festival site in Birmingham’s Gay Village.

Tickets are available from Birmingham gay bars and clubs or online from