BourneFree Pride: The pride festival all Bournemouth Uni students should know about

Get out your rainbow tights and head to Meyrick Park!


BourneFree Pride is the LGBTQIA+ event of the year in Bournemouth, and is certainly perfect for BU and AUB students. It is the epitome of fun in the sun, with live music, an abnormal consumption of cider and a huge plot of grass to shake your tail feathers on! If this tickles your fancy and you’re keen to get down and bust a move, the festival is being held on the 5th and 6th of July 2024 at Meyrick Park. It’s even bigger and brighter this year, as BourneFree are celebrating their 19th pride and 20th year (thanks Covid-19 for having us skip a year of rainbow fun). So, it is certainly one to celebrate.

Let’s start with the fact that, pride is for everyone! The LGBTQIA+ encourages allies and members of the community to come down and embrace individuality. It is a place for everyone to feel judgement free and boogie the night away. So, put on your cutest outfit, embrace the sunshine and make sure to line your stomach with a big lunch – it’s time to Pride baby.

“I just want people to know Pride exists. It is the one time of the year I feel completely safe.” – Dawn, co-chair for BourneFree

Photo taken from BourneFree Pride 2023, family friendly Friday event!

Friday 5th – Family friendly festivities

The Friday is the family fun day and this event is free. This session is aimed at young people, with the acts being completely suited to young ears and eyes! On the main stage there are acts like Chris Jarvis and on the community stage, you will find drag queens who read stories and entertain. If your kids aren’t too keen on live entertainment and good food, there are fairground rides for little ones too – so be sure to check that out!

Don’t worry mums, dads and siblings – the bars will still be open! There’s even an over 18s area (they really have thought of everything).

Daniella Queen (photographed), will also be performing! A personal fav, local drag queen of mine.

Saturday 6th – BourneFree gets turned up a notch (or two)

The larger pride festival is on the Saturday, which is a £20 ticket fee. On the Saturday, there are many stools, fairground rides and live acts! Let’s get Walkin’ On Sunshine, as this year’s acts include Katrina from Katrina and The Waves! I am particularly excited for that one. Katrina may not be for everyone so do not fret, there are also some awesome drag acts throughout the day! Those girls sure know how to get the party started.

Not too fond of live music? You’re a bit picky, but luckily BourneFree has got it covered. There will also be DJ acts! This year’s event will be my girlfriend’s first pride, so I cannot wait to throw her into the crowd when the Venga Boys is blared out by a DJ and 4pm. Immaculate vibes when you’re at least three ciders deep.

–> Check out their Instagram for more information on live acts, or buy tickets to this year’s pride on thir website!

Saturday’s an all day-er! – anyone for more?

If you’re a social butterfly and have enough love to share out across a 12 hour period, there is more to the festival! Saturday is in-fact a whole day-er. This means that from 12 ’til the early hours of tomorrow, you can be movin’ and groovin’ all the way to 3am. The pride march begins through the town centre around noon, and travel towards the festival. This is where you party the day away until you’re itching for more. Once the sun has set and you’re considering your second kebab run of the day, most people skip off to DYMK for a late night boogie.

Permission given by BourneFree to use their official logo

What is BourneFree?

BourneFree uses the profits from this festival to go back into their BourneFree Community Fund. This fund is used to aid local organisations and events which support the LGBTQIA+ community; this includes, local schools, universities, food banks, charities, groups and more. This organisation provides grants and support, but also goes into schools and workplaces to promote inclusivity and educate on the queer community. This is important in the progression towards an inclusive society, so massive Kudos to the BourneFree volunteers for their positive impact.

Co-chaor for BourneFree, Dawn, discussed how pride is a celebration and educational event. She explains how the organisation is used to enrich the community. Said said: “We are all about educating”.

So, your £20 ticket and hopefully very large bar tab, is being put to good use! Your monies help to support the gay community and ensure Pride 2025 goes ahead with all of the glitz and glamour from the year prior.

If you’re keen to get involved with this non-profit, but sadly cannot attend the festival, do keep your eyes peeled for BourneFree events across the year. This includes their Dog Shows, Pantomimes and more. Here’s a link for more information on upcoming events with Bourne Free!

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