Manchester Pride is no longer an inclusive event
Pride has become obsessed with commercialisation and profit
After increasing their weekend ticket prices to £71, more than double last year's £30.80, it's unsurprising that Manchester Pride have faced backlash surrounding this year's event.
By raising the price so significantly, poorer members of the LGBTQ+ community are being denied the ability to attend and enjoy what in the past has been a popular and successful celebration.
Although claiming to offer high quality live acts (which, note, are yet to be announced), such an extortionate price for an event designed to promote and celebrate freedom and equality seems to detract this meaning from it.
Understandably, Manchester Pride has undergone changes to result in this price leap, which chief executive Mark Fletcher reasons are due to the event offering the "biggest lineup of artists we've ever had" this year. The event is being advertised as a "festival", which sounds promising but perhaps misses the point of what any Pride event is meant to represent.
What is more important is expression and enjoyment at Pride for all those who want it.
So looks like @ManchesterPride is the new #FyreFestival paying top dollar with no confirmation of what exactly you’re paying for? You kinda need to confirm the headliner before you ask the public to pay £70+ to stand in a public street… pic.twitter.com/XMoCgQDPdP
— Leigh Van Bryan (@LeighBryan) January 31, 2019
Even entering the Gay Village on any day will cost £10 to enjoy bars which can be accessed all year round free of charge. It seems as though the organiser's priority is one which often crops up as a motive these days: the obsession with commercialisation and profit.
London's Pride event is staying free this year, so it's disappointing that Manchester's tickets are such extortionate prices, even if major artists like Ariana Grande are rumoured to be there.
It seems sad that commercialisation should limit the LGBTQ+ community, especially in a year marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in NYC, an event kick-starting the LGBTQ+ movement both in the USA and globally.
Today marks the beginning of #LGBTHM19, a month-long celebration of our community's rich history and traditions. We'll be sharing our staff’s favourite LGBT heroes throughout the month! Take this chance to also learn about key dates for LGBT equality: https://t.co/IkRRQPm29F pic.twitter.com/gNUYA0YXYz
— Stonewall (@stonewalluk) February 1, 2019
Being made to spend so much on what is meant to be a celebration of liberation completely bypasses the objective and is very disappointing for those wanting to celebrate Pride in Manchester this summer without that sort of money.
The focus at any Pride event is on celebrating the right of expression, and making people pay such a high price for this isn't right.
not being funny but £70 for manchester pride in my opinion is ridiculous. pride is supposed to be a protest and a celebration of our rights not a fucking excuse to charge people overpriced tickets and turn it into an event that not everyone can afford. it’s quite sad actually.
— hannah ⚢ ღ (@hannah_xow) January 31, 2019
In regards to the increase in ticket prices, Manchester Pride have said: "We’re presenting the biggest line up of artists we’ve ever had, for less than the price of a single concert ticket.
"Plus as before a limited number of hardship tickets will be made available for those facing financial hardship".
They also said that this years Manchester Pride is a totally different event, and so "it’s not just a like for like ticket increase at all".