Bigger, prouder and more colourful than ever - Nottingham Pride 2023

Monday 31 July 2023
reading time: min, words

Greeted by blue skies and sunshine, Nottingham Pride returned this weekend bigger, prouder and more colourful than ever. Beth Green went along to catch the vibe.

Pride 2023 Beth Green 4

After another wash-out week, the LGBTQ+ community awoke on Saturday to be greeted by blue skies and sunshine. It seemed the weather got the memo; it’s both a protest, and a celebration of love, and who doesn’t love nice weather? 

2023 marked the 10th year of its place in the city centre, previous Pride events were held at Forest Rec and The Arboretum. Three years since the pandemic started, and with attendance of around 8,000 last year, it was expected to be bigger than ever. The crowds eagerly gathered, the bulk of which were either side of the tramlines, from Beastmarket Hill up towards Hockley awaiting the march. At 11 am sharp, outside Marks and Spencer, the march kicked off.

The march didn’t disappoint; yes it is a day to celebrate, but so often the history of why it exists is lost. There was a balance of entertainment, with dancers and samba drumming, mixed with social justice chants, banners and signs. There was always something to look at, cheer, clap or read. The little ones were equally impressed by the inclusion of a fire engine and an ambulance, plus the special Pride pronoun bus was sitting at the top of the hill, playing music, complete with singing bus drivers!

Pride 2023 Beth Green (1)

Once the parade had finished (around 12pm), crowds dispersed into various bars and eateries, stalls on Goosegate, or the main stage area. For those that wanted somewhere a little quieter, Lace Market square was a safe bet, complete with more stalls, places to sit, and a kids zone. Although it’s great to see the popularity grow, it can be overwhelming, so I was very happy to see an alternative option that still had the atmosphere, albeit much calmer.

For the entertainment lovers, this year’s main stage showcased an abundance of talent. Artists ranged from comedians, drag acts, musicians and even our very own Labour MP, Nadia Whittome. From the first act, to the last, a large crowd remained dancing, singing and laughing along. Then for anyone that had the energy to continue into the night, a variety of venues hosted ticketed events. For those that wanted a cheaper option, most of the bars in Hockley that had been serving punters during the day continued to provide the sing-along anthems and a place to dance. 

In a nutshell, this year was the best Nottingham Pride in years. If you can remember the inclusive atmosphere, love, and joy that was felt when it was at The Arboretum, then this was just that. As a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I can admit I was worried about the future for Nottingham Pride. The event over recent years (pre-pandemic too) wasn’t what it used to be, and felt like it was missing a key element - community. Have no fear though, 2023 showed our city that Nottingham Pride is back; bigger, prouder and more colourful than ever - 2024 I’m already excited!

Pride 2023 Beth Green 3
Pride 2023 Beth Green

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