With most of the battles for gay rights now won, at least in the UK, Gay Pride events are increasingly an opportunity to PARTY! The format is the same world over: daytime drinking, colourful floats, street music and big bars and club nights in the evening. (And obviously lots of shagging). It’s a very welcoming atmosphere and tons of fun, so everyone should go along to at least one Pride event. The one downside is that most Prides are similar and they do get a bit repetitive.
Fortunately there’s one that breaks the mould – Brighton Pride. Unlike the others which scream “gay party” with all that goes with it, Brighton is a great festival that happens to be a Pride. There are two key things which set it apart. Firstly, the seaside location. From the moment you get on the packed train from London where everyone is getting tanked-up (pre-gaming for my American cousins) the atmosphere is electric. Upon arrival there’s something uniquely charming about seeing the streets of a seaside town overflowing with gays.
Secondly, unlike many other Prides, in addition to the street party and bars Brighton has an actual festival in the park with top musical acts (Fatboyslim headlined last year’s). You’ll need to buy a ticket and the earlier you do so the better as the cost goes up with each batch and they always sell out. Fortunately they’re pretty cheap and you can always pick up a spare one from a tout at the entrance.
It’s easy to get to Brighton from London via one of the frequent trains. But I strongly recommend you head back before 11pm, as the last trains back are packed to the rafters with people who’ve partied really hard. I made that mistake last year and ended up on a slow train (100mins) and ended up on a stinking carriage, full of sick, an out of order toilet and bunch of bodies lying all over the floor.
It’s worth staying overnight if you can so you can enjoy the evening festivities and avoid the train carnage. But you’ll need to book well in advance unless you want to pay exorbitant rates (many hotels double their prices).
And finally I recommend dressing up – most people do. Have fun and play safe!