A Guide To London's Pride Festivals

A Guide To London's Pride Festivals
A rainbow flag waves in a crowd at Pride in London

Pride — when's it on in London this year? Well, that depends which Pride you mean. Read on to find out about the various different Pride festivals and events which take place in the capital these days, with a common theme of celebrating the LGBTQ+ community.

Pride in London 2020

A group of 7 people wearing rainbow umbrella hats at Pride in London
Image: Shutterstock

The biggie. The one where it all started. The one you've definitely heard of. The huge, all-singing, all-dancing, rainbow flag-waving parade that takes over the streets of London for one Saturday in June or July each year, celebrating the LGBTQ+ community.

The free festival and parade aims to be inclusive of everyone of all races, faiths, disabilities, sexualities and genders including lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, queer, questioning, intersex, trans, genderqueer, gender variant or non-binary as well as straight and cis allies.

It's got a lot of history — the first official UK Gay Pride Rally took place in London in July 1972, with about 2,000 people. The event has been through a turbulent history, and several names, since then, with various organisations running it with varying levels of success. Pride London was formed in 2004, and is now run by community interest company London LGBT+ Community Pride.

These days, well over a million people turn up to the event, with a parade heading from Portland Place down to Trafalgar Square, with free live entertainment

Pride in London takes place on 27 June 2020. There are normally plenty of Pride Month events in the run-up to Parade Day too.

UK Black Pride in London 2020

A crowd of people facing the stage at Black Pride UK
Photo: UK Black Pride

'Strength through unity' is the slogan of Black Pride, Europe’s largest celebration for LGBTQ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American descent. The organisation hosts several events during London's main Pride Month, with a separate festival as the centrepiece.

Black Pride took place in Haggerston Park on Sunday 7 July 2019 (the day after Pride in London). There's a provisional date of 28 June 2020 — keep an eye on the website for location and other details.

Winter Pride in London 2020

Performers on stage at Winter Pride in London
Performers at Winter Pride in London

In the colder months, London's Pride celebrations continue inside. Winter Pride is a one-day music festival at Scala, bringing together performers from London's best queer club nights and collectives.

Queer drag circus club night Mariah & Friendz, punk drag cabaret performer Baby Lame, and DJs from club night Gay Garage are all on this year's line-up.

Performers on stage at Winter Pride in London
Image: Winter Pride

Winter Pride 2020 at Scala, King's Cross on 31 January 2020. Tickets from £10.

Muslim Pride in London 2020

People march with placards at Muslim Pride
Image: Imaan - Muslim LGBTQI support

London's first Muslim Pride event takes place in London in 2020. It's been organised by LGBTQ+ Muslim support organisation Imaan, which was founded in 1999 to ensure that no LGBTQI Muslim person in Britain feels excluded from their family, their faith or their communities.

A crowdfunding campaign for the festival had raised more than double its initial target of £5,000 by the time it finished in October 2019, meaning that the festival will happen some time this year.

Panels, discussions, speakers, arts, culture and history are all expected, celebrating LGBTQI Muslims.

Full details of the festival are yet to be revealed — keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

Bi Pride UK 2020

People march with the Bi flag at Bi Pride
Photo: Bi Pride UK

Bi Pride celebrates and supports anyone who falls on the spectrum between gay and straight. The charity behind the event believes that bi people make up more than half of the GRSD (Gender, Romantic and Sexual Diversity) community, and offers them a chance to be celebrated in their own right.

Bi Pride UK will take place in London sometime in September 2020 — at time of writing, a venue is being sought. There are also plans to hold an event outside London this year — keep an eye on the website for details of both.

Trans Pride in London 2020

Image: London Trans+ Pride March

This is where things get a bit complicated and fractured within the community. Trans Radio UK, a radio station for and by the transgender community, claims to be holding the first ever Trans Pride London event in September 2020.

Yet you may remember news reports of the first Trans Pride taking place in London in 2019. That was London Trans+ Pride, an event which happened on 14 September 2019.

At the time, Trans Pride London was at pains to distance itself from the 2019 Trans+ event, claiming that it was poorly organised — though the BBC reports that the organisers worked with the Metropolitan Police, and that the route was kept secret intentionally, for the safety of participants. The event went ahead, celebrating Trans people who feel sidelined or excluded from the rest of the LGBT community, even at events like Pride in London.

So what's the deal for 2020? Trans Pride London, from the Trans Radio UK team, has plans for an event in September 2020 — keep an eye on Twitter for details. Meanwhile, separately, a fundraiser is being run by London Trans+ Pride to run a bigger event in 2020, without the need for corporate sponsors, also in September.

Last Updated 29 January 2020