Parade, parties and a side helping of LGBTQ+ goodness — here's your ultimate guide to Pride in London 2023.
What is Pride in London?
Pride in London itself is a non-profit organisation that promotes and supports the capital's LGBTQ+ communities. Each summer, it hosts the Pride in London event — a mammoth celebration, and vital platform for who those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning, intersex, non-binary, asexual, polysexual, genderqueer or gender variant. Cue huge parties, fantastically fun events, and a parade to end all parades (except for the one that happens the year after). Allies, of course, are welcome to join in too.
When is Pride in London 2023?
The big parade — which in 2022, attracted crowds of 1.5 million — takes place on Saturday 1 July.
What's the Pride in London parade route?
Some 30,000 participants and 300 floats will set off from Hyde Park Corner at 12pm on Saturday 1 July 2023, dancing and singing their way down Park Lane, along Piccadilly, down Haymarket, into Trafalgar Square and finishing up in Whitehall. The route is studded with toilets, first aid stations and the like — and there are stages with live drag/cabaret/musical etc performances in Golden Square, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and Dean Street in Soho — plus a family area in St Giles-in-the-Field.
Lots of LGBTQ+ bars will be open during the day, particularly in Soho, so you needn't worrying about empty glasses.
How long does the Pride parade last?
About six hours — from 12pm-6pm — although the partying rumbles on waaaay after that, should you be in the market for a proper wingding.
Do you need tickets for Pride in London?
Nope, just show up. Although, if you want to watch from the covered grandstand on Haymarket, a seat will set you back £50.
What's the history behind Pride in London?
The origins of Pride in London can be traced back to the first official Gay Pride march of 1 July 1972. (Although there were actually earlier marches in Highbury Fields in 1970.) Inspired by the events of Stonewall in New York City three years earlier, the parade saw 2,000 participants armed with banners, tambourines, balloons and whistles descend on Trafalgar Square, then march to Hyde Park for a picnic. Here's a copy of the original programme.
Today's route traces that of the inaugural march (though it begins in Hyde Park now, rather than culminating there).
What's the Pride in London 2023 theme?
'Never March Alone' is this year's theme — and it's focused on supporting the trans community, who have faced a disturbing amount of negative press lately. In fact, a study by Pride in London and Involve showed that that 74% of people in the UK believe depictions of trans people in the media are either negative or highly negative.
Closer to the time, you'll see photo and video portraits of members of the trans and non-binary community, popping up on social and around town, to get the message across.
What other events are happening around Pride in 2023?
- The final of Pride's Got Talent, at the Adelphi Theatre (27 June)
- A massive Big Queer Disco Pride afterparty at Clapham Grand (1 July)
- A blowout at Soho's Century Club, featuring a mini parade, pole dancing, cabaret and loads more (1 July)
- Three rooms of tech, disco and world music — plus moustachioed go-gos — at Homostash Pride Rave (1 July)
- The Queer Joy photography exhibition scattered around King's Cross (until 31 Aug)
- You can also celebrate Pride by going to see a show at London's brand new queer comedy club, or an exhibition at the (relatively new) Queer Britain museum.
Is TfL doing anything special?
You know it. As well as a new LGBTQ+ poster campaign, featuring the likes of Gok Wan and Bimini, look out for a rainbow-wrapped Overground and Elizabeth line train, as well as a 63 bus.
Are there other big Pride/LGBTQ+ events in London throughout the year?
Hell yes. Others include:
- LGBT+ History Month (February)
- London Trans+ Pride (July)
- Croydon Pride (July)
- UK Black Pride (August)
- Bi Pride UK (September)
London also happens to have one of the buzziest LGBTQ+ scenes in the world — so you can get your fill of everything from bookclubs to bars on a daily basis.
Lead me to more LGBTQ+ content!
Your wish is our command. We've got an ever-swelling coffers of top LGBTQ articles on Londonist. Check out these for starters:
LGBTQ+ things to do
- LGBTQ+ Things To Do In London — Where To Be Queer In The Capital
- 10 Of The Best LGBTQ+ Bars And Pubs In London
- 10 Great LGBTQ+ Books Set In London
- Common Press: The LGBTQ+ Bookshop That's So Much More
- "Learning London's LGBTQ+ History Empowered Me To Walk The City's Streets"
- London's Queer, Sex-Positive Spaces: How They Lift Us Up, And Let Us Down
- "I Quit Football Because Of Homophobia - Then I Discovered The London Titans"
- Why I Started A London Trans Choir
- "I Created A London Club Night For Queer People Of Colour"
- An Ode To The Royal Vauxhall Tavern