Soho House’s guide to Manchester Pride
The annual UK event is one hell of a ride, and it’s a fact that Soho House Committee member and editor-in-chief of Aurelia Magazine, Kya Buller, knows only too well
Friday 26 August 2022 By Kya Buller
Manchester is the best city in the world. I say this not only as someone who was born and bred here – I’ve also travelled around and compared notes – and everything I’ve found tells me it’s simply true. I love my city’s liveliness, our passion for art, our culture, our openness and our world-famous knack for letting anyone in with open arms; so long as they’re sound, of course.
My favourite weekend in Manchester is always Pride. As a queer person, it means so much to me, and we do it so well – with love in abundance and even more style. Is there really any other way? Plus, there’s so much beauty going on this weekend that you just can’t miss. Here are some of my personal highlights.
Our Manchester House is opening soon, and while we’re waiting we have a selection of events in the city to keep you going. Of course, Soho House’s prelude to Pride is going to be beautiful. Held at The Alan Hotel on Princess Street, it promises to be the perfect way to kick off the celebrations. Brunch, drinks, entertainment and the Ruuby team are on hand for beauty treatments – plus, front-row seats to watch as the Pride parade begins in town. What could be better?
The White Hotel
The White Hotel will probably always be my favourite place in Manchester. Anyone who knows me, knows it has my heart. It may sound cliche, but it’s the perfect place to just be yourself – something I appreciate very much. If you like to dance, you have to dance here. Take my word for it. This Saturday is their High Hoops Pride Weekender, celebrating queer love all night long. In fact, the music doesn’t stop until 7am.
Freight Island is a cornerstone of Manchester’s scene and the atmosphere is always immaculate. All weekend there are Pride events, so there’s lots to choose from. I’m most looking forward to Saturday’s day to night session, Love Is The Message, hosted outside with that beautiful view previous attendees know so well, and tickets are more than affordable at £1.50. It’s a no-brainer.
My favourite independent bookshop in Manchester, Queer Lit, is a beautiful space with shelves full of gay, lesbian, bi, trans, and queer titles. It’s a peaceful place to pause and discover new work. The staff love chatting about literature and sharing their recommendations too, which is always a bonus. I could spend all day there – I’m so glad it exists.
No list would be complete without the Gay Village itself. I’m sure it’s where 99% of us celebrating Pride will be at some point during the weekend. There are so many bars to choose from, of course, and if I do say so myself, Manchester’s Gay Village does Pride incredibly well. Some personal favourites in the village are G-A-Y (of course), On Bar, and Vanilla. Oh, I could tell you some stories…
Derby Brewery Arms
The DBA has established itself as one of Manchester’s best venues. Well-priced drinks, great DJs, and a space that genuinely feels like home. Time just escapes you in the DBA, which, trust me, is a good thing. You’ll chase the night. This Saturday is BENT – a queer Pride party that’s hosting six DJs. Tickets are now on final release – it’s not one to miss.
Feel Good Club
Owned by wives Kiera and Aimie, Manchester’s Feel Good Club is dedicated to nurturing your mental health, and it really is the perfect place to decompress. During the day, it’s a coffee shop to relax, connect and work in, and in the evenings they regularly host great events, often queer focused, bringing people together. This month, there’s a collaboration, Feel Good Book Club with Queer Lit, which will be amazing. A Manchester staple, and one to enjoy this weekend.