I n 2017 the Isle of Wight saw its first ever Pride event and such was the success of the day a year later they are hosting UK Pride.

IOWP logoWhilst it sounds like a success story, there were stumbling blocks and vocal public objectors to the first Pride that could so easily have caused organisers to reconsider the event.

But local politicians, chambers of commerce, businesses and local residents lent their support and encouragement making Isle of Wight Pride one of the most fantastic first Prides ever seen.

As the sun shone that day, the historic town of Ryde, with all its windy and hilly streets, thronged with rainbow flags and people cheered the parade as it passed them on the way to the beach.

Yes, Britain had its only Pride on a beach last year. The acts for the main stage arrived by hovercraft and the crowd strolled along the sand taking in not just acts and atmosphere but the beautiful coastline that makes the Isle of Wight a tourist destination.

Isle of Wight Pride, RydeThen on a well-deserved roll the organisers put a bid in to the UK Pride Organisers Network to become the second UK Pride and won.

Last year Pride in Hull hosted the first ever UK Pride in a year that also saw them as UK City of Culture. It was a massive success astounding even the organisers with how many people engaged with it.

Isle of Wight Pride have big boots to fill, but if last year’s event is a sign then we should all sit back and enjoy what they have put together.

The headline act this year on 21 July will be Conchita who will be performing for the second time at a Pride event in the UK, and it will be in her role as Ambassador for EuroPride 2019, which will take place in the Austrian capital Vienna. “We’re honoured to have her perform for us this summer,” says Matt Bundy, trustee of Isle of Wight Pride. “This is likely to be her only scheduled UK performance for 2018 and we can’t wait to see her perform to the crowds on Ryde Beach.”

The Isle of Wight Pride organisers will use her appearance to promote awareness that people living with HIV, and who adhere to treatment, cannot pass the virus on to anyone else.

Pre-registration is free but essential to attend the main Pride event. For links to this and further details visit iwpride.org

With Conchita headlining the free tickets are sure to run out fast. Get yours now.

An interactive map listing all Pride events happening around the UK can be found at UKPON.lgbt

Isle of Wight Pride, Ryde

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