Bristol Pride – Putting Bristol on the Eurovision Map
Bristol Pride remains the largest free Pride festival in the UK and yesterday it reached new levels of support with the biggest turnout in the event’s history. It was a privilege to work on such an important event, promoting equality, diversity, combining my Eurovision passion with the local community to generate a special Eurovision thread within Bristol Pride. The success of the Eurovision feature at this year’s Bristol Pride may open the door for a greater Eurovision theme in future years. British Eurovision winners, Bucks Fizz had the 25,000 crowd dancing across Castle Park as they performed their legendary skirt ripping routine.
Combining Bristol Pride and Eurovision to promote social diversity
This year, I was able to work with the organisers to bring some of the all time favourite Eurovision acts together at Bristol Pride. Attracting the Eurovision community to Bristol is a great opportunity for local businesses and venues, and with such a strong connection between Eurovision and the LGTB community, creating a Eurovision aspect for Bristol Pride was a natural step.
With Bucks Fizz and Nicki French performing on the main stage and Euroband from Iceland headlining the EuroFest room at the official Bristol Pride afterparty, there has been plenty of opportunities to showcase some of the most loved acts in the Eurovision community in Bristol, and showcasing Bristol Pride to the Eurovision community.
EuroFest is a successful Eurovision event that takes place in London. It has grown in size and stature since launching in 2011 and regularly features live acts from Eurovision. Bringing the Eurovision party to Bristol Pride marked it’s first outing to a regional city and the event was hugely popular with the crowd at the O2 Academy in Bristol. Nicki French performed again before Euroband played a 25 minute set featuring some of Eurovision’s greatest hits along with their own entry, ‘This is my life” (6th place for Iceland, 2008), they laid the foundations for future Eurovision artists to attend Bristol Pride.
Having worked at Stockholm Pride’s Schlager event several times, there is a benchmark and format that Bristol Pride can leverage, helping to continue to make Bristol Pride a tourist destination for the city as well as an important local event to promote diversity in the community.
Bucks Fizz won the Eurovision Song Contest back in 1981 but Cheryl, Jay and Mike Nolan, along with 1983 Eurovision entrant Bobby McVay remain hugely in touch with the fan community and took time out from their national Paradise Regained tour to perform a full 45 minute set for the Bristol Pride crowd.
Nicki French performed her Eurovision hit ‘Don’t play that song again’ and her new single, This Love, which is set to be a big hit with the LGTB community. The official music video was thought up by Mike Stock and shows the lifelong love of a gay couple. You can watch Nicki French’s video for This Love here:
Bristol Pride supports all in the community
The LGTB community’s strength in working towards equality goes beyond sexuality. Promoting a message of tolerance and understanding is equally important for people struggling for social acceptance and understanding.
With my work for IF Group Bristol, Bristol Pride is a hugely important event for promoting services like Bristol Drugs Project, St. Mungos and Second Step – vital organisations helping people recover from substance abuse, homelessness and mental health illness. Keeping Bristol Pride as a free event means that everyone can engage with these services, gain information and get advice for themselves or people they care about.
It is often said that music breaks down barriers and builds bridges. Bringing Eurovision music to Bristol Pride yesterday supported that notion and there is hope that in 2016, the Bristol Pride Eurovision theme will return bigger and better. I hope that I will have the opportunity to work with Bristol Pride over the next year to keep the event free to all, help services working to support people that suffer from prejudice and promote both Eurovision in Bristol and Bristol to the Eurovision community.
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