Birmingham once again plays host to the UK’s biggest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) festival this bank holiday weekend (May 23 and 24). Now in its 19th successive year, the theme of this year’s Birmingham Pride will be ‘#FREEDOM – Together United’, inspired by the 2014 film ‘Pride’, which tells the story of how gay activists supported miners who went on strike in 1984. To celebrate the DVD release of the film, this year’s Birmingham Pride Parade will be led by members of the original Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners group.

The parade begins at noon on Saturday, May 23, from Victoria Square, with around 50 group entries featuring in the colourful and vibrant procession of decorated floats, samba band, open top bus, street performers, various vehicles and hundreds of walking participants celebrating the official start of Birmingham Pride in style.

The route will take in New Street, High Street, Carrs Lane, Moor Street Queensway, St Martin’s Circus Queensway and Smallbrook Queensway, before turning into Hurst Street and arriving at the main Pride festival site in Birmingham’s Gay Village.

The main stage will be located on the car park on the Bromsgrove Street junction with Lower Essex Street and will host an exciting line-up of live acts and DJs across both days, including Jimmy Somerville, Fuse ODG, Union J, Example and DJ Wire, Jess Glynne, Atomic Kitten, Ms Dynamite, Stereo Kicks, Boney M and Marvin Humes presents Luvbug.

There will also be a Chic Dance Arena featuring top DJs and a Cabaret Marquee with some of the biggest names in drag cabaret. All three main entertainment stages will be based within marquee structures to ensure that both audience and performers can enjoy the weekend regardless of the weather. There is also an impressive line-up of entertainment provided by the city’s gay venues.

A funfair will be located on the Pershore Street car park.

Motorists are advised that the roads and car parks in and around the Gay Village in the Southside area of the city will be closed to traffic for the weekend to make way for the entertainment stages, market stalls, funfair and community activities.

The event is operating a wristband entry scheme for the festival site. Tickets can be purchased online at Children under five do not require a wristband but must be accompanied by an adult. The parade itself and the Community Village Green area are free of charge.