Blackpool Pride

BCN 125 cover

This originally appeared in BCN issue 125, June 2014

Manchester bis went to the seaside for outreach at Blackpool Pride in June.

The organisers of the Blackpool 2014 Pride festival had deliberately reached out to BiPhoria to invite them to attend, conscious of a lack of “B” content in an LGBT festival.

The info stalls and much of the entertainments were held indoors after last year’s proceedings were cut short when the stalls nearly blew off the pier and into the sea. The Winter Gardens provided a hub with with lots of different events happening in different places (live music outside, a children’s magic show, local radio station music stage and a speaker or three.

Stall volunteer Emily told BCN, “It was a really friendly event and the first time I’ve seen bi flags at Prides that we didn’t bring ourselves!  We met lots of people who wouldn’t go to the big events in Manchester or London.  Probably the most common comment from people coming up to our stall was that they had never seen anything specifically for bis before – we were like an oasis in a desert.”

Fellow stall volunteer Sian reflected on how different Prides attract different crowds: “before Blackpool Pride my main experience of running a bi info stall has been at the ticketed Manchester event.

“The fact that the stall was in the town centre and open to the public made a real difference in increasing the mix of people approaching our stall.”

BiCon flyers were popular for people who might not go as far as Manchester for a two hour pub meet but might consider a full day out in Leeds. The stall also shifted plenty of copies of Getting Bi and BCN.  As ever, stickers were popular – people who feel they should tell you “I’m not bi” may still sticker themselves up as bifriendly.