Manchester Gayfest - August 2001

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Back in 2001 the current Manchester Pride was called Manchester Gayfest.

What a fantastic weekend, it all kicked off at 2pm with a colourful parade through the city centre. Cruze 101 won the best overall float with their Jungle theme, best indervidual float went to Manchester Showbar. The Mr Gay UK boys got my vote, 15 hunky boys dressed in only their pants! 

All the bars along Canal Street were packed; out on the street itself there was a great atmosphere as people soaked up the glorious sunshine that the day brought. There were also many straight people venturing in to the area to checkout what was happening.

Manchester's street parade is probably the best in Britain. Most organisations usually lay on a colourful float dotted with sexy boys and drag acts. This year we, along with a couple of drag queens from Heaven, were working for BMW, promoting the re-launch of their new Mini. The car was dressed up in specially made leather harness to add a bit of spice to its look.

After the parade we changed into four red devils, promoting the energy drink Red Devil. They were one of the main sponsors of the Mr Gay UK competition, so later in the evening we opened the show with a dance act and presented the £1,000 cheque to the winner. It was a busy day but great fun.

The official Gayfest party on Saturday night was University Challenge. 8 club nights came together (Heaven, Crash, Fruit Machine, Fibre, Salvation, Trade, Housework and Sinergy) to produce an amazing one-stop party in the Student Union. We were the gogo boys working in the main room, so we clad into our speedos and danced our heads off. Wow what a fantastic night!!

Sunday was just as busy with many events in the evening to get around and see. We started off in Essential, which was busy as always after a few drinks on Canal Street. At around midnight we moved onto the official Gayfest event, which was held at The Print Works, renamed "Pinkworks" for the night. It’s a complex in central Manchester that’s home to the Hard Rock Café, a multiplex cinema, Tiger-Tiger, and many other such trendy bars and clubs, they all combined together to create a fantastic party environment with 20 bars, 15 dance floors and 25 top DJ's. There was also a main stage, which hosted some good performances from Jason Donavan, Rozalla and Nicki French, to name a few. This all finished at 4am when we ventured back to Essential and later Paradise Factory for the 'Final Blow Out'.

For info on the current annual Manchester Pride log onto:

Gayfest Manchester 2001

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