2022 marks 50 years since the first-ever Pride took place in the UK. With health restrictions eased and many events being cancelled last year, Pride is back in full swing to mark this historic year in June, and throughout the summer, with these colourful events around Wales. Whether you’re LGBTQ+ or not, all are welcomed, so get waving that flag and celebrate love!
POP-UP PRIDE WALK
The Carmarthenshire LGBTQ+ Project will be celebrating Pride Month by holding a walk in Carmarthen Park, as well as a Pop-Up Pride, run by a local social enterprise and event organiser Vince Brinton. They’re planning to use the bottom bandstand of the park for entertainment, with the amazing Diana D leading the acts. There will also be a sign language interpreter present for accessibility.
The event is open to everyone, with no cost for entry, and parking is easily available via the many car parks around the town. The Pride Walk is being held in memory of Kate Rees (neé Boyt), who tragically and unexpectedly passed away in 2021.
Carmarthen Park, Sat 11 June
How much: free
The famous book town of Hay-On-Wye will host its first ever LGBTQ+ Pride this year. Founded by friends Graham Nolan and Helen Jane Campbell, who work and live in the Herefordshire border town, the event will take place at Hay Castle and the Globe At Hay. As with all Pride events – which aim to bring communities together in celebration, protest, unity and solidarity – Hay Pride will be run on a not-for-profit basis and all donations will be used to put on a celebratory and diverse event, signalling that everyone is welcome in the town, culminating on the steps of the Castle. The group will be holding further community LGBTQ+ events both before and after the first-ever Hay Pride, so check online for more info. You can read my interview with Graham and Helen too.
Various locations, Hay-On-Wye, Sun 12 June
How much: free
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AUTISM PRIDE FESTIVAL
Hope GB hosts its first Autism Pride Festival in June, celebrating diversity in style. This unique event will showcase the diversity found on the autistic spectrum, while packing in fun, unusual and entertaining activities for individuals and families to enjoy. You can expect live performances, fun challenges, a variety of food stalls, an animal petting zone, arts and crafts, autism-friendly inflatables, information and support stands, a sensory zone and special appearances from their very own loveable panda mascot, Hope!
All are welcome, whether you have a connection with somebody with autism or not; their aim is to create a relaxed, friendly and inclusive atmosphere.
Panteg House, Pontypool, Sat 18 June
How much: £2.50 adults/£1.50 under-10s
Drag Syndrome features as the final event of Unity Festival 2022 in Cardiff, and is a groundbreaking, internationally acclaimed drag collective featuring fierce drag queens and kings with Down’s syndrome. Drag Syndrome is currently comprised of Horrora Shebang, Justin Bond, Lady Francesca, Nikita Gold, Lady Mercury and Davina Starr. Not only that, but joining Drag Syndrome will be Cardiff-based drag collective House Of Deviant, and Hijinx’s very own in-house inclusive punk, rock, pop, soul, blues and funk band, Vaguely Artistic.
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay, Sun 26 June
How much: £12/£8 under-26s and concessions
CARDIFF OPEN AIR THEATRE FESTIVAL: PRIDE SCREENING
The Open Air Theatre Festival will be hosting an outdoor cinema event in July in partnership with Pride Cymru, celebrating Pride with a screening of the 2014 film of the same name: an extraordinary, and true, story from the south Wales valleys. The year is 1984. Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union Of Mineworkers are on strike, prompting a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists to raise money to support the strikers’ families. Initially rebuffed by the Union, the group identifies a tiny mining village in Wales and sets off to make their donation in person…
Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, Mon 11 July
How much: £10
Celebrating equality, diversity and community spirit, Llanelli Pride aims to bring the whole town together and provide a fun-filled day for everyone, with a plethora of acts and live music, alongside plenty of stalls, food and drink and a fun fair – with an afterparty to follow. The three-day event will be held at Selwyn Samuels Garden. On the Friday, you can expect an evening of entertainment hosted by the Llanelli Pride Proms team; the parade and other acts and entertainment will follow up over the weekend.
Selwyn Samuel Centre, Llanelli, Fri 15-Sun 17 July
How much: £5 for Llanelli Pride Proms night; free otherwise
Powys Pride is the first annual celebration of and by the LGBTQIA+ community across all of Powys. There will be daytime events across the green (Temple Gardens) that are free for everyone to enjoy, including a parade; various stalls and performances and a kids area; a ticketed evening show in the Mid Wales Pavilion featuring a performance from drag queens Polly Amorous and Pixie Perez; and an ‘Absolute Britney’ show starring Lucy Rose (aka the “most authentic Britney Spears tribute act”), complete with some of the industry’s finest backup dancers, captivating costumes and special effects. To finish the night off, there’ll be a house and disco DJ set from Madame Twisted.
Various locations, Llandrindod Wells, Sat 16 July
How much: £13.75
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The Ultimate Guide to What’s on in Wales!
PRIDE & JOY ORCHESTRAL PERFORMANCE
Pride & Joy is curated by violinist, singer and songwriter Joy Becker. She is joined by a five-piece ensemble of strings and percussion for this performance of ‘healing and celebration’, focussing on wellbeing and nurture in different guises. The playlist features an entirely LGBTQIA+ composer lineup in celebration of the queer community in music. Expect a wide range of musical styles, from classical to David Bowie and original contemporary folk music by Joy herself. Leave life’s pressures at the door and go along for some musical soul food.
Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, Sun 17 July
How much: £14/£12 over-60s/£8 under-30s/£3 under-18s
PRIDE CYMRU’S BIG WEEKEND
Since 1999, Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend has been the biggest annual event for Wales’ LGBTQ+ community. They produce work with organisations such as Glitter Cymru, Bi Cymru, Victim Support and the Deaf Hub Wales in a way that can benefit all parts of the community.
Every year, with the exception of the last two (damn you, COVID), you can expect a colourful parade, a music festival, comedy shows, a queer picnic and drag stars painting the nation’s capital city in rainbow colours. Check the Pride Cymru website for updates about what’s on leading up to the weekend.
Various locations, Cardiff, Sat 27 + Sun 28 Aug
How much: TBC
In this exhibition, Welsh LGBTQ+ history, culture and artwork are celebrated through select archival objects and new artworks from Amgueddfa Cymru. Trawsnewid aims to elevate the rich culture that the historically forgotten LGBTQ+ communities of Wales have to offer. The contents all come from workshops run by Museum Wales to inspire new voices to work and collaborate with archival and heritage efforts at the museum. Go and check it out before it’s gone at the end of July.
National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, until Sun 31 July
How much: free
words JOHN EVANS
APPLICATIONS for spring term 22 are now Closed: If you’re 18-30, live in Wales, and want to get ahead in the creative and cultural industries, express your interest for autumn term.