Spice Girl Mel C joins the line up for this year’s Margate Pride

Mel C at Dreamland

Spice Girl Mel C and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell are amongst the line-up for this year’s Margate Pride.

The event, now in its fourth year,has doubled in size each year, presenting an authentic, arts-based festival for the whole community to get involved in.

This year Margate Pride will be a week-long queer arts festival, culminating in a joyful procession on Saturday, August 10 -plus the Mel C gig at Dreamland – where everyone is welcome to celebrate all of Thanet’s queerness and LGBTQIA+ life.

The festival draws together diverse elements of the community, with everyone from the RNLI and other emergency services to local artists, community groups and activists joining together to support the cause.

Pride procession along the seafront

Frank Leppard

The week-long festival culminates in the Pride March along Margate’s beautiful seafront on Saturday, August 10. A riot of colourful floats and costumes with an inventive, DIY aesthetic, the parade leaves the Walpole Bay Hotel at 2pm.

Peter Tatchell on the Sea Front Stage

Photo Colin via wikimediacommons

The parade arrives at the Sea Front Stage at 3pm for performances and speeches from local queer artists and allies, including Pink Suits, BABii and Sink The Pink drag queen Taylor Trash. Headlining the rally is internationally-respected campaigner for LGBTQIA+ rights Peter Tatchell

Also appearing on the Sea Front Stage are Asifa Lahore, Britain’s first publicly out Muslim drag queen, multi award-winning poet, playwright, activist and performer Jackie Hagan, local pole dance icon and instructor Heather Walker and Just May, the UK’s premier Geri Halliwell impersonator. Music to keep the crowds dancing comes from Margate-based acts BABii and Pink Suits, London collective Benin City and DJs from Margate queer club night Meat Raffle.

Beach-front party into the night

The Cockles and Muscles party is back

After the parade the party keeps on going, with locations all across town hosting Pride events. Margate Arts Club DJs will take over The Sun Deck – at Nayland- on the beach, followed by a disco at Margate Arts Club itself from 9pm, Join the after-party with Cockles & Muscles at the Lido Cliff Bar or head to Sundowners, the town’s long-established gay bar.

Mel C

Photo credit Sven Mandel https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0

Revellers can also head to Dreamland which will play host to  Mel C, backed by the Sink The Pink Spice Gurls. The gig is from 7pm-11pm. Tickets go on sale on Friday, April 26 from 10am and are £10 plus booking fee in advance and include entry and access to rides. Limited members tickets available in advance at £7.50 plus booking fee. Book here

When its all over revelers can recover at Walpole Bay Tidal Pool which will host the world’s biggest gay pool party on Sunday, August 11.

Activities all week (August 6-11)

Tommy Poppers Photo Adam Dark

All week Margate’s alternative arts venues will be hosting performances and exhibitions, including:

Graphic artist Alex Noble exhibiting at Turner Contemporary, Tuesday 6 August;

Queer troubadour Tommy Poppers performs at Tom Thumb Theatre, Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 August;

Poli-Rock duo Pink Suits bring their arresting live show to Tom Thumb; Dance and live art performer Carlos Maria Romero presents The SPIT! Manifesto plus events at venues Resort, 101, Urchin Wines and Northdown Studios.

Merchandise, podcasts, a pub quiz and more…

Margate Pride promotes year-round engagement with the local LGBTQIA+ community, so there’s plenty going on before and after Pride.

The Pride Fundraiser Pub Quiz is on July 18, with the ‘clay round’ judged by BBC 2’s Keith Brymer Jones. There will also be an auction of customised t-shirts.

Posters by Jacob Love, adapted from slogans used by LGBTQIA+ youth groups in Thanet, will be on sale on the Margate Pride website. There are also plans for  a Margate Pride Radio podcast.

Follow Margate Pride



Instagram: @margatepride

Twitter: @MargatePride