With only six weeks to go until Blackpool Pride 2009, this year really is shaping up to be an X-tra special event.
Until now, the names of the finale acts have been kept strictly under wraps by the organisers and now they are proud to announce that this year will feature two of the biggest stars from last years X Factor – Laura White and Austin Drage.
When Laura, North West born and bred in Atherton, was voted off the X Factor in week five, headlines hit the newspapers and it was even mentioned in the House of Commons. Many thought that Laura would win the competition and Louis Walsh was once again accused of tactical voting in order to keep his own act in the race. Unperturbed, Laura has not looked back, has performed all over the country and is currently recording her debut album. It seems only fitting that one of the biggest, rising stars in the North West performs at Blackpool’s biggest and best Pride to date.
Joining top billing with Laura will be Austin Drage, another tipped to win the competition last year and described by Simon Cowell as “just what the competition needed”. Austin had already become a fan favourite when he appeared in E4’s “Boys Will Be Girls”, when he and two other male singers posed as a new girl band The Honeytraps. Following from the X Factor, Austin has been performing across the UK and is now pursuing a solo career.
Also appearing on stage, as previously announced, will be Eurovision entrants Scooch, 80’s legends Toyah Wilcox and Hazell Dean and opening the show, Jo O’Meara from S Club 7, plus many more artists.
Mark Hurtse, Vice Chair and organiser of the main stage entertainment said “With an all-star celebrity line up this year, I am sure it is going to be our best show ever running throughout the day. With stars from X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, some of our favourite Club/Dance Artists, and of course Eurovision, I am sure there will be something for everyone in this years show!”
Blackpool Pride will take place on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th May 2009. Having previously been held on North Pier, this year sees the festival move to Dickson Road, right in the heart of what is fast becoming known as “Blackpool’s Gay Village”. A special enclosure will be created between Wilkinsons and Funny Girls for the day on Saturday 16th May, to include a huge main stage, market stalls, information stands and mini-funfair. Organisers have been working diligently with Blackpool Borough Council, Lancashire Police and business owners in the area to ensure that Blackpool Pride 2009 is a success and promises to be an event not to be missed. Entry to the enclosed area will be strictly by purchase of a wristband and these can be bought at Blackpool Pride official website.
The colourful parade will take place this year on Sunday 17th May, along the promenade, working its way from the St Chads Headland to North Pier. This promises to be a fun spectacle for everyone to come and enjoy and with this years parade theme being “Carnival”, it seems only fitting that the parade be led by a fantastic samba band, followed by floats and displays.
Sunday evening sees a spectacular closing ceremony featuring the vocal talents of Daniel Fox and the Manchester Lesbian & Gay Chorus. This will be a time to reflect and remember those who have been lost in the community, and will feature a spectacular fireworks display from the rooftop of the Flamingos Nightclub.
Mark Seargent, Chair and founder of Blackpool Pride added “It is an immensely exciting prospect that our event, in celebration of our rich and diverse LGBT community, will take centre stage in Blackpool on May 16th and 17th. I could only have dreamt that an event like this would be possible. This is a new chapter for one of the most prominent features of Blackpool’s programme of regeneration.”
With an anticipated 10,000 people attending, Blackpool Pride 2009 will be the biggest and best to date and promises to be an event not to be missed, and will not only be an event that the whole town can be proud of but an event to put Blackpool back on the map!
For more details and to purchase wristbands for this years event, visit Blackpool Pride official website.