Looking Back: 2016 Brighton Pride
A spectacular two day event, the 2016 Brighton Pride saw St James Street and the city’s iconic seafront Marine Parade closed to traffic for the second year running as tens of thousands of people came together to celebrate at the UK’s most spectacular weekend Pride event.
Heading up to Preston Park the streets were alive with the sounds of Pride as sound systems on the trucks, flat windows opened, just about anywhere with a power supply seemed to be blasting out music delivering a vibrant and colourful soundtrack to Pride 2016. Feathered flamenco sleeves on bright shirts and an array of carnival head dresses at the from the Pride parade started to fill the park.
The hot sunny afternoon that welcomed Pride 2016 visitors just absolutely boiled its way along! Sun was out and so were the people. As the trucks from the parade arrived so did the many costumes and glitter. There were many bars scattered across the site and a wide variety of tasty food and snacks. A great selection to cater for everyone and not rip off prices which is refreshing!
Dua Lipa – Brighton Pride 2016
A fine display from this young singer. Dua Lipa had the crowd bumping to her songs. Just lovely to watch and listen to.
Alesha Dixon on stage Brighton Pride 2016
Next up was the mighty Alesha Dixon. I have never seen Alesha Dixon live before either on her own or with Mis-Teeq. I have loved her music and Alesha put on one hell of a performance for us at Pride, giving us a medley of hits. She is clearly a perfectionist – the songs, the routines all absolutley spot on and with the video wall running behind her. The musical accompaniment is spontaneously fast as is her her stage presence. Someone who is seen more on TV talent shows as a judge, for a pop vocalist, she proved why she can justifiably hold that role as her voice is extremely accomplished live! Unstoppable…
Carly Rae Jepsen at Brighton Pride 2016
Another first for me was the mega Carly Rae playing live. It’s not surprising that she was clearly thrilled with the love she received from the Pride crowd, as her setlist was inspiring and included much of her known and equally loved material. She put on a rock-solid show that crammed many of her songs into an hour set. She was backed by a superb band and the only crit I have is the damn smoke machine! Who ever controlled it was obviously over enthusiastic and the way it was used was more in line with a metal gig. This wasnt a metal gig its Carly Rae and we want to see her and her fabulous band!
Fleur East – Brighton Pride 2016
“You’ve got to play that sax”. The crowd around the Pride stage had seriously grown in size as we awaited the arrival of X Factors Fleur East. She, having impressed TV audiences with her Uptown Funk cover last year, had a performance to live up to. East has said in the past that in early 2014, she was “definitely depressed” and considering ending her music career, until her friends and relatives encouraged her to audition for The X Factor in June 2014. Some of the slickest dancers you have ever seen took to the stage, and oh! hello – the smoke machine man was back! Fleur stepped out onto the stage, a huge smile on her face as the rapturous welcome from the crowd pretty much drowned everything else out! Fleur East in my view is a world class act and her performance proved it. She just nailed everything with pace and precision. The crowd erupted of course to the big hit songs Uptown Funk and Sax. I cant wait to see Fleur again and do a longer set. Fleur East gave pride a further spark of vitality, I looked back and the crowds stretched right back across the site. People were dancing, drinking, singing and just having a blast of a good time. So Fleur, so glad you didn’t pack it in back in the day and judging by the response of the crowd so was everyone else! Congrats Fleur, and her super backing dancers!
Some 300,000 people took to the streets (August 6) to celebrate the UK’s biggest and best Pride. It was a day filled with music, happiness and sun, Brighton Pride 2016 proved to be one to remember for a very long time.
Brighton Pride on the web
Please note all images are copyright, please do not copy. If any of the featured artists or organisations involved with Pride want copies of the images – or more if available – please get in touch.
All pictures – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2016.