Words: Brian Lenord; Images: Supplied
18 months into the pandemic, and with high-profile Pride events in London and Brighton still being scrapped due to ongoing complications, there's never been a better time to enjoy Pride in the UK's second largest city.
Birmingham Pride is set to return with a bang next month, with a jam-packed weekend of protest, celebration and performances in the city from Friday 24-Sunday 26 September.
With the likes of Cheryl performing at the event's dedicated festival site, Smithfield Live, and activities planned sround the LGBT village throughout the weekend, it can be hard to keep up with all the action, so here's everything you need to know about one the most unmissable dates in 2021's Pride calendar.
You can still get tickets for all events, free or otherwise, at birminghampride.com - but for now here's your lowdown on what to expect, where to be and when...
The Community Village Green (Friday 24 - Sunday 26 September)
The free Community Village Green will be open throughout the weekend, offering a quieter, more family-friendly and accessible area to celebrate Pride within the Pride Village.
From 7pm BST on Friday 24 September the site will host Birmingham Pride's ‘Free Community Pride’ event, which includes including live entertainment, community focused stalls, street food, bar, acoustic music, LGBTQ+ performers, speakers and candlelit vigil.
Things are expected to wrap up by 10.30pm BST on the night, with the full line-up for set to be announced in due course.
The Community Village Green is free to everyone but will be ticketed, so grab yours now here.
The Birmingham Pride Parade (Saturday 25 September)
The most imortant event of the weekend will see tens of thousands take to the streets of Birmingham to either participate in or watch the Birmingham Pride parade - and after a two-year absence, expect the atmosphere to be electric.
Free to attend, the parade will being gathering at Victoria Square in the heart of the city centre from 11am BST before making its way through Birmingham from 12 noon and eventually coming to an end at the city's LGBTQ village, where the party will carry on well into the night.
Smithfield Live (Saturday 25 - Sunday 26 September)
Birmingham Pride is set to welcome some of music's biggest stars to its dedicated festival site at Smithfield, the home of the former Birmingham Wholesale markets and the location for the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
Up to 20,000 people will be able to gather at the 12-acre site to see acts on the Main Stage, Cabaret Stage and Dance Area, as well as enjoy the a fun fair, steet food and community stalls.
Saturday will see UK pop icon Cheryl take to the Main Stage as headliner, following sets from the likes of Eve, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Katy B and Ms Banks.
On Sunday, get ready for round two as headliners and disco legends Sister Sledge take to the Main Stage.
They're joined on the bill by 'You Don't Know Me' hitmaker Jax Jones, Sugababes star Mutay Buena, 'Bed' singer Raye, and Drag Race legends Peppermint and Bimini Bon Boulash.
Plus, UK chart-toppers Clean Bandit will be keeping the energy high with a live DJ set.
The Dance Arena, Cabaret Tent and Future Stage will be also be serving up the best drag, dance and rising talent.
Get your tickets for Smithfield Live here.
The Village Street Party (Saturday 25 - Sunday 26 September)
Ticket numbers for Smithfield Live might be limited, but the Village Street Party centred around Birmingham's LGBT village will ensure that people have the chance to dance the weekend away without breaking the bank.
The on-street celebrations take place in the area around Hurst Street, just down from the Birmingham Hippodrome theatre, Bromsgrove Street and the surrounding streets.
The Street Party includes access to Birmingham's finest LGBTQ establishments, your favourite LGBTQ+ bars and clubs, including Equator, The Fox, The Loft, Missing Bar, Nightingale Club and Sidewalk Bar, as well as acess to slighty further flung venues including The Fountain, Glamorous and Chic.
Get your tickets for the Village Street Party here.
Tickets for Birmingham Pride 2021 are available here.