Following on from last years successful Pride event, Liverpool is set to return for a second year in St George’s Quarter where Mersey singer Marc Almond will be headlining for the crowds of this free festival.

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Marc, originally the frontman of Soft Cell, is from just up the road in Southport. Having sold over 30 million records worldwide, he’ll be taking to the Liverpool stage just weeks after celebrating his 60th birthday, if you can believe that!

He said, I was born near enough to Liverpool for it to feel like a home City for me. It feels very special to be opening and headlining this year’s Pride event. Liverpool is famous for being a diverse, friendly, tolerant city so I hope that many people will come and have a good time and support the event.”

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This is the eighth consecutive year of Liverpool Pride, a free two-day event celebrating all things LGBT. This year’s festival takes place on Saturday 29 July and Sunday 30 July 2017 returning to St George’s Quarter for the second year.

Liverpool Pride has grown to become one of the city’s major annual events. Last year, the festival attracted more than 32,000 festivalgoers to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

The theme for Liverpool Pride 2017 is International Love, with organisers spreading the Liverpool message far and wide. Liverpool Pride’s International Love theme will also complement a city-wide season of events and performances to mark the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. The 50 Summers of Love season will run from May to August 2017.

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The Main Stage will be located on William Brown Street and will feature Marc Almond and additional performers to be announced in the coming months; the Plateau Stage will be in front of St George’s Hall showcasing the World On One Stage and will feature music linked to the festival theme of International Love; and the Garden Stage with indy music and spoken word will be located at St John’s Gardens.

Liverpool Pride Festival Chair Lucy Day commented: “Last year’s Liverpool Pride was absolutely incredible. The new festival location of St George’s Quarter proved an extremely popular choice with festivalgoers so we’re absolutely thrilled to announce that we will be returning to this stunning setting for 2017.

“Come and join us for a free, two-day family friendly celebration of all things LGBT this Summer, with Mersey singer Marc Almond headlining the festival on his Liverpool Pride debut. Watching Marc perform against the backdrop of one of the city’s most iconic venues is going to be a huge highlight for 2017 – and we cannot wait.”

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The Liverpool Pride Festival began as a community response to the death of murdered gay teenager Michael Causer, who tragically lost his life on 2 August 2008.

The festival was specifically created in 2010 in Michael’s memory as a way to celebrate his life and to empower the LGBT communities. The festival continues to remind the community to stand up for LGBT culture and equality through a city-wide celebration where everyone is welcome.

Each year, the Liverpool Pride March is an increasingly popular and poignant part of the special weekend – and again the march will play a major role in the weekend’s programme when it makes its way through the city on the Saturday, starting at 12pm from St George’s Hall Plateau. The procession will return to St George’s Quarter at 1pm when stage entertainment will run until 9pm.

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Sunday sees the return of We Are Family with fun activities, workshops and entertainment throughout the day. Singer and vocal expert Jennifer John returns to work with community choirs, supported by The Arts Council.

New for 2017 is a film and theatre programme to complement the theme of International Love. This includes Queertet 2017 at HUS during the week of Pride, and Gypsy Queen at The Unity on Friday 28 July and Saturday 29 July.