Your guide to your first London Pride

Thursday 6th June 2024

London Pride: a spectacle of celebration, advocacy and community. This annual event attracts over 1.5 million visitors for a day to fully immerse themselves in the LGBTQIA+ culture and empower the community.

The streets come alive with a kaleidoscope of colour, music and infectious energy pulsing through the city. For first-timers, the experience is guaranteed to leave you awe-struck and amazed.

Pride events are all about uplifting voices, championing inclusivity, and creating safe spaces for the LGBTQIA+ community to live authentically and joyfully – and nobody does it bigger and bolder than London! Get ready to sing, cheer and embrace all that makes Pride special. Now, we’re sharing our essentials to ensure your first London Pride is one you’ll never forget – let’s dive into it.

Pride History

The UK’s first Pride march was held in London on 1st July 1972. A significant date, chosen as the nearest Saturday to the anniversary of the riots at Stonewall Inn in 1969, where the New York Police Department had targeted LGBTQIA+ patrons. 

Over the years, Pride has changed and evolved: 

  • 1981: Pride temporarily relocated to Huddersfield to support protests against West Yorkshire Police (who were repeatedly raiding the Gemini Club).
  • From 1983: Pride was known as ‘Lesbian and Gay Pride’.
  • 1985: Pride was supported by representatives from mining groups (in response to the Lesbian and Gay Support the Miners, Lesbians Against Pit Closures and other activists).
  • 1988 onwards: During the years when Section 28 was on the law books, prohibiting the “promotion of homosexuality,” many more people took part in Pride as both a protest and a celebration.
  • By the 1990s: Pride took place over several weeks with events, concerts and other large gatherings, as well as the march and rally.
  • In 1992: London was selected to hold the first Europride, with an estimated 100,000 attendees.
  • In 1996: members of the Pride Trust voted to rename the event, ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride’ and became the largest free music festival in Europe.
  • In 2004: ‘Pride London’ was formed and it was awarded registered charity status.
  • In 2013: The theme “Love (and Marriage)” was chosen for the annual pride celebrations within London to coincide with MPs considering the Equal Marriage Bill.
  • In 2022: After two years of cancelled events due to COVID-19 restrictions, The 2022 parade occurred on 2 July – this marked the 50th anniversary of the inaugural Pride march within London.

When + where

🗓️ Save the date: Saturday 29th June 2024.

📍 London Pride kicks off with their iconic parade from Hyde Park Corner at 12:00 pm (midday), weaving through Central London before finishing up in the LGBTQIA+ hub of Soho

📍Stages, performances, activities and events take place across Soho, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and more areas all weekend long

📍 St James’ Piccadilly grandstand opens at 11:00 am for viewers.

Getting there

Travelling in London can be hectic, especially during Pride weekend. We recommend public transport as your best bet. The closest Tube stations are:

Ⓜ️ Hyde Park Corner
Ⓜ️ Green Park
Ⓜ️ Piccadilly Circus
Ⓜ️ Oxford Circus.

Where to get tickets

London Pride parade and staged events are totally free to enjoy. However, you might want to upgrade your experience.

Grandstand Seats

Secure your spot in the heart of the excitement with unparalleled views of the parade. Final release tickets are on sale here (£60 + booking fee).

Local Pride events

There are lots of events, parties, and workshops hosted for Pride. Check them out here and secure your spot with a ticket (including free events).

What to Expect

As one of the biggest and most renowned LGBTQIA+ events worldwide, London Pride is the celebration that keeps giving: serving you incredible outfits, vibrant floats and thriving parties.

Pride kicks off with the traditional parade. Along the parade route and throughout Soho, you’ll find multiple stages and performance areas that keep the party going all day and night with drag shows, concerts, DJs and more. The atmosphere is electric – filled with singing, dancing, cheering and a beautifully open and expressive atmosphere of love and acceptance.

Pride is an amazing celebration, however, it’s also an important reminder of how vital this movement is today. You’ll see inspiring organisations raising awareness and funds for causes supporting the LGBTQIA+ community. As well as, a poignant vigil in Soho to honour those who courageously fought for these hard-won rights and freedoms over the decades.

What to wear + bring

One of the most exciting parts of Pride… the fashion! Anything goes at Pride – be over-the-top, bold and expressive.

Think proud rainbows, glitter, funky patterns, vibrant colours – More is more! You’ll see people rocking fun temporary hair colours, make-up, flags as capes or accessories and more. 

Top tip: wear comfy shoes (you’ll be on your feet most of the day).

Aside from your photo-ready fit, we recommend bringing: 

🧴 Sunscreen
💧Water bottle
💷 Cash for food/drinks
⚡️ Portable phone charger
🍫 Energy-boosting snacks
🪪 ID for 18+ bars and events.

Where to eat + drink

The LGBTQIA+ nightlife and restaurant scene in Soho is world-class. Expect speciality cocktails and glitzy decor with a big side of sass. 

For a truly Instagrammable moment, hit up drag brunches at restaurants like Blame Gloria or Zebrano. Then visit LGBTQIA+ staples like Village Soho (one of London’s original gay venues) and Comptons (one of London’s most celebrated LGBTQIA+ venues).

Staying safe

Attracting 1.5 million visitors means safety is a top priority at London Pride. Remember that Pride is an inclusive, judgement-free zone. However, negative instances and experiences can still occur. To stay safe at London Pride, we recommend:

  • Staying aware of your surroundings and belongings
  • Staying hydrated and taking regular water breaks
  • Alerting authorities if you experience any discrimination or harassment
  • Planning transport routes (considering street closures)
  • Establishing a meeting point with your group.

Get involved

London Pride wouldn’t be possible without the 30,000 amazing participants. Fancy getting involved? Check out the links below: 

  • Parade marching application here
  • Volunteer Registration here
  • Hire a stall here

Be your true self!

London Pride is a vibrant celebration of love, authenticity and unapologetic self-expression. 

For first-timers, the colourful parade, pulsing music, and undeniable sense of community are guaranteed to leave you amazed. It’s also important to embrace Pride as a powerful reminder of the decades of hard-fought battles for LGBTQIA+ rights and acceptance. Embrace every moment – sing loudly, dance the weekend away, and open your heart to the amazing community surrounding you.

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