Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham Pride: Thousands expected at two-day festival

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionFestival director Lawrence Barton said the event was a "great boost" to Birmingham's economy

Up to 50,000 people are due to come to Birmingham this weekend for the city's annual two-day Pride festival.

Thousands of people joined a carnival procession featuring fancy dress and floats, which set off from Victoria Square at midday, finishing in the city's gay village.

Live entertainment was being provided by acts including JLS, Paloma Faith and 1980s pop act Bananarama.

Organisers estimate the festival brings about £15m to the city's economy.

They say the event is now the UK's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender festival and that there had already been an "amazing turnout".

The theme for 2013's event is "Equal Love".

'March to freedom'

Before the start of the procession, equal rights campaigner Peter Tatchell gave a speech in support of marriage equality.

He said: "It's so wonderful to be here in Birmingham on the verge of marriage equality.

"We've reached a point where all the anti-gay laws have since been repealed and Birmingham Pride is such a great event occasion to celebrate our success and to thank everyone - gay and straight - who has supported us on this long march to freedom."

Festival director Lawrence Barton said the event, which started 17 years ago, had now been "embraced by the wider community", something he had always hoped for.

He said: "To see it now as a place families come with their children and mix with gay people from all difference cultures within the city, it's wonderful."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites