Exeter Pride back with a bang for 2024 with march, stalls, music and drag competitions

Exeter Pride in 2022 - the event is back for 2024 after it was cancelled last year
Exeter Pride in 2022 - the event is back for 2024 after it was cancelled last year -Credit:Exeter Pride

Exeter Pride organisers say it will be "back with a bang" this weekend to celebrate its 15th year - 12 months after the LGBTQ+ event was cancelled due to a shortage of volunteers and rising costs. Pride in Exeter began in 2009, when co-founder Alan Quick worked with the charity Intercom to plan and host the first ever Pride protest march through the city's streets.

Over the years the volunteer-organised event has expanded to include the march, the stalls and a range of community and family-friendly events around the city. This year all the main events will take place on Saturday (May 11).

The march will kick off from 12noon with entertainment along the way including a Samba band, Morris dancers, drag artists and belly dancers. The focus will then shift to Northernhay Gardens with stalls and food and drink. The gardens will be an alcohol-free zone this Pride.

Read more:

Organisers launched a fundraising appeal ahead of this year's Pride to make the event "bigger, bolder and better than ever" - raising almost £17,000 through an online JustGiving page.

Try DevonLive Premium for free with no ads, fun puzzles and new features

Thanking those who have sponsored Pride and made donations to ensure it could go ahead this year, they said in the event's official programme: "After sadly having to cancel last year, we are back with a bang with a march through the centre of town, marketplace in Northernhay Gardens and an afternoon of workshops and entertainment at Exeter Phoenix."

Here's what to expect from the day:

Pride March

The Exeter Pride march will begin at 12noon from Sidwell Street, just off Summerland Street, with participants asked to gather from 11.30am. The route will take in the High Street before turning off right onto Queen Street.

It is due to end just before Northernhay Gardens at around 1pm.

Pride Marketplace in Northernhay Gardens

There will be food and drink and LGBTQ+ and other community stalls in Northernhay Gardens from 1 to 5pm, along with music and drag performers.

The programme for the "buskers spot" at the gardens includes Pandora Midnight, Avis Nova, Alisha B, The Lady Frost, Al Head and Izzy Available. Mayor Kevin Mitchell will give an introduction at 1.40pm.

You won't be able to buy or bring alcoholic drinks into this area but there will be plenty of non-alcoholic drinks to try.

Workshop and chill out zone at Central Library

Family friendly drop-in workshop Absolutely Flagulous will take place from 10am-12noon, providing those taking part with everything they need to craft their own punky placards, badges and flags.

In addition, the library's Rougement Room will be open from 12noon to 4pm as a designated "Pride chill-out zone". Organisers say there will be "tunes, refreshments and LGBTQ+ book displays".

RAMM butterfly sculpture

You can celebrate Exeter Pride at RAMM (Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery) by joining artist Alistair Lambert to create your own butterfly inspired piece of art to add to a collaborative sculpture. The work will be created throughout the afternoon and all ages are welcome.

And organisers say: "Whilst you’re there, ask them about LGBTQ+ history at the RAMM, and watch out for the life-sized Puppet Owl that will be handing out leaflets around Exeter Pride this year!"

Taking part is free and the event is from 1-4.30pm on Saturday (May 11). Find out more HERE.

Exeter Phoenix activities

From 2 to 6pm you can take part in workshops and enjoy family and youth zones - or hang out in the auditorium to enjoy acoustic music and performances.

There will be "Drag Queen Storytime" with Virina Flower at 2.15pm and 3.15pm in the family zone and at 3.30pm, the film 5 Years of Protest, directed by Simone Einfalt, will be shown in the auditorium. It weaves together film and photos from Exeter Pride’s newly created digital audio-visual archive with new audio interviews with attendees and organisers.

The afternoon will finish with drag performers and a drag king competition then from 7pm until late, dance along to DJs in the bar.

Find the full programme for the day HERE.