I hadn’t been to Manchester Pride before and my experiences of the London version (while always good) have been confined to dancing in the parade. This year, I was invited to take the bookstall to what was originally going to be a Night Market running over the three nights of the long weekend. This was ultimately reduced to just the Saturday night, and I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but it turned out to be thoroughly entertaining.
Stalls were set up in a covered car park right in the middle of the action – perhaps a little too much in the middle of the action as performers on an external stage outside the bar across the road meant that the planned show inside what was now known as the Fetish Emporium had to be delayed for about an hour due to the impossibility of both sets of artistes being able to make themselves heard. But the overall vibe was sufficiently cheerful and good tempered that it didn’t seem to matter. As with London, pretty much everyone is in the mood to party and share the love, possibly even more so as the darkness gathers around us all… but we’re not going into that in this blog post.
Once the performances got going, they were all awesome, particularly the burlesque artiste who performed from her wheelchair and blew the room away. I wrote her name down on a bit of paper at the time and promptly lost it, so my apologies – and if anyone wants to pass on the info I’ll amend this post to include it. I was also quite taken with the wax play routine done to Alanis Morrisette’s You Oughta Know. And I finished the night by getting up to read everyone a ‘bedtime story’. Having dithered for a few days about what, exactly, was the most appropriate extract to share with such a mixed audience, I settled on the milkshake story.
After a journey home that involved getting lost twice, leaping off a bus with all my stock in completely the wrong place and a long walk with a full bladder, it’s lucky that I made it to the third LAMchester on the Sunday morning. Because of it being Manchester Pride weekend, this event had moved out of its usual home and was in this spectacular brickwork basement off Deansgate. With more stalls and a fair turnout of punters, it was a cracking day and gave the general impression that this relatively new event is onto a winner and will be sticking around. DSW is likely to be more of an irregular trader than a fixture due to distance and logistics, but I definitely wish the event all the best.