Everything you need to know (and more!) about The Big Weekend 2017..

Accommodation

There are many different accommodation options within walking distance of The Gay Village. 

 Travel

Q: Travelling by train?

A:  The closest train stations to the event are Manchester Piccadilly or Oxford Road.

Q: Travelling by air?

A:  From Manchester Airport, you can take a train or the Metrolink tram to Manchester Piccadilly. Alternatively, you can take a bus to Piccadilly Gardens from the airport.

Q: Travelling by tram?

A: The closest Metrolink stops to the event site are: Market Street, Piccadilly Gardens or Piccadilly Station.

Q: Travelling by bus? 

A: Take a bus to Piccadilly Gardens. From there our event site is a two minute walk, just across the road.

Q: Are there taxis on site?

A: There will be a number taxi companies with pick up points located on the periphery of the event site; Street Cars, Manchester Cars, and there are two Hackney Carriage ranks. These are located around the site off Princess Street and Minshull Street.

Q: What time do are taxi pick up points operational?

A:  The Taxi pick up points will be available to use 24 hours a day throughout The Big Weekend. When you order a taxi from one of the companies listed above, you will be directed to the correct pickup point. 

Q: Where can I park?

A:  There is a number of NCP car parks located in close proximity to event site and to local hotels around the city. Please note that during the event, NCP Sackville Street, NCP Abingdon Street and NCP Bloom Street will not be in operation. 

Q: What is the site post code?

A:  NCP Car Park, Manchester Sackville Street, M1 3LY

Q: Where should I get dropped off?

A:  If you already have your Pledge Bands, you can accesses the event by any of our Gates. If you need to pick up your Pledge Bands, please head to our Pledge Band Exchanges around the site on Princess Street or Whitworth Street. If you don't have your tickets yet, head to our Box Office located on the corner of Minshull Street and Aytoun Street.

Q: Any advice on how to get to the event?

A: We have a travel guide available on our website that details how to get here, where to go while you're in Manchester and how to get around. You'll find lots of recommendations on our website for hotels and B&B's in Manchester. Whilst the majority are in the city centre, you may find that some located outside of the city are a little cheaper. Check our travel page

Q: When and where does the Metrolink run?

A: The Metrolink in Manchester runs until around 01:00 and is free to use within the city zone with your Big Weekend Pledge Band. If you're travelling outside the city zone, you'll need to buy a ticket. Please note there are no services through the city on Friday 25 August and Saturday 28 August. The Southern route stops at Deansgate station and the Northern route goes as far into the city as Piccadilly Gardens. 

Tickets

Q: Do I have to buy my tickets in advance?

A:  We do recommend getting your tickets before you arrive to beat the queues and also it's cheaper to buy before you arrive! We also often sell out of day tickets so if you're only planning on coming for the day make sure to grab yours beforehand. 

Q: How much are the tickets on the day?

A: If you arrive at the event over the weekend, a full four day weekend ticket will cost you £29.50. Day tickets are £19.50 each on the day but Monday is only £12.50. Kids weekend tickets are  £8 for the weekend or £5.50 per day. Anyone under the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult. 

Q: What times is the Box Office open till?

A: The Box Office opens at 10am on Saturday 26th, Sunday 27th and Monday 28th August. It opens at midday on Friday 25 August. The Box Office closes late each night which is typically around 2am. If the Box Office is closed and you'd like to buy a ticket, head to the Pledge Band Exchange at Gate 6 which is open for ticket sales 24 hours a day through the event. 

Q: If I want a day ticket, do I have to buy it by a certain time?

A: Yes. Day Tickets being purchased on the day at the Box Office can only be purchased until 9pm. After 9pm only Weekend Tickets will be available. We only have a limited number of Day Tickets available each day. Once these sell out, only full Big Weekend Tickets will be available to purchase.

Q: How do I get my Pledge Bands?

A: It's simple! If you have already purchased your TicketFast e-tickets online, you simply have to go to one of our Pledge Band Exchanges located around the site and show them your printed or electronic tickets. They'll swap your ticket for a Pledge Band. If you choose the Fast Track option, you will receive your Pledge Band in the post before you arrive. If you have yet to buy your ticket, you can do it on the day by heading to our Box Office on the corner of Minshull Street and Aytoun Street.

Q: Where do I get my Platinum or VIP tickets? 

A: All our Platinum and Platinum Plus guests have been sent their Pledge Bands in the post. Pop them on your wrist before you arrive! To collect up your Guest VIP passes, make your way to the VIP Accreditation Centre.

Q: I haven't received my ticket yet.

A:  Don't worry! Your tickets are on their way. If you purchased TicketFast e-tickets, your ticket can be downloaded from your Ticketmaster account. If Pledge Bands are being sent to you, you should expect them no later than 21 August 2017. 

Q: How many Carer/Support Worker Tickets can I have?

A: The Carer/Support Worker ticket is a complimentary ticket to the value of a full Big Weekend ticket or Day Ticket. Please ensure you have booked your own ticket first before applying for a Carer/Support Worker ticket. We offer one Carer/Support Worker ticket per paying guest to the value of a Big Weekend or Day Ticket.

Q: How do I get my carer tickets?

A: Carer/Support Worker Tickets can be applied for online until August 18. After this date, you will need to wait until The Big Weekend and head to the Box Office.

Q: What are hardship tickets? 

A: Hardship Day Tickets are available to people living in one of the ten Greater Manchester Boroughs and who are unemployed, on low income or over 65. Due to a limited number of Hardship Day Tickets, they will be available on a first-come-first-served basis for each day. Head to the Box Office and ask for a Hardship Ticket. 

During Event

Q: What dates does The Big Weekend take place?

A:  Manchester Pride's The Big Weekend 2017 takes places over the last bank holiday in August; Friday 25 August until Monday 28 August 2017.

Q: What is the theme this year? 

A: The theme this year is "The Class of 2017". Fancy dress is always appreciated!

Q: When are the event opening and closing times? 

A: The event site will be open 24 hours a day over The Big Weekend. 

Q: What times are the acts performing? 

A: Check out our What's On page for stage times and running orders released a few days before the event.

Q: What time do we have to leave the event site? 

A: You don't! Although our Main Stage Arena and Sackville Gardens Arena close at 11pm, and our Dance Arena closes at midnight, there are bars inside the Gay Village open till the early hours of the morning. Check out what other events are going on around the Village. 

Q: Where is the Medical Area located?

A:  If you're feeling unwell or hurt yourself, speak to the nearest steward or head to the Medical Area on Bloom Street near Gate 4 where St John Ambulance will help you out. The Medical area can be found on your Site Map or by following the signage provided.

Q: Is there a Lost Property area?

A:  If you have lot a personal item over The Big Weekend don't worry. Simply fill in the form here and give us a description of the lots item.

Q: Is there an area for lost children?

A:  All of our security, stewards and police are briefed on the correct procedure for lost or found children so if your child is lost, please contact the nearest steward.

Q: Are pets allowed on site?

A:  Pets are permitted to access the Event Site but only Assistance Dogs are allowed into the arenas. We advise that dogs are not brought into the Event Site due to the large crowds. 

Q: What food will be available? 

A: There's food concessions dotted across the site so make sure to fuel up on some good grub!

Q: Can I bring my own alcohol?

A:  We will be requesting to check the bags of all guests entering the Event Site. We want to keep all our visitors safe so we'll be checking for any prohibited items which includes glass bottles of alcohol. Please finish your drinks before you arrive as they'll be plenty of bars on site.

Q: Where can I buy Official Programme Lanyards?

A: You can purchase lanyards for this year's The Big Weekend at any our outdoor bars within the arenas as well as from our volunteers who will be walking throughout the site selling them.

Q: Where are the closest ATM machines?

 A: There is a cash machine on Bloom Street  outside The Village Chip Shop (charging £1.99) directly opposite The Main Stage Arena. Another is located inside Clone Zone on Sackville Street (charging £1.50) or there is a free to use machine in The Eagle Bar on Bloom Street.

There are a number of cash points located outside of the event site. The nearest free cash machines can be found on the corner of Whitworth St/Princess St or Portland St/Sackville St.

Q: Are we allowed to film the event?

A:  Most definitely! Use your phone on your camera and share your memories with us by using the hashtag #ManchesterPride2017. However, we restrict the use of professional camera equipment in our arenas to accredited photographers only.  

Q: Are we allowed to bring selfie sticks into the arenas?

A:  Sorry I'm afraid not...please leave your selfie stick at home. 

Q: Do you have to pay to get into the bars and clubs in the village over The Big Weekend?

A: Please check individual club listings for each venue as Manchester Pride do not set any entrance fees to clubs and bars within the site. Alternatively, call ahead and ask the venue about their policy. 

Q: How do I make a complaint? 

A: To make a complaint during The Big Weekend, simply find a member of staff or security. To make a complaint post event, please click here click here and tell us about it.

Residents

Q: What do the Residence Passes get me?

A:  Resident Passes will give you access in to the staged areas so that you can enjoy The Big Weekend. Please note, however, that each staged area has a maximum capacity so access may be on a 1-in-1 out basis. If your guests would like to enjoy The Big Weekend they are welcome to buy a Pledge Band as their Guest Pass will not permit them into the staged areas.

Q: I have a guest staying with me. What do I do?

A:  We realise that residents may have guests visiting over the August Bank Holiday Weekend who will not be there to attend The Big Weekend. To ensure ease of access, we allocate a limited number of guest passes per residency. These are interchangeable passes specific to your address. Please ensure you collect these passes from your guests when they leave the event site so that you can pass them on to any new guests visiting your residence.

Q: What do I need to bring to collect my passes?

A:  Please note that you will be asked for proof of ID and occupancy (i.e: photo ID, a recent utility bill) and if applicable, proof of residency parking. If you have a parking space as part of your tenancy agreement (i.e. within your development) and think you might need to use your vehicle over the weekend, we are able to provide an alternative parking space within The University of Manchester's Gatehouse car park off Sackville Street.

Accessibility

Q: Is there a preferred gate for wheelchair access?

A:  We recommend accessing the Big Weekend event site from Gates 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6. The closest gate to Chorlton Street Car Park is Gate 5. Fees are payable at these car parks.

Q: Where are the Viewing Platforms located?

 A: The Accessible Viewing Platforms are located in the Main Stage Arena and Sackville Gardens. The Accessible Viewing Platforms have limited capacities and are provided on a first-come- first served bases. Once capacities are reached, access will be provided on a 1 in 1 out basis. As with all visitors, if there is a certain act or artist you would like to see, please arrive at least 2 hours before their performance time to avoid disappointment.

Q: Will there be BSL Interpreters on the stages?

A:  British Sign Language interpreters are present on the Main Stage and Sackville Gardens Stage throughout the event. They are usually located on the left of the stages.

Q: Where are the Accessible Toilets located?

A:  We provide a number of accessible toilets throughout The Big Weekend Event Site. These are located along Bloom Street opposite The Indoor Arena, Richmond Street next to The Girls Zone and in all the event arenas including The Main Stage area, Sackville Boutique Stage and The Dance Arena. Both Accessible Viewing Platforms have dedicated Accessible Toilet Facilities available and are staffed with stewards.

Where standard disabled toilets do not meet your needs, Manchester City Council provide Disabled Persons/Changing Places Toilets situated on Lloyd Street and one on the lower ground floor in Central Library, both 5-7 minutes from The Big Weekend Event Site.

Working at Manchester Pride

Q: How can I volunteer at The Big Weekend festival? 

A: Applications to be a Pride Star will be open soon. 

Q: Who does your security and how can I sign up?

A:  Our security is supplied by FGH Security. To find out more about them, and how to join, click here.

Q: How do I become a trader?

A:  There are places left in our Markets this year! To apply to take part click here

Live music

Q: Who's performing?

A: We offer a fantastic programme of live music at The Big Weekend, across all of our stages. These range from breakthrough artists, to international performers. Check out the Whats on page for running orders.

Q: How do I get to see specific acts?

A: We have strict capacities within each of the performance areas, so if you want to see a specific artist, please arrive early and make sure you are in the arena with ample time. The majority of people arrive at least 1 hour prior to the headliners performance time. Should we reach capacity, we operate a 1 in 1 out policy, the entrance/exit for this is located on Sackville Street and also on Bloom Street. The Dance Arena is extremely popular and often reaches capacity. Note that your Pledge Band gets you access to the event but does not guarantee that you can watch a particular act. 

Safety

Q: How do I keep safe?

A: Manchester is an amazing city, but remember it is a large place and as with any big cities, you need to ensure that you keep safe at all times. If you are travelling home or to a hotel in the evening, make sure you stay with friends or take a reputable cab back. There is a black cab rank located on Chorlton Street (next to the coach station) and also private hire stations around the perimeter of the event site. Don't leave your drink unattended. Take care of your belongings at all times or put them into a venue cloakroom. If you have an issue see one of the door staff at the venues, or one of the Manchester Pride security team, located on all entrance/exit gates.