by George Watkins
Pride Cymru, Wales’ largest celebration of equality and diversity, returned to Cardiff over the August Bank Holiday, being hailed as a great success. After initial uncertainty surrounding the policing of the event, it went on without a hitch, with a technicolour crowd descending on the capital for three days.
The City Hall Lawns held Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend, a mix of Pride and Cardiff’s Big Weekend, last held in 2011, seeing three days of live music and ‘extravagant entertainment’, attracting an estimated total crowd of over 200,000 to the city.
A key highlight for many was the march, which meandered through the city centre in a joyous celebration of noise and colour, brightening up the recent spells of disappointing weather. Niall, Social Secretary for Cardiff University Pride, related ‘how amazing it felt walking down the streets and seeing the large amounts of people lining the side walk during the march supporting us and cheering’, adding that ‘seeing all the society together again for such a good cause made it extra special’.
The music itself was typically wide-ranging, including everything from tribute acts of Queen and Whitney Houston, to Fun Lovin’ Criminals and Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon. The Cardiff-born artist regaled hits from famous divas, such as Beyonce and Britney Spears, whilst including some of her own numbers for good measure.
As it drew closer to the festival, security concerns had been raised, due to recent attacks in London, Manchester and across Europe, but the anxiety seemed unfounded, as it went on without issue. Cooper’s Field, the usual residence for the event, was in the process of being re-turfed after the Champions League final took place in the city in June, and organisers were worried about the new location, metres from the city centre.
Chairwoman Lu Thomas noted that it would have been “devastating”, had the event not taken place, describing the preparations as “touch and go”, but the worries of the organisers were resolved by a massive fundraising effort, drawing up funds of £360,000 from sponsorships, tickets and donations, enabling everything to run as smoothly as possible.