Brighton Pride is, in my opinion, the best UK pride event. London should in all honesty be ashamed. Though London is getting better each year, there is still not that spark of something that Brighton has. Maybe it is all the good memories from the past.
Well actually my first Brighton pride, 15 years ago was a bit of a disaster, New to London, new to pride, I was determined to make a good impression. Using veet on my chest that morning however was not a great idea. From what I remember though, I still had fun.
There was then a massive gap of going for a number of years and it was only when I became friends with Jake and that group of friends that I started going again. As most of them used to live in Brighton, including Jake, the rest of us woudl travel down on a Friday and party through till Monay at one festival, club or house party or another.
Brighton Pride 2018 was the first one Jake and I have attended since we moved away from our old group of friends after we got together. New friends, new responsabilities and a new look on life, we were both a little nervous about what it woudl be like.
The train journey to Brighton on the morning of pride is usually a great laugh. Sitting on the floor, singing, dancing, whatever. Everyone is in good spirits. Our train this year though was unusually quiet. I have put it down to the fact that it was a Gatwick Expres train. We still had the customary drinks though limited it to a couple.
Walking through Brighton to teh hotel, you see just how the entire town gets involved in pride. It is a big celebration for everyone, including the gays.
The original plan was to not get occomodation and just go to a club and get the first train back. Realisng we, or more accurately me, are too old for that, we managed to find a room that sleeps three people in a good location and £350. https://www.westbournehotel.co.uk. The website lists affordable luxury and the bed was actually very conortable, when I finally got to it, but luxury….. I think we have different standards. It was very pleasant and for what we needed it for, I could not complain, but I would not want to stay more than a night or two.
Having a code for the front door and then a lock box on the room door for the key made things very easy though and helpful for multiple people in the same room. Again though, this does not screem luxury.
After dropping our stuff off at the hotel, we went to get our tickets for the festival and street party that evening. It was the shortest long queue I have ever been in. So few people in front of us but the inefficiency of the people behind the counter meant this took about 45 minutes.
Mind, we were not particularly efficient ourselves, by the time we got to the park for the festival after all the stops and drink stops, we had been in Brighton over 2 hours. We were having a lot of fun though.
I shoudl mention that our friend had brought along his housemate and her boyfriend. I believe it was their first pride and our first time meeting them. They fitted in very well though and it was great to meet them.
A lot of our time in the festival was spent sitting under a tree because it was so damn hot. We managed to meet up with my friend who I have known for years and her husband who is currently starting to live as a woman full time. This was the first time I had met her and it was fantastic to do so. Now Jake has met them both, I am looking forward to spending more time with them.
By this time everyone is having a great time and slightly pissed. We did have a dance in the dance tent but after about 6 hours in the park, we decided to leave. Britney Spears was the headlining act and that meant the park was going to get crazy. We didnt really have any interest in seeing her so bid our friends farewell and headed back to the hotel. It was quite a walk, though perfectly located for the street party.
After a quick shower and change, head down the street to the street party where we danced the night away till middnight. Dancing in the street, grabbing drinks from, again the most inefficient bartenders in the world, but having a ball along with everyone else.
We had been told the street party went throug the night. I didn’t fully believe this because of noise polution and licensing but was surprised when the music stopped…….and 10 minutes later I stopped dancing (music in hte head) and were not ready to head home.
All the clubs along the beach front had massive queues and though we were not ready for home, we were not hopeful of getting in. Then we found a late night pub that we walked straight into and the rest as they say, is history. Lets just say of the memories i do have in there, there was some very questionable dancing, lots of shots and pints.
After leaving the bar, the customary sit on the beach relaxing and as the sun came up, back to the hotel and pass out on the bed.
I actually slept very well, Jake not so much and the desire to get going was high so once we were all awake, we packed up and headed, very slowly to the train for the longest train journey home.
For me, this was actually one of the best Brighton Pride events I have been to.