Alexandra Burke, Pete Tong and Sigala also amongst line-up for The Big Weekend (24-27 August)
With summer fast approaching, Manchester Pride have announced the line-up for this year’s Big Weekend, which returns this August bank holiday weekend (24-27) with acts across three stages.
Rita Ora will be topping the bill on the Thomas Cook Airlines Stage; joined by Jake Shears, Sigala, Alexandra Burke, Lucy Spraggan, Guilty Pleasures, Sink The Pink, Nadine Coyle, Louise (Redknapp), Gok Wan, Bright Light Bright Light, Youngr, Kelli-Leigh, Angie Brown and Big Freedia.
Acts playing the Gaydio Dance Arena include TCTS, Ana Matronic, Jon Pleased Wimmin, Pete Tong, DJ Paulette, Jamie Bull, Kriss Herbert, Danny Howard, Darren (808 State) and Dave Pearce - while two of the original DJs from Studio 54, Nicky Siano and Jellybean Benitez, will recreate a night at the famous New York club.
Finally, over on the Sackville stage will be Proms In The Park, Heather Peace Presents and cult rave bingo night, Bongo’s Bingo, which has taken Manchester (and Europe) by storm with its chaotic combination of bonkers bingo, table dancing and offbeat prizes (3 cans of Foster's and a mobility scooter, anyone?)
As ever, The Big Weekend will be joined by the Parade (Saturday 25 August), the Candelit Vigil (Monday 27 August) and the Superbia Weekend (24-26 August) for the annual bank holiday bonanza.
Organised by Manchester Pride - a charity which campaigns for equality and empowers LGBT+ organisations - the four-day flagship event has raised over £1.3m for local LGBT+ causes and regularly draws tens of thousands of spectators from the UK and beyond.
Mark Fletcher, CEO at Manchester Pride, comments: “This year we’ve curated the most eclectic, yet musically credible, line-up The Big Weekend has ever seen.
"From international artists like Rita Ora and Jake Shears, to underground stars such as Big Freedia and TCTS, we feel that this is a selection of artists that only Manchester Pride could present. It’s going to be an incredible celebration.
“The line-up for the Gaydio Dance Arena is huge. Disco legends Nicky Siano and Jellybean Benitez are flying in especially to give us a taste of Studio 54. It’s not to be missed!”
Third release Big Weekend tickets are priced at £28 for the full weekend and £20 for day tickets (family and children's tickets also available). Tickets include access to the Main Arena, Sackville Gardens Boutique Stage, the Gaydio Dance Arena and the Expo - helping raise money for LGBT+ causes throughout Greater Manchester. More info at festival.manchesterpride.com.
Best known for hits Hot Right Now, RIP and How We Do, the British singer collaborated with Craig David, Tinchy Stryder and DJ Fresh before going it alone; with her namesake debut album charting at number one. Ora will be performing her aptly-named single Proud.
The former Scissor Sisters frontman is stepping out on his own for the first time in 2018 - his performance at The Big Weekend will be one of the American singer-songwriter’s first UK solo shows.
Debuting in 2015 with his chart-topper Easy Love, the English DJ, record producer and remixer has scooped six top 10 hits. Collaborations include Sigma, Ella Eyre, Imani Williams, DJ Fresh, Nile Rodgers, Craig David and Paloma Faith.
X Factor winner Burke made chart history as the first British female solo singer to score a million-selling single with Hallelujah. The BRIT and MOBO nominee has also played leading roles in West End shows Sister Act and The Bodyguard, and was a Strictly finalist. Her third album, The Truth Is, was released in March.
Another X Factor gradate, Spraggan will be performing at her tenth Big Weekend - having played every stage at the event throughout her musical career.
The Manchester-born DJ and record producer signed is signed to Chase & Status' record label MTA. Like Me, with Kelis & Sage The Gemini, was one of last summer’s success stories, maintaining its top spot on Radio 1’s dance charts for five weeks.
Jon Pleased Wimmin
Londoner Jon rose to club world fame in the club in the nineties. Best known for his flamboyant cross dressing and eclectic mixing skills, he was a regular fixture in DJ Magazine’s top 100 best DJ’s in the world, coming fifth in 1996.
Arguably one of the UK’s most popular DJs, and the voice of Radio 1’s prestigious dance programming, Tong has earned a reputation as the global ambassador of dance music over the last two decades.
Having taken Europe by storm, the cult bingo night has since hit Ibiza, Australia and Dubai. Expect the usual rave intervals, dance offs and quirky prizes with its Sackville Gardens takeover.