Visitors invited to get in the zone for North East's biggest Pride event

From left, John Lawson of MESMAC, Mark Nichols, Chair of Northern Pride  and Ste Dunn of Barclays.

From left, John Lawson of MESMAC, Mark Nichols, Chair of Northern Pride and Ste Dunn of Barclays.

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One of the UK’s leading LGBT events is getting ‘in the zone’ for its impending return.

Newcastle Pride, which annually attracts tens of thousands of visitors to the North East, is returning this summer with a whole host of music, entertainment and activities for all ages.

This year, along with live performances by acts including 5ive and Heather Small, the festival’s Main Stage weekend on Saturday, July 16, and Sunday, July 17, will also boast a variety of themed zones across Newcastle’s Town Moor.

This includes the Eazystreet Cabaret Tent, hosting a series of live performances, the Powerhouse Dance Tent, bringing a taste of the popular city nightspot to the Town Moor, and more than 80 market stalls offering everything from sports advice and souvenirs to fashion and rainbow flags.

There will also be a designated Family Zone, sponsored by Barclays, offering an alcohol and smoke-free area where visitors of all ages can relax and enjoy the afternoon.

Ste Dunn, strategic transformation leader in client and customer experience at Barclays, said: “Newcastle Pride is all about bringing the community together.

"We are delighted to be sponsoring the Family Zone this year and hope to see visitors of all ages having fun in this safe and tailored space.”

On Saturday only, Newcastle Pride will also play host to the Steve Paske Health Zone, sponsored by MESMAC North East, where festival-goers will be able to benefit from all kinds of health and wellbeing advice as well as a free STI screening service.

John Lawson of MESMAC North East, said: “This will be the seventh year that we have supported the Steve Paske Health Zone.

"It was inspired by Steve himself, who unfortunately lost his battle with HIV a few years ago, but whose commitment to health awareness still lives on at Newcastle Pride.

"It exists today to let members of the LGBTQ community know that health services are there for them.”

Newcastle Pride’s themed zones will be open at Newcastle Town Moor from 12.15pm until 8pm on the Saturday and 1.15pm to 8pm on the Sunday.

Live music will also be running across both days, including performances by 5ive, Tina Cousins and Jake Quickenden on the Saturday and Heather Small, Sonia and former Brother Beyond frontman Nathan Moor on the Sunday.

Mark Nichols, Chair of Northern Pride, which organises the annual event, said: “The themed entertainment zones are designed to cater for all our visitors and ensure there is something to suit every taste and age.

“While the Main Stage performances will undoubtedly be a major draw, these additional activities ensure there is plenty to keep people busy throughout the entire weekend.”

Entry to Northern Pride 2016 is free, although a limited number of Gold Circle and VIP tickets are available for those who want to guarantee prime viewing spots for the Main Stage.

These are priced from £12 per person and are on sale now at www.northern-pride.com/shop/tickets

Full listings for the festival can also be found at www.northern-pride.com or by searching northernprideuk on Facebook and Twitter.