South Shields venue Industry to host Pride event - thought to be South Tyneside's first

Organisers are preparing to host what is thought to be South Tyneside's first-ever Pride event.

Industry in Ocean Road is already home to the popular Rush party nights dedicated to gay women and their friends.

Now, founder and organiser Natalie Lascelles is hoping to expand on the venture she started back in November, by bringing a snapshot of the bright and colourful festival, to her home town.

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Previously, those wanting to take part in Pride events needed to head to Newcastle or Sunderland.

South Tyneside is set to host what is thought to be borough's first Pride event.

The event aims to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary and queer (LGBTQ+) .

By coming together to celebrate Pride, it also aims to show how far LGBTQ+ rights have come and how in some places there is still work to be done.

Natalie, 45, from South Shields, who came out as gay at the age of 24, said she had long held an ambition to bring the borough its own Pride event.

“I have wanted to do a Pride event for years but it never really felt like the right moment,” she said.

Founder and organiser of the Rush events Natalie Lascelles.

"People have been saying it for ages that there should be something for Pride in South Tyneside, so doing a smaller event dedicated to Pride, it'll give us a starting point for maybe something bigger next year.

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“It would be great to see a Pride celebration in South Shields.”

The event which will take place at Industry on May 14 is being backed by Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall, who owns the venue.

The singer said: “I'm honoured Natalie and Rush have chosen Industry to host their evening. We are big supporters of the LGBTQ+ community and I am personally passionate about creating more safe and accepting spaces in then town celebrating the community.

The event will take place at Industry.
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“I hope this is the first big night of many. I would love to see and work towards a South Tyneside Pride in the future.”

The night, open to all LGBTQ+ and their friends, starting at 7pm, will be hosted by drag queen Big Jan, and will feature current karaoke world champion and X-factor contestant Jenny Ball, female dancer Aurora Night with a glitter bar run by Hannah.

Miss Lascelles said: “I started the Rush events to create a safe place for gay women to come and meet others, make new friends and have a good night. It’s something for local women to come to rather than having to travel to Newcastle or Sunderland.

“The nights are really popular and we have had people travelling from as far away as Wales and London for past events. Hopefully, the Pride event, which is open to all, will be just as successful.

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“Things have come a long way since I first came out as gay and it is amazing we have the support of Jade who is a great ambassador for our community.”

A traffic light system will be in place for those wanting to make friends or maybe more. For those who are nervous about attending or may be attending their first gay night, there is an option for pre-event drinks in Arbeia bar, next to Industry, where event hosts will help people to mingle and make friends beforehand.

Tickets, priced £5, are on sale for the Rush does Pride event by contacting Natalie Lascelles on 07885788239.