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Nottingham Post
Nottingham Post
Caroline Barry

New Pride festival set to take place in Netherfield this month

Nottinghamshire is set to host a second Pride this summer with the launch of Netherfield's first ever LGBT+ Pride celebration. The vibrant event will take place across the town centre on Saturday, August 20 from 11am until late.

The event will see live music, performers, drag artists and spoken word poetry performers take to the stage. There will also be evening performances including comedy and food on offer, with a chance for the community to connect.

Organisers, Sofornia Events, says the free event has been organised 'by our community for our community' and that 'everyone is welcome' to join the party. The aim is to celebrate diversity within Netherfield and beyond. Throughout the event, there will be fundraising taking place for Micro Rainbow which is a charity that deals with safe housing for LGBT+ asylum seekers and refugees.

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Netherfield to host first pride celebrations (Nottingham Post)

The celebrations will start with stalls and a talk about Pride and the charity before welcoming drag acts, Hunter Gatherer, with live sets from Alice Lynn music. There will be a Pride bistro food night at the Corner Cafe and an LGBT+ coffee and cake at Connect in Netherfield. There are tickets on sale for a comedy evening which is also at Connect hosted by late-stage comedy.

Owner of Safronia Events, Harlee Rosanna, was part of a team that organised a festival in Netherfield. She joined forces with Netherfield Pride to create a new event.

"Our Netherfest event went really well and during the organisation of that, it was highlighted that there were quite a few of us that were LGBT+ and we realised that we all live here hidden away but we would have never connected otherwise. We really didn't feel there were many places to go in Netherfield that were inclusive or a safe space," she said.

"Sometimes we don't feel we can be openly gay in Netherfield like walking down the road holding hands for example. It felt like it wasn't the most open place. We wanted to just go for it and put on Netherfield's first Pride event and get people involved. "

The aim was also to connect Netherfield with some of the wider community support networks in Nottingham such as a Notts LGBT+ Network. This year marks the start of Pride moving into suburbs or smaller communities such as Mansfield or Hucknall.

"Although we are ten minutes from the city, there is still a bit of a gap from the suburbs to the wider network," Harlee highlighted. "This is the first thing of its kind outside of Nottingham but definitely a first for Netherfield."

This could go on to become an annual event as the committee is determined to make sure there are lots of events taking place that can cater to those further outside of the city who whom access can be an issue. There are also plenty of community members who cannot, or prefer not to, access the larger pride events.

Businesses such as banks, shops and cafes will be raising the flag and getting involved in the festivities. The team is also still looking for volunteers to get involved with the event.

"A lot of the comments we have had on social media have been really positive which have made us feel we are doing the right thing. We want to break isolation within the community. We've had very few negative comments but it cements the need for there to be something like this."

She added: "I grew up in a small village in Nottinghamshire, where anything to do with LGBT+ just wasn't visible so now, to be able to put something out there that might connect people in the community is incredible. Pride month is an incredible thing but being LGBT+ is not just a one-month thing, as it's who you are as a person."

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