Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays to sponsor Manchester Pride Festival

Today, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays have announced a three year partnership to be headline sponsor of the UK’s largest Pride celebration, Manchester Pride Festival.

Manchester Pride is a charity that campaigns for equality; celebrates LGBTQ+ life and creates opportunities that engage LGBTQ+ people so that they can thrive.  Every penny it raises is ploughed back into the communities it supports and is dedicated to promoting and raising awareness for LGBTQ+ issues and the fight for equality across the city.

Manchester Pride Festival is the charity’s flagship event that takes over the city every year over the August bank holiday weekend in celebration of LGBTQ+ life.  The event which last year brought artists including Arianda Grande, Years and Years, Kim Petras and Cheryl Cole to the UK city is made up of a programme of events for LGBTQ+ people.

Set to run from Friday 28th August to Monday 31st August, Manchester Pride Festival 2020 will be made up of Manchester Pride Parade, Manchester Pride Live, the Candlelit Vigil, the Superbia Weekend, the Gay Village Party, and Youth Pride MCR. 

Flying customers from Manchester Airport to destinations as far flung as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, Barbados, Atlanta and Orlando, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays have long been committed to supporting LGBTQ+ people and fighting for diversity and inclusion around the globe with the aim of becoming the most inclusive brand in travel.


Not afraid to be bold, the brands have worked tirelessly to drive change including fighting for diversity in the Caribbean by working with local governments, tourist bodies and hoteliers, using same sex couples in an advertising campaign in India after the country decriminalised homosexuality in 2018 as well as raising awareness through the world famous Pride Flight commemorating the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. 

Mark Fletcher, chief executive for Manchester Pride, said; “I am honoured to be partnering with an organisation that is so committed to placing diversity and equality at the heart of everything it does.  When brands like Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays are able to carry a message across the globe in support of LGBTQ+ people it is extremely powerful and I am confident that we will work together over the next three years to drive real change both here in Manchester and throughout the world.”

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic commented; “Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays have long been staunch supporters of LGBTQ+ rights and we strongly believe in making our business as inclusive and welcoming as possible. We are absolutely thrilled to be the headline sponsor of the Manchester Pride Festival, at our home in the North. I am really looking forward to working with Mark and his team to use the influential power of our brand, our international footprint and our incredible people to fight for change across the world.”


“As part of our growth strategy, Manchester is a major focus for us and with recent additional services to Orlando, Barbados and Las Vegas, we’re delighted to offer customers more choice than ever before. As Flybe joins the Virgin family and transforms to Virgin Connect this year, we’re excited to offer customers flying from the north 47 daily flights throughout the UK, Ireland and across Europe.”

Tickets to Manchester Pride Festival are available now.  Rainbow passes start at £35 for a day pass and £65 for the whole weekend. A rainbow pass entitles festival goers to access to two days at Manchester Pride Live and four days at the Gay Village Party over the bank holiday weekend.

To find out more about Manchester Pride follow the charity on Twitter @manchesterpride or visit the website at

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