Cardiff Mardi Gras, Cardiff Pride or Pride Cymru – whatever you call it, the 2014 incarnation has been and gone and the boys at SWGMC certainly celebrated the weekend in style! We captured some amazing moments on camera so come join us on a visual journey through our time at the biggest LGBT+ event that Cardiff – and indeed Wales – has to offer.
This is the 3rd year SWGMC have taken part in the Pride Cymru Parade through the streets of Cardiff. This year we kicked off the weekend on Churchill Way at a starting line bedecked with ballooned banners in all six colours of the Pride rainbow. Pride means many things to many people and the atmosphere was full of it that morning. As well as being an expression of how you feel about yourself, these days Pride is a bastion of hope, happiness and community in a world often too full of hate. SWGMC are proud that Cardiff has its own parade and we love being part of the huge trek through Queen Street and beyond!
We assembled at 11.30am all dressed up in pride and pink and ready to march our way through town. Plenty of sunshine and rainbow flags greeted us from up and down the high street as the shops got thoroughly involved in the spirit of the day. The fellow marchers brought a loud and proud festival of sound and the drummers had the parade and the crowd dancing along to the rainbow beat, although some of the boys were too busy following a certain mascot – a Nando’s cockerel! You can imagine the captions on those photos (!).
Walking through the streets of Cardiff alongside us were the usual Pride participants, drag queens and the Eagle crew among them, but also delegations from companies including Asda and Nando’s, troupes of incredible street dancers and musicians, some amazing fancy dress costumes and a whole host of fantastic organisations like THT, Stonewall Cymru and LGCM, all walking in pride with families, friends and the like.
A fabulous and happy time was had by all and we think the below picture sums it up wonderfully!
— Andrew White (@AndrewGwyn) August 16, 2014
© Twitter – Andrew Gwyn – Stonewall
As the parade drew to a close some of our boys went for a food stop, while others dashed for a selfie with the MINION (“it’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!”)!
With the first half of the day now over and the great response from the crowd still ringing in our ears we were primed and ready to sing out for the crowds of Cooper’s Field. Before we took to the Cabaret Stage for our main event we visited some of the stalls and shopped around the pride goods area, which included checking out the new sports area in the middle of the field, the Gaydar silent disco tent and even new stall additions such as the Cardiff Gay Men’s Book Club (where our very own Rev. John Webber was getting thoroughly involved!).
With a few drinks for ‘dutch courage’ under our belts we were ready to perform at our best, and our wonderful conductress Vicky Guise and supremely talented Pianist Christopher Fossey led us in a rousing show which the crowd seemed to enjoy! Hopefully we’ll have inspired some of them to join as well!
The end of our set drew the chorus’ day at Cooper’s Field to a close, but the boys weren’t done yet and we all continued to enjoy a great Pride with our friends and families, including some cracking late-night dancing with some of the other acts including the wonderful La Voix (the ladies loved her!).
As Saturday ended and the people of Cardiff crawled into bed, the boys of the SWGMC – being the professionals that we are – were all very reserved and weren’t in any danger of facing Sunday with a hangover (!). Even so, it was lucky we weren’t due to sing until late on Sunday evening, so by the time we’d nursed our sore heads (ahem) and enjoyed a long lie-in we donned our glad rags once again in preparation for singing at the Kings for a mini Stonewall Cymru Fundraiser, singing in the line-up alongside the fabulous La Voix and a host of other talented performers.
It was something of a tight space inside the Kings following a last minute stage switch (it decided to rain on our parade minutes before we were due to sing outside. – classic Welsh weather at its finest) but we didn’t let that dampen out spirits and to our delight the audience were amazing. We sang for the crowds as volunteers shook their buckets and raised money for Stonewall Cymru, and after our performance and a few more drinks we left the Kings and bid adieu to a great Pride Weekend!
Onwards and upwards, we now enter our next season of 2014 and are busy preparing for our Halloween Spectacular – “A Nightmare on Keppoch Street!” We hope to see you all there!