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The Sparkle Weekend
Friday 8th - Sunday 10th July 2022


Following a two-year sabbatical due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Sparkle Weekend, the largest event of its kind in the world, returns in 2022 to celebrate gender diversity with thousands of our trans, non-binary, intersex and gender expansive community members, and their families and friends. 

A packed two days of entertainment, talks, workshops, and much more besides, the Sparkle Weekend is a safe, welcoming, and accepting space where gender diverse communities and our allies are free to celebrate our individual differences, and, in many cases, renew existing friendships and make new ones.

Enjoy performances by trans artists and musicians, a selection of entertainment from community allies, engage with advice, education, and grassroots community organisations, and support trans and queer-owned businesses. 

*THE SPARKLE WEEKEND REMAINS FREE-TO-ATTEND FOR EVERYONE, REGARDLESS OF BACKGROUND OR ABILITY, THANKS TO OUR KIND SPONSORS, CORPORATE PARTNERS, AND CASH DONATIONS FROM OUR VISITORS AND THE WIDER LGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY *

 
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The Main Stage

Our headliners are still hush hush! but there are plenty of exciting performers and artists already confirmed for the Sparkle Weekend.

As we welcome Sparkle Weekend back to Sackville Gardens; We have our usual great mix of Live Music, Community Hosts, Special Guest Headliners, Singer Songwriters, Acoustic Sessions, Comedy acts and many more.

BRAND NEW stage slots with Live Bingo plus Family Entertainment including Drag Queen Storytime and Family Sing Alongs on throughout the daytime.

Our evening sessions include a Comedy Show, Community Favourites and Live DJ sets as they battle for the 'Glow Disco Champion' a silent disco heading up the Saturday Night Stage.

With something new and exciting for everyone to enjoy and staying open just that little bit later!

Nestled alongside the stage are our fantastic bar serving a selection of alcohol, soft drinks and our festival food partners providing Tasty, Hot and Cold food with Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten Free options. Something for Everyone to enjoy whilst parting the weekend away!

 
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The Sparkle Ball returns to the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel for 2022. 

Join us from on Saturday 9th July from 7pm in the opulent International Suite for a welcome drinks reception, followed by a full evening of entertainment, laughter, and dancing, a delicious three-course meal*, and a chance to catch up with old friends – and maybe make new ones? 

Entertainment including our Special Guest Hosts, Music and Comedy taking you right through the night.

Our Dress Code as always is 'Dress to impress' and our dedicated touch up team partners will be on hand for last minute Makeup, Hair and Styling so everyone can feel their very best on the night!

Our evening will be finished off with our bonanza fundraising raffle and all of our attendees will leave the event with a fantastic Goodie Bag!

*Vegetarian and Vegan options will be available. Please contact us if you have any special dietary restrictions and we’ll do our very best to cater to those. 

This event is wheelchair accessible. If you have any further accessibility requirements, please contact us at info@sparkle.org.uk

Tickets Now Available at £49.50 (plus booking fee). 

 
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The Youth & Family Zone

Research has shown that trans and gender non-conforming children can flourish with the right support.

This is why the Family Zone, delivered in partnership with other community organisations, is such an important part of the Sparkle Weekend.

It’s not only a safe and supportive space within the event where young trans people can be themselves without being judged or bullied, it’s also at the heart of the Sparkle Weekend – where they can connect with visible trans role models, and discover that you can live a full, exciting and happy life regardless, not in spite, of their gender identity. 

Parents and carers of young trans people will also be able to access invaluable advice and information in order to nurture and encourage their young people, and there will be professionals on hand experienced in supporting gender variant children in care and in school. 

We have a vibrant and fun focused weekend jam packed with face painters, outdoor games, bouncy castle, indoor craft tables plus our Drama and Dance Party with a fabulous Picnic on Sunday.

This year we also hope to bring together Trans and Gender Variant parents for a meet and greet session on the Sunday, offering a unique gathering of Lived Experience, whilst our children play and make lifelong friends.

Trans and gender non-conforming children are part of our future. Every trans person was a trans child once – so let’s make the path for them happier, healthier and safer. 

 
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The Wellbeing and Community Zone

Sometimes we need to take a break from the party.

The Sparkle Wellbeing and Community Zone this year will offer a calming space within the vibrant Sparkle Weekend, providing space to come together as a community to share our experiences, learn from each other and to tap into our sense of wellbeing.

There will be 2 days of open sessions where you can hear from trans artists, musicians, poets and authors, whilst also receiving advice on exercising and nutrition, safe binding techniques or participating in panel discussions.

We hope to welcome sessions from community organisations to give a platform for their services, history and futures as we come out of the pandemic if your organisation would like to get involved please email us info@sparkle.org.uk.

There will be updates from our main stage team throughout the day keeping you up to date on the forthcoming sessions in the zone so join us in the Sparkle Wellbeing Zone every day from 1pm-5pm

 
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The Dry Space Cafe

After the 2019 event we sent out our Feedback Forms, to shape the future of our events.

We noticed a real need for a alcohol free zone within the Sparkle Weekend and as such we have worked in collaboration with a number of community organisations to bring together a fantastic dry space, offering a cafe, chat and promoting positive mental health.

So join us whilst we share some Positivi-Tea!

There will be a range of Soft Drinks, Tea, Coffee and Sweet Treats available in this space along with volunteers on hand to chat, provide support; including Manchester Parents Group who will be on hand with their "Hug a Mum Campaign" for anyone feeling isolated or alone who may want to have a chat or get a fantastic mum hug!

We hope this new addition will meet the needs of a wider range of community members and will allow families and friends to come together in this space.

Our entire event is a DRUG FREE zone, as we welcome families and those in recovery, although alcohol is available onsite there will be no admittance of alcohol in our Dry Space.

 
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Accessibility 

The Sparkle Weekend aims to be as accessible as possible for all our attendees, we have spent time speaking to a handful of people with varying disabilities about their experiences of previous events and how we can be more welcoming in our 2022 event.

Our volunteers and security staff have a range of training available to them in the run up to the event, and each morning before the event opens.

We have a range of accessibility features across the weekend including BSL Signers, Seated Raised Viewing Platform and a separate Seated Level Access Area in front of the Main Stage, Level access to all areas including the Wellbeing Zone, Market Zone, Food and Drink Zone, Youth Zone and Dry Space. 

We have booked a number of disabled toilets and are in the final stages of booking a changing places facility within our event space offering a better level of accessibility to guest with complex access needs.

As we are situated in a public park; There is Mixed Terrain within the Park such as Concrete, Tarmac, Soil, Woodchip and Grass, every effort will be made to ensure the site is fully accessible, however extreme weather may be beyond our control.

We have increased our number of portable ramps for easier access and introduced both Adult and Child Ear Defenders for our guest with sensory needs.

We welcome performers across all abilites and we have our stage booked with step free access and our handrails will be non slip, assistance to access the stage will be on hand for all performers.

The LGBT Foundation will be partnering with Sparkle to offer a dedicated changing area for our guests, these facilities include an accessible toilet.

Assistance and Service Dogs including those in training are welcome throughout the Sparkle Weekend. Please note however that pet dogs are also in attendance at this event and may not have perfect manners.

Water bowls and shaded areas will be available for your canine companions in the Main Stage Area, Wellbeing Zone and Dry Space Cafe, you might even find our friendly volunteers have dog treats too!

 
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Local Event Listings

As we get closer to the Sparkle Weekend we will be opening our Local Event Listings with events across across in Manchester's Gay Village and Beyond. Giving you the greatest choice of local venues possible this Sparkle Weekend!

If you are a local venue who want to list here? Pop us an email on info@sparkle.org.uk and we'll be in touch very soon.

 
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Would you like to Get Involved?

We have dozens of ways for your to get involved in Sparkle Weekend.

Wether you are a young person looking for a volunteering opportunity, an individual with a talent for our Main Stage or are a small business looking to take part in our Marketplace or Cater for our festival goers in our Foodcourt

We also take enquiries from Corporate Sponsors looking to reach out 

So why not fill out our form below and we'll hook you up with the right team member to help you!

Thanks for applying! We’ll be in touch soon.

 
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"I have always attended Pride Events across the country, but this was my 1st time at a Sparkle Weekend. The Love is thick in the air, this is inspirational"

Kayla, Shropshire.