Every year, the Wellington Pride Festival holds 100+ diverse, community-led events in the greater Wellington region. With the festival taking over the capital city for two weeks from 13 – 27 March, this month we look at some of the major events planned, so you can mark your calendars!
In 2021, Wellington Pride will be holding its first official opening gala, He Tāngata — a grand celebration of the cross-section between queer and indigenous culture — blessing and beginning the festival.
Exploring ideas of gender and sexuality, He Tāngata is a visual spectacle which celebrates the diverse lives of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Saturday 13 March at The Opera House. Tickets from Moshtix.
THE PRIDE YOUTH BALL
Offering a safe, diverse alternative to school balls, all attendees are encouraged to come dressed however they feel most comfortable, with the people they want to bring.
This event encourages both youth (age 13-18) and their families to celebrate individuality and acceptance. Gender-affirming makeup and free transport are available to those who need it.
Saturday 20 March at Hunter Lounge, Victoria University. Tickets from Eventfinda.
The annual hīkoi (march) is a loud, proud and safe opportunity for our queer folk, whānau and friends to come together and walk into the opening of Out in the Park.
Organised and led by LGBTQIA+ rangatahi and allies, the march proceeds along the waterfront to the Michael Fowler Centre to kick off Out in the City.
This event is free and starts at 11am on Saturday 27 March.
OUT IN THE CITY
Out in the City (formerly known as Out in the Park) is New Zealand’s longest-running Pride celebration, starting in 1986 as the ‘Newtown Gay and Lesbian Fair’. It moves fully indoors for the first time this year, to the Michael Fowler Centre, with Festival organisers saying this is due to feedback around accessibility, as well as being an all-weather venue.
Renowned for its free, fun and family-friendly entertainment, it’s a chance for the queer community to come together and celebrate love, pride and diversity.
Featuring an array of stalls and displays from local queer artists and community groups, as well as a talented line-up of singers, drag performers, comedians, circus acts, kapa haka groups and more.
Saturday 27 March at the Michael Fowler Centre.
WELLINGTON INTERNATIONAL PRIDE PARADE (WIPP)
New Zealand’s biggest Pride Parade is completely free for rainbow community groups to enter this year, with a theme of Papatūānuku (Mother Earth), “Whatungarognaro te tangata, toitū te whenua” (As humanity disappears from sight the land remains).
Saturday 10 April – register your community group at wipp.nz.
While technically not part of Wellington Pride Festival this year, the Anthem Party, quickly established itself as a festival favourite when it served as the WIPP After Party last year. It returns as a post-WIPP celebration this year with two levels of party on offer.
Saturday 10 April at the Eva Beva.
For full programme details visit wellingtonpridefestival.com
Article | Richard Tait & Fraser Shaw.