Birmingham Pride Accessibility Policy: 2021
Birmingham Pride has been one of the biggest and most vibrant Prides in the UK since 1997 with 1000’s of participants taking part in the Parade in 2019. Birmingham Pride is committing to inclusivity and access, with the aim of achieving a ‘gold standard’ of accessibility according to Attitude is Everything’s Charter of Best Practice by 2022.
This year we are offering an accessible parade route in addition to the regular route.
Groups can meet at the lower level of Victoria Square (avoiding the steep steps and ramp) near to the Queen Victoria statue and facing New Street. A volunteer with a high flag will mark the meet point. The flag will have the wheelchair disability symbol on top of the progress pride flag. Volunteers will guide you to the correct spot and gather your sign in sheets.
The accessible parade will take a shorter route, cutting through the main concourse of Grand Central Station. This route will be pedestrian only (not including scooters or motorised wheelchairs), loudspeakers or noisemakers such as whistles are banned. Personal music players i.e. phone or bluetooth speakers are permitted, and we also expect the crowd to greet you loudly, so please prepare for some level of noise.
There are changing place toilets near Victoria Square. We would recommend using them before the parade starts as it is difficult to leave and rejoin.
Watching The Parade
The location of our route makes having a raised viewing area very difficult. For this reason we will have cameras following the parade route and these will be broadcast live online @birminghampride21 on Instagram.
Those with access needs will receive a unicorn wristband. The unicorn motif is to mirror the sunflower lanyard, which allows those with invisible disabilities to be seen as needing additional assistance. It is Birmingham Pride’s vision that those with invisible disabilities will be able to enjoy the festival as much as anyone else.
Access wristbands can be obtained with your normal ticket purchase on our website or from a Pride kiosk during the festival. This will give you and 1 friend access to the express entrance to the festival, disabled viewing area for the Main Stage and VIP area for the Cabaret Stage. The disabled viewing area is a raised platform with direct views of the main stage and the BSL interpreter for this stage. It has seating, plug sockets for power chairs and other equipment, plus water for service animals. There are a number of disabled toilets next to the platform.
When buying tickets online you will be asked to tick the box that states you have access needs. Your email will be logged and this will be kept on file at the express entrance kiosk. You can then state your name and email when you get to Pride and pick up your wristband.
If you require a carer’s ticket please contact firstname.lastname@example.org . The additional carer’s ticket is free, so we therefore require proof of disability. This can be a digital image on your phone, so you will not need to bring paperwork to Pride.
Please provide proof of purchase of disability equipment such as mobility aids, sunflower lanyards or radar keys, or use/wear these on the day.
You can also provide a diagnosis letter or a letter for medical investigation if you are undiagnosed.
Proof of disability benefits (or proof you are in the application stage) would be suitable. Scans of a blue badge (back side)
If you have already purchased tickets and need them amended please email email@example.com
The main stage is now located at the Smithfield’s site, the former indoor markets. The entrance will be on Pershore St, near to the Arcadian Car Park. Postcode – B5 6ND .
The Accessible Entrance is next to the main entrance and volunteers in pink hi-vis jackets will be available to lead the way. The raised platform is near the main stage which is in a direct line from the accessible entrance.
The Parade finishes on Hurst Street, where the general ticket kiosks will be. To get to the accessible/VIP entrance you can go through or around the Arcadian. The Arcadian has ramp access on the side, or you can go through the Hurst Walk rainbow crossing and use the car park lift to get to the lower ground level. The accessible entrance is also next to the Gay Village so you will be able to go there without queuing.
There will be a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter on the main stage and cabaret stage.
Moving the music festival should make moving around the pedestrianised Gay Village a lot easier. We are also happy to announce the return of the Village Green on Hurst Street itself. This will have seating, a slightly raised stage with acoustic, local performers accompanied by a BSL interpreter. This is our quieter and family friendly zone for Pride 2021. There is also the future stage which is in the Nightingale Club this year, a fully accessible venue, and there will be quieter green zones clearly marked at the Smithfield’s site as well.
There will be a mobiloo changing places toilet at the Gay Village site. This is so pride goers on any ticket band can access it. On Friday this will be in the Smithfield location as that is the main site for the community day.
Dogs are welcome during the parade and throughout the festival. Water bowls and shaded areas will be available in the disabled viewing area and at the Community green area.
Live Streaming and Videos
We understand that not everyone will be ready to get out and about by September so hope they can feel included via online technology which has become so vital since 2020.
Videos will therefore be recorded and released after the festival with captions and audio descriptions available. The Parade will also be live-streamed. This will all be available @Birminghampride21 on Instagram.
Travel Guide and Map
The Arcadian car park is the recommended car park for Pride goers and often does deals for those with Pride tickets.It has 11 disabled spaces on the ground floor.
The Mailbox car park is situated close to Victoria Square, within walking distance of the Gay Village and has 16 disabled spaces.
The normal tariff applies to Blue Badge users in both of these car parks.
The Town Hall car park (otherwise known as the red cage), is close to Victoria square and within walking distance of the Gay village. It has 6 disabled spaces and is free for blue badge users.
The following link shows all the on-street blue badge parking bays in Birmingham city centre.https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/directory/21/blue_badge_designated_parking_bays/category /141
We recommend using Bennetts Hill, Colmore Row, Hill Street, Margaret Street, Pinfold Street, Severn Street, Swallow Street, Temple Road West or Waterloo Street for Parade Parking.
John Bright Street (behind the Alexandra Theatre) is close to both the parade start and the Gay Village.
Moat Lane is next to the Smithfield’s Site but not adjacent to the accessible entrance.
Most of the streets have limited BlueBadge bays but a greater number of pay and display bays, which are free for Blue Badge users (witn no time limits).
The Hurst Street bays will be cordoned off during Pride.
Also be aware that Birmingham City Centre now operates a clean air zone so certain high emission vehicles may be subject to an £8 charge. Vehicles with a disabled tax class are exempt.
This information is correct to the best of our knowledge, but there may be last minute changes and road closures, and some bays may be occupied as outdoor seating due to Covid.
Birmingham City Centre is served by numerous buses coming in from all over the West Midlands.
Victoria Square is easiest to reach via the following bus services;
9, 10, 12 & 12A, 13 &13A, 23, 24, 25, X8, and X10.
The Pride Sites are easiest to access via the following bus services;
16 & 16A, 17, 25, 34, 35, 45, 47, 50, 61, 63, 80A, 144, 150, X1 and X2.
Each bus has ramp access and priority seating. Mobility scooter users require a pass to ride. Ring and Ride
The Birmingham Ring and Ride service operates Monday to Friday 8.00am to 5.30pm and Saturday between 8.30am and 3.30pm. There is no Sunday service. You can register for the service following this link.
The Parade and Pride Sites can all be accessed via Birmingham New Street, Birmingham’s central Train Station.
The Pride Sites are also accessible from Birmingham Moor Street Station and Victoria Square can be accessed via Birmingham Snow Hill.
These recommendations are all approximate 10 minute walks, except Moor Street which is 15 minutes away.
The Town Hall stop is next to Victoria Square where the Parade Starts.
The next stop by Grand Central is the closest to the Pride Site at an approximately 10 minute walk.
Each Tram has 2 disabled priority bays. Mobility scooter users require a pass to ride. RNIB Key Fobs
Public Transport users with visual impairments can request an RNIB key fob which gives them real time audio information of their location via a phone app. The fobs are enabled on the majority of public transport in Birmingham and the West Midlands.
There are a great number of hotel rooms and apartments in Birmingham City Centre.
The closest to the action is the Ibis Birmingham New Street which has 2 accessible rooms, and is a literal stone’s throw from the Gay Village.
However, Pride can be a noisy affair and tends to go on well into the evening, so if a good night’s sleep is more important than being walking distance from the action we’d recommend staying in other areas of Birmingham city centre or a surrounding suburb.
As well as the site map and full access guide, we are producing a video guide to the Festival Site which will be ready for this year’s festival. We will follow a small group with different access needs around the Gay Village and beyond complete with audio description of the journey and closed Captions.
We know that one of the biggest barriers to celebrating Pride is finance, especially in the current economic client and in times when LGBTQ+ people face harsh economic discrimination. This is why we are providing cheaper street party tickets and complementary carers tickets.
This year a ‘Free community pride’ event will be held on Friday the 24th September. Free tickets can be claimed via the Birmingham Pride website.
Disability Equality Training (DIT) is available for Birmingham Pride volunteers and security staff and this includes an online version. We will also have a short guide for security staff on the day explaining the unicorn wristbands and they will be given the complete accessible festival map to signpost disabled Pride-goers to the right place.
Last Updated 12/05/2021
Policy created by Naomi Rowe (she/they)
On our map and Venues page we will state the level of accessibility for each venue. This includes fully accessible, partially accessible or inaccessible venues. A fully accessible venue has step free entry and access to all areas as well as accessible toilets.
A partially accessible venue has step free access as a minimum although most also have accessible toilets.
These venues will also be shown on our Festival Map which you will be given on the day.
We are not doing full paper programmes this year, but a ‘Pride Guide’ document will be available on the day in large print. All our online information should be suitable for e-readers and similar software. Please get in touch if this is not the case.