Liverpool’s business community is being encouraged to support a new initiative to raise awareness of city’s LGBT communities and Liverpool Pride Festival 2016.

Organisers of Liverpool Pride Festival 2016 are inviting the city’s retail and commercial sectors to get behind Dress With Pride, an exciting new addition to the festival for 2016.

Dress With Pride will see customer facing organisations – such as shops, bars, restaurants, visitor attractions, hotels and offices – allow their employees to swap their usual uniforms and work attire to don colourful and creative costumes throughout the week of the Liverpool Pride Festival 2016.

Businesses taking part will be showing their support for Liverpool Pride Festival 2016; their LGBT staff and customers; the city; and the wider LGBT communities.

Liverpool Pride Festival 2016 offers a week-long programme starting on Saturday 23rd July. The festival culminates with a two-day event the following weekend (Saturday and Sunday, 30 and 31 July), which takes place in the St George’s Cultural Quarter, featuring the well-established Liverpool Pride March on the Saturday.

Liverpool Pride is now a key highlight in the city’s Summer events programme, attracting more than 25,000 people each year to attend, take part and support the annual LGBT festival.

Participating businesses and venues will be asked to invite customers and visitors to make a donation to help support the work of Liverpool Pride going forward – and to develop their own creative ways to encourage customers to dig deeper.

Staff members are encouraged to use Liverpool Icons – the theme of Liverpool Pride Festival 2016 – as their inspiration for their chosen outfit. Alternatively, they are invited to wear clothing in the colours of the global LGBT rainbow symbol to also show their support. Participants are also invited to make a small donation to take part.

Dress With Pride joins another new addition for Liverpool Pride Festival 2016. Come Out Of The Shadows is a new project and is supported by the Police Commissioner’s Fund as a Hate Crime initiative. The initiative is to encourage the city’s key organisations and buildings to light up their venues in the iconic rainbow colours throughout the week of Liverpool Pride (23 to 31 July) in a bid to make Liverpool the most visibly LGBT friendly city in the UK.

Michael Carey from Liverpool Pride explained: “Dress With Pride is a fun way to get the business community involved in the festival and celebrate all things LGBT, while also raising awareness and embracing the week-long event.

“This year’s theme of Liverpool Icons is already generating plenty of excitement, so we would love to see customer facing staff across the city become icons of their own businesses during the festival. The initiative will also provide a platform to help raise funds to support the Liverpool Pride Charity.

“Dress With Pride will fully complement our new Come Out Of The Shadows project to light up the city. Seeing them both come to fruition for Liverpool Pride 2016 will give the festival a huge boost.”

This year, the all new Liverpool Pride Festival 2016 will take a more prominent and visual position in the city, taking over St George’s Cultural Quarter including St George’s Hall, The Plateau, William Brown Street, and St John’s Gardens. The festival will be organised and delivered by Orb Events, the Liverpool-based company who created the very first Pride event in 2010.

As always, the festival coincides with the anniversary of murdered gay teenager Michael Causer, who tragically lost his life on 2 August 2008. The Liverpool Pride festival was specifically created in his memory as a way to celebrate his life and to empower the LGBT communities.

Liverpool Pride is keen to hear from public or private sector companies or organisations who would like to become involved in the 2016 festival. There are a number of ways to support Liverpool Pride, including partnership working, sponsorship and advertising.

To participate in Dress With Pride or Come Out Of The Shadows, or to find out more about the opportunities available, contact michael.carey@liverpoolpride.co.uk

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