The Big Weekend Accessibility Information

The team at Manchester Pride think it important that everyone who attends The Big Weekend can enjoy the event. As such we have put together information to help you plan and prepare for your visit to The Big Weekend. 

Statement of Intent

This access statement does not contain personal opinion as to our suitability for those with disabilities, but aims to accurately describe the facilities and services that we offer all visitors to The Big Weekend.

The Big Weekend

Manchester Pride is the charity that delivers the award winning, flagship LGBT event, The Big Weekend. The Big Weekend takes place in Manchester's Gay Village, a district within Manchester City Centre. As The Big Weekend is an urban event, Manchester Pride makes temporary, reasonable adjustments to the area to provide access to the event site and staged event areas. 

Manchester Pride is aware of the limitations and restrictions of making the event site fully accessible due to the nature of the location of the event and provides alternative access where access is restricted. 

Getting to Manchester and The Big Weekend

Manchester enjoys first-class transport links, making it easy to get to the city, The Big Weekend and for exploring Greater Manchester. 

For travel information to get to Manchester please visit here.

For travel around Manchester once you arrive in our fabulous city, there are a number of transport networks to choose from:


Manchester's light tramway system runs a fast and frequent service and is ideal for getting to The Big Weekend. As a supporter, Metrolink offers free tram travel throughout the city zone for Big Weekend Pledge Band wearers. The metro link is fully accessible with step-free platforms. The nearest Metroink stops to The Big Weekend event site are Manchester Piccadilly (approx. 5 minutes away) and Manchester Piccadilly Gardens (approx . 5 minutes away). You can visit the Metrolink website here.

Free Metroshuttle

Getting in and around the city centre is easy and free with Metroshuttle. The shuttle buses pick up outside Piccadilly Railway Station and travel to key areas including Oxford Road, Deansgate, Portland Street and Spinningfields. The Metroshuttle is fully accessible with step-free access to pavements. You can download the Metroshuttle routes and timetable here.

Bus Network

Greater Manchester has an extensive bus network. The nearest bus stop to The Big Weekend event site is located on Portland Street just outside Café Nero or on the opposite of the street next door to Yates bar. To help you plan your journey please visit here.


Manchester City Council offers over 15,000 secure parking spaces as well as on-street parking. There are a number of accessible car parking facilities around The Big Weekend Event Site. NCP offers discounted parking over The Big Weekend for our visitors. The nearest accessible NCP Car Park is directly outside the event site on Major Street. For more information about Major Street NCP Car Park and other NCP car parks please visit here.

The Big Weekend Site Map


Purchasing a ticket in advance of The Big Weekend

You can purchase a ticket to The Big Weekend in advance of the event via our ticketing agent, Ticket Master. This can be done online here or by calling Ticket Master on 0844 453 9040.

Carer/Personal Assistant Tickets

We offer a complimentary Carer/Personal Assistant ticket for anyone who is registered disabled and requires assistance whilst at The Big Weekend. We kindly ask that you purchase your own ticket first, either online or over the telephone and then contact Ticket Master's Accessible Ticketing Team on 0800 988 4440 to request your complimentary Carer/Personal Assistant Ticket. Carer/Personal Assistant Tickets are limited to 1 per applicant. Conditions apply and proof of disability and/or need for an assistant may be required. 

When you arrive at The Big Weekend

Purchasing a ticket when you arrive

If you need to purchase a ticket when you arrive at The Big Weekend, please make your way to any one of the Box Office/Pledgeband Exchange Points located around the periphery of the event site. We accept card/electronic payments at all Box Office/Pledgeband Exchange Points. We accept cash and card/electronic payments at the Box Office/Pledge Band Exchange Points located at Gate 6. Each of the Box Office/Pledge Band Exchange Points will give priority to wheelchair visitors or those unable to stand for long periods of time. Once you arrive at one of the Box Office/Pledge Band Exchange Points please speak to a member of the Security Team who will happily help if you require assistance. Complimentary Carer/Personal Assistant Tickets can also be requested at any of the Box Office/Pledgeband Exchange Points when purchasing your own ticket. 

Exchanging your ticket for a Pledge Band

If you have already purchased your ticket and have had it delivered by email or post, please remember to bring this with you. You will need to exchange your ticket at any of the Box Office/Pledge Band Exchange Points located around the periphery of the event site. The Box Office/Pledge Band Exchange Points are open from 12:00pm on Friday 28 August until Midnight and then from 10:00am until Midnight on Saturday and Sunday. There is a dedicated 24hrs Box Office/Pledge Band Exchange Point located at Gate 6 which opens from 12:00pm on Friday 28 August through until 8:00pm on Monday 28 August 2017. All Box Office/Pledge Band Exchange Points are accessible. Please speak to a member of the Security Team located at the Box Office/Pledge Band Exchange Point who will happily help if you require assistance.  

Recommended gates for access

There are 9 gates around The Big Weekend Event Site, however certain gates do get busier than others due to their location. As the event site has temporary fencing around its periphery, some gates may have restricted access to pavements, however as Road Closures are in place, the highways are clear of vehicles and provide more room to access the event. 

We recommend accessing The Big Weekend site using Gates 1, 4, 5 and 6. The closest gates to accessible car parks are Gates 4, 5 and 6 on the site plan above. Please note that gates do get busy at peak times (usually from 2:00pm onwards) and especially following The Parade on the Saturday of The Big Weekend. 

Gate 1 - Sackville Street from Whitworth Street

Gate 4 - Bloom Street from Minshull Street

Gate 5 - Chorlton Street from Major Street or Portland Street 

Gate 6 - Sackville Street from Portland Street

Safe Curb Ramps

As The Big Weekend takes place in a district within Manchester City Centre, we provide a number of temporary safe curb ramps to compliment the permanent drop curbs that already exist around The Gay Village. The safe curb ramps are strategically positioned at access and egress points of performance areas and key points around the Event Site to enable access where access is otherwise restricted or limited. 

Please be advised that as the event takes place outdoors in a city centre district the terrain may be uneven and become wet due to adverse weather. Where possible we reduce the impact of uneven surfaces with temporary ramp structures. 

The majority of terrain is hard-standing pathways and roadways that already exist. Please be mindful that Sackville Gardens does have grassed areas as well as hard-standing pathways. The grassed areas may be unsuitable for wheelchairs if the terrain becomes wet. 

Accessible Viewing Platforms 

There are Accessible Viewing Platforms in The Main Stage Arena and Sackville Gardens Boutique Stage. Priority access to these areas are given to visitors in wheelchairs as the platform provides elevated views of the Main Stage over the crowds. 

The Accessible Viewing Platforms have limited capacities and are provided on a first-come-first-served bases. Once capacities are reached, access will be provided on a 1 in 1 out basis. Please note, you may have to queue if we operate a 1 in 1 out policy, due to capacity being reached. 

As with all visitors, we advise that if there is a certain act or artist you would like to see, please arrive at least 2 hours before their performance time to avoid disappointment. 

During Headline Performances, once the Main Stage Arena is full, visitors will be directed to the alternative Accessible Viewing Platform located in Sackville Gardens where the Main Stage Headline artists will be streamed live on to screens. 

Please be mindful that there may be queues to access The Main Stage Arena and Saville Gardens Boutique Stage. Whilst there are dedicated access points to the Accessible Viewing Platforms, the streets around the periphery of these access points do get busy with visitors attending the event. Please leave plenty of time to get to the staged areas. 

Accessible Viewing Platform in The Main Stage Arena 

Accessible Viewing Platform at Sackville Boutique Stage

Accessible Toilet Facilities

We provide a number of accessible toilets throughout The Big Weekend Event Site. These are located on Bloom Street opposite The Indoor Arena, Richmond Street next to The Girls Zone and in all the event arenas including The Main Stage area, Sackville Boutique Stage and The Dance Arena. Both Accessible Viewing Platforms have dedicated Accessible Toilet Facilities available and are staffed with stewards. 

Offsite Disabled Persons/Changing Places Toilets

Where standard disabled toilets do not meet your needs, Manchester City Council provide Disabled Persons/Changing Places Toilets situated on Lloyd Street and one on the lower ground floor in Central Library, both 5-7 minutes from The Big Weekend Event Site. For more information about Changing Places Facilities please visit Manchester City Council's website here.

For Those Who Prefer a Quieter Festival Experience

For those who require or enjoy a more tranquil setting, away from the hustle and bustle of The Main Arena, The Sackville Garden’s Boutique Stage, located in Sackville Gardens, offers a little oasis in the midst of the celebrations. The vibe is more chilled, the music more melodic and when the sun is shining the gardens make the perfect space to kick back, relax and enjoy the performances. 

The Sackville Gardens Boutique Stage provides a quieter space for those who need it, plenty of room for people to bring picnic blankets to laze on the grass, and during the day the stage lighting is softer and music not uncomfortably loud.   

Over at The Superbia Weekend, located at 70 Oxford Street, there are quiet spaces where visitors can enjoy a dry space, free from alcohol with activities for families, young people and those who would like to take in some cabaret, panel discussions and various workshops. The full Superbia Weekend programme will be available closer to The Big Weekend.

British Sign Language Interpreters

British Sign Language Interpreters are present on the Main Stage and Sackville Gardens throughout The Big Weekend. They are located stage right (on the left as you look at the stage). 

Whilst we don't have a dedicated area in front of the stage due to available space, we recommend positioning yourself house left (Left hand-side as you are looking at the stage) to enjoy the performances.  

Medical & Welfare Services

St John's Ambulance along with North West Ambulance Service provide medical and welfare services at the event. They are located in Boulton House Car Park which is accessible from Bloom Street near Gate 4.

If you require medical or welfare assistance whilst at The Big Weekend, please let a member of the security or stewarding team know and they will contact the appropriate services. 

Assistance Dogs

We welcome assistance dogs to The Big Weekend event site. To ensure the safety of visitors and the welfare of the animal, we may require proof that assistance dogs are registered with an organisation that is a member of Assistance Dogs UK. 

Contact Information 

Address: Manchester Pride, Manchester One, Portland Street, Manchester, M1 3LF

Telephone: 0161 831 7700



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