In this essay I take you on a journey through the London Pride parade. As almost everyone in the world knows London has been going through a lot lately. Terror attacks, election woes, you name it, it seems that you’re seeing it here. It was beginning to feel like London was getting the most of everyone. We were living by the motto “Keep calm and carry-on. But, this is not what Londoners do best. What Londoners do best is a party!
Enter the 2017 London Pride party as I take you on my journey through this photo essay.
Where does London Pride take place?
[themify_map address=”Piccadilly circus” width=”100%” zoom=”7″]
We made our way down the South Bank of the Thames towards Trafalgar Square. We crossed the Hungerford Bridge and neared the parade as helicopters circled overhead. Then before we realised, colour was everywhere. We had made it. The crowd was awash with colour and encompassed people from all walks of life. Even some of the futuristic aliens came down to chill. Some people took it too far, climbing on statues but the Stewards were there to make sure everyone was safe. The only dangerous weapons that I saw shot bubbles… and as far as I saw everyone was enjoying them! The portions of the city that are usually extremely busy with cars, busses and pedestrians were reserved for the chaos. Even the police took part. While there was (understandably) a huge police presence at the parade they were having fun too. London police are the best! Shops turned into makeshift DJ booths allowing sound to spill out on the streets. Windows became balconies. Like the old saying goes: if your images aren’t strong you aren’t close enough. Here, I felt if you didn’t come out of the crowd covered in glitter you weren’t going to get the shot. The diversity of the crowd was truly admirable. “Hold my drink!” to a stranger as she snapped a photo of the lady in drag with a policeman. It seemed that everyone was out enjoying themselves. The parade passed through town and as the day seemed to get hotter, flags turned into shade sails. The mercury crossed over into the 30’s (85 F) the crowds started fanning out around town. Pun intended 😛 Any shade was welcome. As the crowds began to disperse only the hardcore would remain. We slowly made our way back out of the chaos and headed back across the city. As the sun began to set and my images were being processed the sun lit the sky and I began preparing for my next London party.
Over 1 million people attended the festivities and around 26,000 performing in the parade. This made it one heck of a party. The mayor of London Sadiq Khan told attendees that this event was the “best antidote to sorrow”. He couldn’t have been more correct.
Thank you, London for putting on such a fantastic day and for you for taking the time to read. I can’t wait to see what the rest of this amazing summer series of festivals has to offer. If you have any questions or would like to share your experience at the parade, please drop a comment below.
Ben – Cultured Kiwi Photography
New Zealand travel photographer based in London, UK. He was taking photos from a very young age in the backcountry of New Zealand before moving abroad. Since doing so he has taken workshops and tried to help get as many people into this art as possible. Featured in NZ Herald, Stuff.co.nz and many photography publications it’s safe to say he loves his photography!