Organisers of Manchester Pride have defended its 2019 pricing strategy after many people complained about the costs doubling since last year.

A weekend pass for the August event has shot up to £70.95 (€80.84/$92.71), a ticket that provides festival-goers with access to all the headline music acts.

In 2018, however, a weekend ticket started at £22 if booked early and rose to £28, before booking fees, closer to the event.

Critics have lashed out on social media, labelling the hikes as “ridiculous” and that they are “pricing people out of Pride.”

However, Manchester Pride chief executive Mark Fletcher responded in a statement, saying that they’re offering “the biggest line up of artists we’ve ever had, for less than the price of a single concert ticket,” and that it can’t be compared as a like-for-like with last year’s event.

He added that there are “very special shows planned”, and they “anticipate the event will sell out”.

One person took to Facebook to express his disappointment: “£70 is absolutely ridiculous when there is no line up announced. You are pricing people out of pride. How does it make sense that we used to pay £20-30 to get in the village AND listen to acts but not only is it £70 to see acts it’s £16 for entry to the village.

“To do what? £16 to walk down the street and go into bars that are open year round anyway. Very bizarre safe to say (if) I do go I’ll be getting the cheaper weekend ticket.”

The 2019 Manchester Pride is moving out of the Gay Village to former train depot, Mayfield. The LGBTQ+ live music event will take place on August 24-25.

In addition to the live element of the festival, there will also be a four-day Gay Village Gathering event over the bank holiday weekend, including a music stage, a street food market and a sing-a-long cinema.

Ticket options include a Rainbow Pass for £70.95 for the weekend, or a day pass for £37.95. A Gay Village Gathering ticket costs £16.50 for the weekend or £11 for a day.

Fans took to Twitter to complain about the strategy, with one fan stating: “So sad that @ManchesterPride are charging £70+ for top tier tickets, the commercialisation for profit of an event that should celebrate diversity is now only for those that can afford it, shameful indeed.”

Image: I Robertson