It’s been a whole year since we launched Village People weekend. A weekend devoted to the people and places that support and serve the gay community here in Manchester week in week and out, and what an event it was!
The weekend culminated in a big show in Sackville Park on the Sunday. We had UK Drag queens from all over the village and further afield performing on the stage. We had the show bears singing loud and Proud. And of course we had the force of nature that is Angie Brown, who came and blew the stage apart. The headline act was the since disbanded DWV, which was made up of Detox, Willam and Vicky Vox.
Divina De Campo hosted the whole thing, and as a queen who was relatively new to Manchester at the time, she ran, sang danced and joked her way through the day with ease. There were 11 of the nearly 30 odd venues in The Village involved last year which helped to make the weekend a huge success raising just over £10K which was split between charities, The Terence Higgins Trust, The George House Trust, Moni Malawi and The Albert Kennedy Trust.
Part of what spurred me on to create an event like this is that there wasn’t really one happening here. We have some of the most versatile and talented performers the country has to offer working in Manchester and there isn’t always a platform for the venues to show them off to a wider audience. I believe in the Village and what it has to offer our community and I think our DJ’s, Drag Queens, Singers, Dancers and Performers are some of the best in the UK.
I also wanted to create an event that was about raising money for Charity. We all love to party but it’s important to give back and help where we can. That’s what villagepeople weekend is about. Giving a platform to our performers and businesses to show what it is they do and offer, whilst raising money for worthwhile causes.
We managed to pull the event together in a relatively short amount of time (just over two months). I headed it up and co-ordinated with the council, and supported by just a handful of other people with the organising of the event.
Then we had all the fantastic volunteers who helped to collect the money, keep everyone safe and the park tidy on the Sunday. It made me really proud of our community to say we had been able to create what was just a brilliant event!
So that brings us to this year! We have all our regular fantastic acts who work in our village. We shall see you all there. Paul McAvoy and The Village People Team xxxx
Given all that, we thought it only right that we do it all over again in 2015! So here we go!
This year is going to be even bigger and better than the last, with a fantastic line up of local talent, showing they are not only exceptionally talented performers, but that they are invested in, amongst their community and the people and venues they serve.
This year the hosting will be split between Divina De Campo and The delicious Danny Beard. The legend that is Nana (Madame Phylisann Von Aries) will also be holding court and helping the newbies along in her own inimitable style.
Joining them again this year we have the return of the vocal virtuoso Angie Brown. Now this lady really knows how to bang out a tune! She’s gonna get you baby (yes she is!) Then from just across the water from the fairy isle itself, we have the brilliant and deliciously downy BearForce1. They’ll be bringing their very own brand of ‘beary realness’ to get you all going. Then we are pleased to say we have Willam returning. And why have one Dragrace Queen when you can have three! So Willam will be performing as part of the AAA girls, which also boasts the invader from the planet glamtron, the incomparable Alaska and joining these two beauties is the Aussie powerhouse of talent that is Courtney Act.
We are pleased to announce that this year we have a further 8 bars on board lending their support which takes the total up to 19. We have a range of the older more established venues we all know and love on board too, and even the newer venues which are/have just opened their doors have thrown their lot in to show their support. So many thanks to AXM, Baa Bar, Bar Pop, Belinda Scandals Showbar, Centre Stage, Churchills, Cruz 101, KIKI, New York New York, On Bar, Oscars, Poptastic, Taurus, The New Union Hotel, Twerk, Via and View on the Canal.
We also have been given support from other businesses and organisations within the community, including Gaylife Manchester, Serenity Security, StreetCars, TWG Electrical, Urban Cook House, The Village Shop, Village Sunbeds and Village Hair. Fosters, Kopperberg, Smirnoff Ice and WKD have also shown sponsorship support.
To say we are excited is an understatement to say the least! We’re really looking forward to putting on a great weekend to raise some much needed money for charity and having a great time while we all do it.
We hope to see you all there,
Paul McAvoy and The Village People Team xxxx