Love, Protest and Unity: Brighton Pride’s Fabuloso in the Park

Christina Aguilera live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

‘VARIOUS ARTISTS’ – PRESTON PARK, BRIGHTON 6.8.22 (DAY ONE)

On 6th August, Brighton & Hove Pride took place for the first time in two years and it came back with a bang! The set up in Preston Park was well thought out—there were rides, stalls selling pride merchandise with lots of beautiful jewellery, dance tents, and a wonderful cabaret tent.

In the mood for Pride in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

The food we tried was delicious, particularly the vegan fried chicken. I was impressed with the accessibility elements to the whole event. At the front of the main stage there was a BSL interpreter. I was glad to see inclusivity at Pride not only for those in the LGBTQIA+ community but those within the disability community. I felt safe all day and security was helpful.

Guess the tune! Christina Aguilera live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

SNOW WHITE TRASH
We started our day in the cabaret tent and watched drag queen Snow White Trash. She was an incredible performer and her saxophone skills were impressive. The whole tent was full of people dancing and having a good time. She set the tone for the rest of the day.

www.snowwhitetrash.co.uk

TIA KOFI 

Tia Kofi live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

The first act on the Main Stage in Preston Park next door to the A23 main London to Brighton road was Tia Kofi, who is a drag queen known from season two of ‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race’. The name is a play on “tea or coffee?” and is the creation of Lawrence Bolton.

Tia Kofi live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

The vibrant colours and energy she brought to the stage were incredible. Tia has two EPs and has been quite prolific in releasing tunes in 2021 and this year. Tia showed off her talent when she performed her original songs. It was nice to hear her own music as opposed to purely covers.

Tia Kofi on Facebook

CALL ME LOOP

Call Me Loop live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

Next came Call Me Loop, a singer-songwriter called Georgia Buchanan. She released her debut single ‘Looking At You’ in 2016, since then she has released two EPs: ‘Call Me Loop’ in 2017 and ‘Drama’ in 2019.

Call Me Loop live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pics Charlotte Horton) (click pics to enlarge)

My personal highlight was her original song ‘Rosé’ which she wrote during lockdown. It very much captured the experience of being in your 20s and 30s during the strange last two years! Not only is she a brilliant singer, she also writes songs for herself and for others to sing. She acknowledged that she had enough “bangers” to perform her own material instead of covers and I agree. I’ll definitely be listening to her again.

Call Me Loop on Facebook

L DEVINE

L Devine live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

Next up, it was the turn of L Devine, who is a singer songwriter named Olivia Devine who released her first single in 2017. Devine has been open about her sexuality as a lesbian in interviews. She was exactly the representation that Pride needs.

L Devine live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

The most moving song was ‘Daughter’ which was about her first girlfriend. The song explored how isolated she felt being a lesbian within a heteronormative society which values having children. It also explored the experience of loving someone who has to hide their sexuality. I’ll definitely be listening to this song on repeat as it is so beautiful. Izzy agreed with me on this, saying that she had great stage presence and ‘Daughter’ is a beautiful song.

L Devine live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

Devine even treated us to an unreleased song which was a great experience, we felt privileged to hear it before everyone else does! In her set, L Devine captured exactly why we still need to celebrate pride. She was the perfect choice of performer.

L Devine setlist: ‘Girls Like Sex’, ‘Push It Down’, ‘Daughter’

www.ldevinemusic.com

BIMINI

Bimini live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

Then came drag queen Bimini, (aka Bimini Bon-Boulash) who is best known for appearing on season two of ‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race’. Bimini brought immaculate energy and the crowd loved the performance. Bimini was captivating and a dedicated performer, continuing to perform despite a wardrobe malfunction where their skirt came off!

Bimini live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pics Charlotte Horton) (click pics to enlarge)

You can’t have a Pride event without Britney Spears, with Bimini covering ‘Toxic.’ Izzy was a big fan of Bimini as they sang songs the audience could join in with, which made the performance fun and interactive, meaning the crowd loved them. Izzy noted that the guitarist was incredible and acknowledging those who bring the performance together is so important.

Bimini on Instagram

RAYE

Raye live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

Next up we had Raye who brought those dance vibes to Pride. Rachel Keen—known as Raye—is a British singer and songwriter. She featured on the singles ‘By Your Side’ by Jonas Blue and ‘You Don’t Know Me’ by Jax Jones in 2016, bringing her into the public eye.

Raye live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (picsCharlotte Horton) (click pics to enlarge)

Since then, she has released her own Ep’s. Even though she got eyelash glue in her eyes, she still gave an amazing performance! My favourite song from the set was ‘Natile Don’t.’ Raye has a wonderful voice and she really connected with the audience, bringing everyone together.

Raye live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

Raye’s setlist: ‘Love Me Again’, ‘Regardless’ (RAYE & Rudimental cover), ‘Secrets’, ‘Natalie Don’t / You Don’t Know Me’, ‘Hard Out Here’, ‘BED’ (Joel Corry, RAYE & David Guetta cover)

www.rayeofficial.com

TODRICK HALL

Todrick Hall live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

Next it was the turn of Todrick Hall, an American singer-songwriter who rose to fame after apearing on the ninth series of ‘American Idol’. Todrick is multi-talented, appearing on ‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race’, doing stints on Broadway, and appearing on TV show ‘The Greatest Dancer.’

Todrick Hall live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pics Charlotte Horton) (click pics to enlarge)

These talents showed themselves on stage. Todrick spread messages of self-love, falling in love with your reflection in the mirror and who you are as a person. This kind of energy is exactly what you need at Pride, spreading messages of acceptance.

More info HERE

ELLA HENDERSON

Ella Henderson live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

The penultimate act of the night was Ella Henderson. I was a big fan of Ella when she appeared on ‘X Factor‘ in 2012 and whilst it’s been ten years since her appearance, I’m still adamant that she shouldn’t have been eliminated when she was!

Ella Henderson live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

Ella has such a sweet and welcoming energy and every time she spoke she made me smile. She did a cover of ‘Believe’ by Cher which she slowed down and played the piano whilst singing. It was very touching and made me really listen to the lyrics. It was emotional, making me think of both her journey and the journey we have all been on during the past two years.

Ella Henderson live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

I loved dancing around to ‘Glitterball’ and the highlight for me was her closing song ‘Ghost.’ I’ve always liked ‘Ghost’ so hearing it live was a special moment. The crowd were singing their hearts out and it was so much fun just being absorbed in the moment. Ella gave such a beautiful performance during the whole set, being a great ally to the community.

In the mood for Pride in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

Ella’s setlist: ‘Let’s Go Home Together’, ‘Believe’ (Cher cover), ‘This Is Real’ (Jax Jones cover), ‘Crazy What Love Can Do’, ‘Glitterball’ (Sigma cover), ‘Ghost’

More info HERE

CHRISTINA AGUILERA

Christina Aguilera live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

Finally, the headline act, Christina Aguilera, hit the stage and the crowd went wild. It was absolutely packed with fans ready to scream till their throats hurt! She was absolutely captivating, every minute of her set.

Christina Aguilera live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

Something I found powerful was that she captured the way that whilst Pride is fun, it is also a protest for equal rights. She critiqued the Florida “don’t say gay” bill, drawing our attention to the inequality LGBTQIA+ people still face in 2022.

A message during the Christina Aguilera set in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

The set Christina performed was perfect, including dance tracks such as ‘Candyman’ and slowing things down with a cover of ‘Say Something.’ It’s impossible to pick a favourite moment, but one of the highlights was seeing everyone’s dance moves to ‘Lady Marmalade.’

Christina Aguilera live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

The extreme energy of ‘Ain’t No Other Man’ and ‘Candyman’ was brilliant, both are absolutely iconic songs which produced iconic pride moments. ‘Beautiful’ produced a beautiful moment where people hugged and swayed along to a song about self-love, yet another important message for Pride.

Christina Aguilera live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

I’ve always been a fan of ‘Genie In A Bottle’ so hearing it live was a lot of fun. Izzy loved Christina because of her amazing stage presence and the way she fed off of the crowd’s energy. Izzy’s favourite song was ‘Candyman’ which I think is a great choice!

Christina Aguilera live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pics Charlotte Horton) (click pics to enlarge)

Christina’s setlist: ‘Dirrty’, ‘Can’t Hold Us Down’, ‘Fall In Line’ (Say Gay Interlude), ‘Bionic’,Vanity’, ‘Glam’ (Performed by Bimini Bon Boulash), ‘Genie In A Bottle’, ‘What A Girl Wants’, ‘Ya llegué’ (Dance Interlude), ‘Santo’, ‘Como yo’ (Dance interlude), ‘Pa’ mis muchachas’, ‘Desnudate’ (Interlude), ‘Feel This Moment’, ‘Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels’ (Todrick Hall), ‘Ain’t No Other Man’, ‘Candyman’, ‘Moves Like Jagger’, ‘Say Something’, ‘Show Me How You Burlesque’ (Sung by the band), ‘Express’, ‘Lady Marmalade’, ‘Beautiful’, ‘Fighter’, ‘Let There Be Love’

www.christinaaguilera.com

Christina Aguilera live in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

The whole day was perfect (bar accidently leaving my phone in Sainsburys!) On the way back to the train station people were singing and dancing and both Izzy and I really felt the unity that Pride aimed to bring us. Celebrating thirty years of Pride in such an explosive way made it a day to remember.

In the mood for Pride in Preston Park, Brighton 6.8.22 (pic Charlotte Horton) (click pic to enlarge)

We return to Preston Park tomorrow and do it all over again! Read our review of Day Two HERE.

www.brighton-pride.org

Event flyer

Main Stage performance times

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