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Saturday 16 July 2011

Interview with Julia Grant (video)

A 70-minute interview with legendary Manchester gay village business woman Julia Grant.

Julia Grant talks on video

A decade ago, Julia Grant was one of the best-known business owners in Manchester’s gay village and an outspoken voice in both the LGBT and mainstream media.

After Mardi Gras 1999 raised nothing at all for good causes, she ran the successful and free-to-enter GayFest for two years. But, some people — including local councillors and Manchester City Council — weren’t happy at all.

Unexpectedly, in 2002, Julia sold Hollywood Showbar and her other businesses and left. Despite rumours and malicious gossip since then, she didn’t speak out in public.

Now, in this exclusive interview Julia Grant reveals the LGBT history that you won’t see at the current Manchester Pride exhibition at The Lowry gallery. Plus she recalls the events that drove her out of the city.

This was recorded on 10 July 2011 during the Sparkle weekend.

GayFest 2001 fundraising (June 2017)

For years one of the malicious smears against Julia Grant around the gay village was that she “ran off with all the money raised from GayFest 2001.” A couple of years ago, PW and I set out to try and trace the GayFest money.

It wasn’t difficult. We were able to confirm with the Lesbian and Gay Foundation and George House Trust that they had received their funds almost immediately after the weekend. By that point Body Positive North West no longer existed. But we were able to see the accounts and the money from GayFest.

Between the three of them this was the vast majority of the money raised by GayFest 2001. It seems the remaining 12.25% went to an array of smaller organisations. It was near impossible to trace it more than a decade after the event. Small organisations and projects were not required to publish full audited accounts with Companies House or the Charity Commission.

That doesn’t mean anything was amiss and what we can say for sure is that 87.75% of money raised by GayFest 2001 reached the three major charities mentioned.

Julia Grant is a controversial character. But this was an unfair and wicked smear against her. Did any of these three major charities ever refute the malicious reputation she had been given? They had benefited enormously from the work of her and her team at GayFest.

Overall there can be no doubt that some people who wanted a different sort of event were happy to see Julia discredited.


Filed under: With video — GS @ 3:47 am
Sunday 15 March 2009

How a fake descendent of the Russian Tsar fooled gay Manchester in 1991 (video)

An exclusive video clip that has never been published before.

It’s the evening of Monday 26th August 1991 and Manchester’s second ‘Carnival of Fun’ weekend is coming to a close. Of course, this is the forerunner of the current Manchester Pride.

In those days before the ‘no-money-left-for-charity’ scandal of 1999, the event attracted the support of some big names. Princess Diana sent a telegram wishing every success in 1991 and there was a buzz that someone important might make a surprise appearance on the final night. (more…)


Filed under: History,LGBT,Manchester,Strange,With video — GS @ 2:29 am
Wednesday 27 June 2007

Community groups outraged by increase in Manchester Pride 2007 stall charges

LGBT community groups and HIV organisations that want to have a stall at the ‘Lifestyle Expo’ at this year’s Manchester Pride have been told they will have to pay £50 for the priviledge plus £30 for electricity.

(more…)


Filed under: LGBT,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 2:43 pm
Tuesday 12 June 2007

The Manchester Pride 2007 website

The website for Manchester Pride 2007 is up.

In the past year, the Charity Commission has told Operation Fundraiser and Manchester Pride that they must be more open with the public about where money goes and how they account for the income.

(more…)


Filed under: LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 7:17 am
Sunday 29 April 2007

Bye bye Operation Fundraiser

The Manchester Pride website reports that Operation Fundraiser will be ‘will be hanging up its buckets’ this year.

(more…)


Filed under: LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 6:38 pm
Friday 2 February 2007

Manchester Pride exaggerates Parade crowd figures by 500%

250,000 do not watch the Parade as the organisers claim. The true figure is ‘tens of thousands’ and here is the proof.

(more…)


Filed under: LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 11:37 pm
 
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