It’s always nice to be invited over to Hendre Hall in Bangor by the North Wales Pride team and this year was the 5th year that they invited over Blazing Minds and I was honoured to be part of such a fantastic gathering and event.

The weekend was a busy one for me this year, several events were all happening at the same time, the Friday night I was over at the Ymuno Festival in Abergele and on Saturday the Sunnyfest was taking place in Rhyl.

I got to Hendre Hall at around 1pm, parked the car and got the camera gear ready for the event. There are so many people taking photos during the day that I always set myself up for the stage photography during the evening’s entertainment.

This year did seem a little quiet during the day, but that could have been down to the weather not being the best and people opting to have a lazy day in their tents.

As the afternoon went on the weather changed for the worse with a torrential downpour, everyone made their way to the main hall at Hendre and it seemed that those camping in the filed arrived as well. It was certainly busy now and more so than last year’s North Wales Pride.

Let the Entertainment Commence at North Wales Pride

The organisers of North Wales Pride have the vision to create an exciting event with the aim of bringing the LGBT and other wider communities together to celebrate diversity. They have succeeded in doing just that. Over the years that I have been covering the event, they have certainly pulled people in from around the world to the lovely Hendre Hall on the Welsh coastline.

Video courtesy of North Wales Pride

It’s always amazing how much entertainment that takes place on Saturday evening and this year’s event was no exception.

Galw Give an Acoustic Feel to North Wales Pride

I hadn’t heard of Galw before the weekend, but I have to say that after hearing them I have become a fan of their music. Galw are a duo who come from Anglesey, North Wales. Paul Williams is on guitar with vocals and is a talented songwriter and Charli Lamont on lead vocals.

Galw - North Wales Pride 2016

Galw’s performance was a real joy to listen to and Charli’s were perfectly suited to the acoustic accompaniment from Paul. I could have sat at the bar in the main hall and listened to them all night.

Charli - North Wales Pride 2016 BW

Connah Evans Ups the Tempo

Keeping with the acoustic feel that we were having in the main hall, we were treated to some more vocals and guitar work from local lad Connah Evans, again a very talented artist and he really put his heart and soul into his amazing performance.

Connah Evans - North Wales Pride 2016

North Wales Pride and a Minutes Silence for Orlando

After Connah’s performance, Crystal Bawls took to the stage and removed the feather from her costume, then her big blonde wig. The mood changed as she talked about the recent horrific moment when the club in Orlando was attacked.

After a very moving video on the big screen of those that were tragically taken from their loved ones in Orlando, Hendre Hall fell silent for a minutes silence to pay respect for those killed in America. All you could hear was the rain gently caressing the roof of the main all as everyone bowed their heads to pay their respects.

This was followed by a moving and lovely duet with Crystal & Eryl, as always Eryl’s voice is a joy to listen to and with such a moving performance, her vocals captured the moment and the feelings that everyone one was having after the video and moments silence.

Crystal Bawls and Eryl - North Wales Pride 2016

Next up, Pretty Ugly, a four piece band that did some fantastic covers and certainly got everyone dancing and lifting the spirits of the evening.

Following on from Pretty Ugly was Chris Haul, Chris was at last year’s pride and he can really work the crowd into a frenzy with not only his music but also his presence on the stage, but you can always guarantee that when Chris comes to the stage, the audience demand one thing and that’s for him to take his top off.

STOOSHE Headlined North Wales Pride

STOOSHE - Courtney - North Wales Pride 2016 BW

This year’s headliners at North Wales Pride were certainly going to have the main hall bouncing with their performance. The crowd were ready to sing, dance and try to get as close as possible to STOOSHE to touch them on stage.

STOOSHE - Karis - North Wales Pride 2016

But thankfully to an amazing security team, everyone was kept well back behind the barriers, due to safety I couldn’t get into the pit for STOOSHE’s performance, although I still managed to fire off some close shots of their performance.

STOOSHE - Alexandra - North Wales Pride 2016

North Wales Pride Onward and Upward

So another pride event came to an end, the day had been long for me, but the evening’s performances were well worth the wait. This year’s event was a triumph for the organisers, all their hard work at putting on the weekend event paid off.

I feel honoured that the team behind North Wales Pride always ask me to pop along to do some photography and to report the event back you, my dear readers.

Crystal Bawls and Carwyn - North Wales Pride 2016

So thank you to all the organisers for the invite and to the performers for putting on an amazing show. Let’s not forget a thank you to all those that went to North Wales Pride and popped on by and said “Hi”.

Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham is the founder and owner of the Blazing Minds, an avid blogger and photographer. She is also a Cinema reviewer, based at the Scala in Prestatyn and at the many Cineworld screens, where she reviews the latest movies, she has also had several articles published in various publications. In 2015 she became an Award Winning Blogger and also has her website listed as one of the UKs Top 10 Film Blogs.
Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham