Rainforest becomes a rainbow-forest ahead of this Saturday's Proud Eden
A giant rainbow flag draped from the heights of the biggest rainforest in captivity heralds Saturday's Proud Eden event at the Eden Project.
The 37m-long banner was unfurled from the top of the 50m-high Rainforest Lookout, which sits at the top of Eden's Rainforest Biome.
The flag is one of the largest in the world and has been loaned to Eden by Cornwall Pride, who used it as a star attraction for their recent Pride Parade through Newquay. It will now be moved to Mediterranean Biome at Eden where it will serve as the backdrop to the Proud Eden stage.
The grand celebration of LGBTQ culture takes place at the Eden Project on September 29 starting at 6pm.
The special evening will be packed with a diverse line-up of top performers, acclaimed speakers and a cutting-edge exhibition.
Kate Francis, Eden’s programme producer, said: “How great to see the Cornwall Pride flag flying at Eden. This iconic symbol proudly flying in our Rainforest Biome is a stunning way to herald our Proud Eden event on Saturday.
“The event promises to be even more vibrant and diverse than last year, boasting a fabulous mixture of music, comedy and performance art."
Proud Eden is being staged in association with Penguin Pride and Gay Times and supported by Cornwall Pride which campaigns for equality and diversity in the county.
Headlining on the Penguin Pride Stage in the Mediterranean Biome is actress, musician and outspoken LGBT activist Heather Peace.
Heather has appeared in London’s Burning, Ultimate Force, Lip Service and Waterloo Road and is also an accomplished singer with four jazz albums. She is a patron for Manchester Pride and the LGBT charity Stonewall.
Sharing the Proud Eden stages will be:
• Award-winning British poet and playwright Toby Campion whose poetry has been featured on BBC1, BBC Radio 4 and E4.Toby has performed across the UK and America and was winner of the Fifth Word Theatre award for Most Promising Playwright 2015. He will be hosting the Penguin Pride Stage.
• Multi-award winning writer and former editor of Attitude magazine Matthew Todd whose first play, Blowing Whistles, has been produced in three countries and whose book, Straight Jacket, about LGBT mental health, was voted Best LGBT Book 2017 by Boyz magazine readers.
• Singer-songwriter Hugo Valentine who will be performing his distinctive brand of piano-pop and bringing together influences from Elton John, Billy Joel, Bowie, Radiohead and more.
• Performance artist, theatre maker, poet and writer Travis Alabanza who has been noted by publications such as ID and MOBO Awards as one of the most prominent emerging queer artistic voices.
• Singer, songwriter and musician Kit Rice, one of the most exciting new vocalists to emerge from the UK R&B, dance and electronic music scenes.
• Hilarious singer and stand-up comic Paulus, who is taking the cabaret scene by storm, and will be compèring the Link Stage during Proud Eden.
• Young male vocalist and singer-songwriter Benji who at the age of 17 won acclaim from Simon Cowell for his songwriting abilities when he reached the six-chair challenge on ITV’s X Factor.
• Singer KYI who mixes soaring vocals with dirty baselines and was recently a judge on BBC 1’s All Together Now.
• The Trees, an all-female, four-part folk and country band from Plymouth with a varied repertoire.
Proud Eden will also be the final chance to see artist Daniel Barter’s beautiful exhibition of photographs exploring gender identities being staged in Eden’s education centre the Core.
Using a 19th century technique called wet plate collodion, the show entitled 0 1 serves as a platform for gender identities that fall outside or do not conform to a gender binary.
Poignant photographic portraits are accompanied by sound recordings of the subjects’ interviews allowing for each model to express his or her own identity.
Alongside the gender identity exhibition is a series of rare archival interviews that reveal the personal stories behind the fight for LGBTQ equality.
Three decades ago writer Eric Marcus interviewed a hundred leaders, champions of and witnesses to the LGBTQ civil rights movement in the US.
Now presented as a podcast, Making Gay History features conversations with trans icon, self-described drag queen and Stonewall uprising veteran Sylvia Rivera, lesbian activist and co-founder of National Coming Out Day Jean O’Leary and others.
On the night there is also a chance to get involved in an hilarious Faceback game, a festival favourite, to meet new people. And a four-wheeled star of the show will be a rainbow ZOE, from Eden’s electric car partner Renault.
Tickets for Proud Eden on September 29 are £10 per person. The event runs from 6-11pm with last entry at 9pm. No general Eden Project admission ticket is required.
Please note there is adult content at this event so accompanied under-16s are welcome at the discretion of their parents.
See full details and ticket prices on www.edenproject.com.