WorldPride celebrations with Virgin highlights

To celebrate WorldPride and their long established relationship with the LGBTQ+ community, Virgin Holidays and Virgin Atlantic played host to a star studded Pride Flight that took off from Heathrow on Friday. Bound for New York and WorldPride2019, the plane carried a load of celebrities including Scarlett Moffatt, Courtney Act, AJ Pritchard, MNEK and Jodie Harsh as well key figures from the LGBTQ+ community including Tree Sequoia, a veteran of the Stonewall riots. 

Courntey Act and Richard Branson at the Virgin Pride Flight party, at One World Observatory in New York. Guests were staying at The Beekman and The Four Seasons Hotels. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 29, 2019. The one-of-a-kind flight was celebrating World Pride in New York City and was filled with exclusive entertainment from Jodie Harsh, Tituss Burgess and others. The flight was staffed by LGBTQ+ crew members demonstrating Virgin’s commitment to celebrating diversity in all its shapes and forms. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
MNEK at the Virgin Pride Flight party, at One World Observatory in New York. Guests were staying at The Beekman and The Four Seasons Hotels. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 29, 2019. The one-of-a-kind flight was celebrating World Pride in New York City and was filled with exclusive entertainment from Jodie Harsh, Tituss Burgess and others. The flight was staffed by LGBTQ+ crew members demonstrating Virgin’s commitment to celebrating diversity in all its shapes and forms. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Munroe Bergdorf at the Virgin Pride Flight party, at One World Observatory in New York. Guests were staying at The Beekman and The Four Seasons Hotels. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 29, 2019. The one-of-a-kind flight was celebrating World Pride in New York City and was filled with exclusive entertainment from Jodie Harsh, Tituss Burgess and others. The flight was staffed by LGBTQ+ crew members demonstrating Virgin’s commitment to celebrating diversity in all its shapes and forms. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Jodie Harsh at the Virgin Pride Flight party, at One World Observatory in New York. Guests were staying at The Beekman and The Four Seasons Hotels. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 29, 2019. The one-of-a-kind flight was celebrating World Pride in New York City and was filled with exclusive entertainment from Jodie Harsh, Tituss Burgess and others. The flight was staffed by LGBTQ+ crew members demonstrating Virgin’s commitment to celebrating diversity in all its shapes and forms. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
The Virgin Pride Flight party, at One World Observatory in New York. Guests were staying at The Beekman and The Four Seasons Hotels. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 29, 2019. The one-of-a-kind flight was celebrating World Pride in New York City and was filled with exclusive entertainment from Jodie Harsh, Tituss Burgess and others. The flight was staffed by LGBTQ+ crew members demonstrating Virgin’s commitment to celebrating diversity in all its shapes and forms. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
The Virgin Pride Flight party, at One World Observatory in New York. Guests were staying at The Beekman and The Four Seasons Hotels. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 29, 2019. The one-of-a-kind flight was celebrating World Pride in New York City and was filled with exclusive entertainment from Jodie Harsh, Tituss Burgess and others. The flight was staffed by LGBTQ+ crew members demonstrating Virgin’s commitment to celebrating diversity in all its shapes and forms. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
The Virgin Pride Flight party, at One World Observatory in New York. Guests were staying at The Beekman and The Four Seasons Hotels. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 29, 2019. The one-of-a-kind flight was celebrating World Pride in New York City and was filled with exclusive entertainment from Jodie Harsh, Tituss Burgess and others. The flight was staffed by LGBTQ+ crew members demonstrating Virgin’s commitment to celebrating diversity in all its shapes and forms. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
The Virgin Pride Flight party, at One World Observatory in New York. Guests were staying at The Beekman and The Four Seasons Hotels. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 29, 2019. The one-of-a-kind flight was celebrating World Pride in New York City and was filled with exclusive entertainment from Jodie Harsh, Tituss Burgess and others. The flight was staffed by LGBTQ+ crew members demonstrating Virgin’s commitment to celebrating diversity in all its shapes and forms. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire

Flight was a one-of-a-kind flight staffed by LGBTQ+ crew and jam packed full of entertainment from Tituss Burgess, star ofUnbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and a set from superstar DJ Jodie Harsh, as well as a host of fun drag queen performances. Tree Sequoia, the 80-year old Stonewall veteran, recalls the night of the Stonewall Uprising and how the world changed after the demonstrations. A true LGBTQ+ hero, Tree still works as a bartender at the Stonewall Inn in New York which stood at the site of the 1969 demonstrations.

Tituss Burgess, broadway star and co-host of Pride Flight, commented:“Let me be perfectly queer – the Virgin Pride Flight was an event to remember. Singing some of my favourite songs half-way across the Atlantic to 300 LGBTQ+ passengers is a true honour, and I’m certainly looking forward to showing off the best of New York City over the coming days.”

EDITORIAL USE ONLY (l-r) Tess Tickle, Emma Royed and Miss Cara on the Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays Pride Flight from London to New York. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 28, 2019. The one-of-a-kind flight was celebrating World Pride in New York City and was filled with exclusive entertainment from Jodie Harsh and Tituss Burgess as well as other surprises. The flight was staffed by LGBTQ+ crew members demonstrating Virgin’s commitment to celebrating diversity in all its shapes and forms. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire

Jodie Harsh, DJ and co-host of Pride Flight, commented:“There was an incredible amount of positive energy on that flight, and it really was the ultimate party in the sky. Connecting people through music is what I do best – even at 38,000 feet.”

Mark Anderson, Global LGBT Lead for Virgin Group, added:“Virgin has long been a supporter of LGBTQ+ rights, and this year we wanted to do something bigger and better than ever before. It’s really important that we continue to recognise our LGBTQ+ staff and customers, but because we’re ‘Virgin’ we tend to do it in the most flamboyant way possible.”

Fred Dixon, President and CEO of NYC & Company, commented:“’The celebrations are well underway in New York City and we look forward to continuing the party that began on Virgin’s iconic Pride Flight. As we prepare for the Pride March tomorrow, we look forward to honoring the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, reflecting on how far we have come and marking this pivotal moment in LGBTQ+ history.”

Cabin crew from the Virgin Pride Flight attending New York Pride in Chelsea Village, New York. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday June 30, 2019. The one-of-a-kind flight was celebrating World Pride in New York City and was filled with exclusive entertainment from Jodie Harsh, Tituss Burgess and others. The flight was staffed by LGBTQ+ crew members demonstrating Virgin’s commitment to celebrating diversity in all its shapes and forms. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Cabin crew from the Virgin Pride Flight attending New York Pride in Chelsea Village, New York. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday June 30, 2019. The one-of-a-kind flight was celebrating World Pride in New York City and was filled with exclusive entertainment from Jodie Harsh, Tituss Burgess and others. The flight was staffed by LGBTQ+ crew members demonstrating Virgin’s commitment to celebrating diversity in all its shapes and forms. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Atmosphere during New York Pride in Chelsea Village, New York. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday June 30, 2019. The one-of-a-kind flight was celebrating World Pride in New York City and was filled with exclusive entertainment from Jodie Harsh, Tituss Burgess and others. The flight was staffed by LGBTQ+ crew members demonstrating Virgin’s commitment to celebrating diversity in all its shapes and forms. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Atmosphere during New York Pride in Chelsea Village, New York. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday June 30, 2019. The one-of-a-kind flight was celebrating World Pride in New York City and was filled with exclusive entertainment from Jodie Harsh, Tituss Burgess and others. The flight was staffed by LGBTQ+ crew members demonstrating Virgin’s commitment to celebrating diversity in all its shapes and forms. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Atmosphere during New York Pride in Chelsea Village, New York. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday June 30, 2019. The one-of-a-kind flight was celebrating World Pride in New York City and was filled with exclusive entertainment from Jodie Harsh, Tituss Burgess and others. The flight was staffed by LGBTQ+ crew members demonstrating Virgin’s commitment to celebrating diversity in all its shapes and forms. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire

There was then a huge party on the Saturday night, hosted by Richard Branson and then onto the main event on the Sunday, the Pride march itself in New York City. In the eve of WorldPride 2019, celebrities inc Courtney Act, AJ Pritchard, Munroe Burgdof, James Barr, Saara Alto, MNEK, Jodie Harsh, Tommy Dorfman and Richard Branson ascended the highest point in New York City for a Pride party hosted by Sir Richard Branson to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.

The party saw the One World Observatory transformed into a prime Pride haven, filled with exclusive music performances, and a Pride themed banquet. In partnership with NYC & Company and the Alliance for Downtown New York, the party formed part of Virgin’s busy WorldPride 2019 itinerary with guests taking part in a host of activities across the weekend, beginning with Friday’s Virgin Pride Flight and ending with an action packed day at the NYC Pride march itself.

Mark Anderson, Global LGBT Lead for Virgin Group, added: “Virgin has long been a supporter of LGBTQ+ rights, and this year we wanted to do something bigger and better than ever before to celebrate the poignant 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. It’s really important that we continue to recognize and support our LGBTQ+ staff and customers, but because we’re ‘Virgin’ we like to do it in the most flamboyant way possible.”

Fred Dixon, President and CEO of NYC & Company, commented: “The celebrations are well underway in New York City and we’re continuing the party that began on Virgin’s iconic Pride Flight. As we prepare for the Pride March, we look forward to honoring the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, reflecting on how far we have come and marking this pivotal moment in LGBTQ+ history.”

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