THE Echo can today reveal the main act for one of Southampton’s biggest events.

Crowds of more than 15,000 revellers are expected to take to Guildhall Square to celebrate LGBT rights this year, to be headlined by Union J.

The third Southampton Pride will take place on August 25 and is expected to boost the city economy by £500,000, organisers said.

But now they have announced that Union J will be one of the acts entertaining the crowd.

The trio consists of Josh Cuthbert, JJ Hamblett and Jaymi Hensley and wowed X Factor judges in 2011.

Julianne Watling-McCarthy, one of the organisers of Southampton Pride, said: “We are really excited that we have Union J this year. We want to cater for everyone and we hope that Union J will cater for the younger crowds.”

Ms Watling-McCarthy has also confirmed that Lady Gaga tribute and impersonator Donna Marie will also be entertaining revellers along with many other local artists and drag queens.

“We are waiting to announce some well-known acts in the next couple of weeks”, she added.

But she said that the full line-up will not be announced until the end of July.

“We are negotiating at the moment but I’m sure it’s going to be another well-attended event this year”, Ms Watling-McCarthy said.

For the first time there will also be a sign language interpreter at this year’s event.

Children will also have the chance to have fun as a mobile farm will be on site.

Ms Watling-McCarthy has confirmed that the event will be free, for the third year running.

“This is something we are very committed to. We do not want to exclude people.

“Everyone should have the chance to join in and celebrate who they are without having to be excluded because they can’t afford it.”

This means the event will stay as one of two thirds of the Pride festivals across the UK which are free - with London being the second biggest free Pride in Europe.

“It’s all about LGBT celebrating who they are in Southampton.

“The support from the city has been phenomenal so far”, Ms Watling-McCarthy said.

Last year more than 10,000 revellers took part in the event which saw Lili La Scala hosting the main stage, along with 80s pop star Sinitta who offered the opportunity to experience So Macho live.