Brighton & Hove Pride has been cancelled for the second year in a row due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Via a statement issued on its official social media accounts and website, the UK's biggest pride festival sadly revealed that the planned festivities scheduled for August 2021 could not go ahead due to health and safety risks.
Heartbroken organisers stated that the need for the community has never been stronger but they cannot risk the health and safety of Pride organisers and those planning to attend.
The official statement reads: “We are heartbroken to have to announce the cancellation of Brighton & Hove Pride's Community Parade, the Pride Village Party and Pride Festival on Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th August 2021.
"We know the need for community has never been stronger and Brighton & Hove Pride is one of Europe's biggest Pride Festivals attracting thousands of people from across the UK to attend multiple events across the city including the Pride LGBTQ+ Community Parade.”
It went on: "Delivering Pride requires an all year-round planning cycle working closely with our partner agencies and, while the vaccine rollout continues to be successful, the many uncertainties that need to be resolved to safely deliver mass gatherings and the complexities of organising Pride in our City are impossible to achieve in the time we have, so based on the best information available to us at this time we are heartbroken to have to cancel for a second year.
“We cannot risk the health and safety of Pride visitors, residents and the hundreds of staff and volunteers that help deliver Pride.”
Within minutes of the news breaking, social media was flooded with comments and tweets from gutted ticket holders but understanding of the decision.
One Facebook user stated: "Thanks for the update, a wise decision with the best interests of the health of our community at heart. I’m sure you’ll come back bigger and better next year."
Current ticket holders have the option to apply for a full refund of the face value of their ticket, roll over their tickets to 2022 to secure a place for next year – which is sure to be a sellout – or donate the value of their ticket to the Brighton Rainbow Fund to support the year-round essential work of local charities and community groups.
Speaking via a press release issued on their website, Paul Kemp, Director of Brighton Pride said: "We are devastated at having to make this decision for a second year and recognise the huge impact on local businesses, charities and community groups who rely on the fundraising potential of the Pride weekend.
"Pride attracts tens of thousands of people to our city for the LGBTQ+ community parade which is the heart of the Pride celebrations, where social distancing clearly can't be facilitated safely. Our planning has also identified significant supply chain challenges including infrastructure, security and staffing making it impossible to deliver a safe event with any certainty.
"Community fundraising has always been our main objective for Pride, but without the safety net of viable COVID cancellation insurance, we cannot jeopardise our ability to deliver a sustainable fundraising Pride in future years.
“I'd like to thank all of our contractors, suppliers and partner agencies who have tried their upmost to help us move forward with planning, and to everyone who has purchased a ticket for their understanding and support, we can't wait to bring Pride back in 2022 better than ever.”
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