Festival bosses hit back at claims World Pride is in danger

Pride London bosses say they don’t owe money from last year’s event and insist that World Pride will go ahead next week as planned

Festival bosses hit back at claims World Pride is in danger
27 June 2012

Organizers of Pride London have hit back at newspaper reports that World Pride, due to take place in the city next week, is under threat.

Last night the London Evening Standard reported that the event on 7 July might have to be scaled back, in particular the parade, as contractors may refuse to work because they are still owed money.

The Standard claimed four contractors are owed £65,000 ($100,000 €80,000) from last year and that the organizers had 24 hours to persuade them not to walk out.

But a pride director has told Gay Star News that all debts from last year have been cleared.

Now Pride London have issued a statement assuring people all events in the global lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender World Pride festival, which the UK capital is hosting this year, will go ahead.

They said: ‘Despite press comment which suggests otherwise, all of the events planned as part of the pride festival are confirmed to go ahead without modification.

‘Pride London had always, and still possesses, the financial resources to stage a pride that is bigger and better than ever before. There will be no scaling back or other change to the festival.

‘Moreover, it must be recognized that pride is not just a “party” but instead represents something much more meaningful. This is because this year pride has a strong political message, that of the decriminalization of homosexuality throughout the Commonwealth. London is the symbolic starting point for this liberating campaign as many of the countries in the Commonwealth that still criminalize homosexuality only do so due to an ancient British law in their penal codes.

‘Thus, as hosts of World Pride this year, Pride London has a serious responsibility to the international LGBT community to stage events that support this political campaign. It is a responsibility [we] will not shirk and will not fail in.’

Pride bosses believe the Standard may have confused them with Pride House, an event that was due to take place on Clapham Common during the Olympics this summer, but which had to be shelved due to lack of funding.

And they hit back at journalists who questioned the viability of World Pride.

They stated: ‘The directors would also like to remind all commentators that negative publicity is not helpful to London’s image as a world-class venue for many diverse events. Commentators should instead encourage and rally behind events, like pride, that highlight the UK as a major player on the international cultural scene.

‘Commentators need to realize that any doubt they cast over pride also casts systemic doubt on the ability of the capital to host large-scale events. In the run up to the momentous Olympic Games this summer such doubt is both unwelcome and inherently unhelpful.’

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