London Pride will be raising money for this year’s festival by crowd-funding, it was announced today (14 March).
Organizers have announced they need more than £25,000 ($41k, €30k) to be able to put on a Pride people expect.
With sponsors becoming harder to find, the planners are hoping the London LGBTI community will take a ‘personal stake in Pride’s success’.
They say it costs over £70,000 ($116k, €87k) to put on the parade each year, and they need help.
In return, donors will be given prizes in return such as being allowed to walk in a special ‘supporters’ section of the parade or a full ‘VIP experience’.
Speaking to Gay Star News, Pride vice chair Stephen Ward said: ‘We think it’s a great way for people to support an event that supports the gay community and get something back.’
The money funded by the public will not be used to pay for acts, which can be very expensive.
When asked if London Pride would follow in Brighton and Manchester’s footsteps and introduce ticketing, Ward said it was important it remains free.
He said: ‘The areas where Pride happen at the moment you can’t ticket. You can’t put barriers up in the streets of Soho.
‘It’s important that the main element of Pride is free to participate in. We do hold some ticketed events, like the gala dinner.
‘But we are not ruling out a big ticketed event in the future. We can’t cordon out a big part of London like Manchester can. But I know Brighton uses Preston Park.
‘We might use Brighton’s model in the future. But it is important that access to Pride is as free as possible.’
In 2013, over 650,000 people took part during London’s main Pride celebrations.
This year, the date is set for 28 June on the 45th anniversary of the New York City Stonewall Riots.
Before thousands of party-goers take to the streets for the annual celebration, the city of London will host a variety of arts and entertainment events during the Pride Festival held 22 to 29 June.
The year’s theme ‘Freedom to…’ reflects the freedom LGBTI Londoners enjoy in 2014, particularly as the first same-sex marriages will take place from 29 March.
If you would like to donate and find out more about Pride pledge packages, click here.