Confirmed: World Pride in London cancels floats in parade, axes official Soho party and scales back rally in Trafalgar Sqaure
Pride London bosses have confirmed they have axed the cars and floats from the World Pride parade on 7 July.
The event will now be a ‘procession’ they say with ‘walking groups only’ and will start earlier at 11am due to the organizers ‘cash crisis’.
The decision comes after an emergency all-agency meeting at City Hall.
Gay Star News broke the story earlier today but the reports have now been confirmed with a formal statement from World Pride organizers.
Organizations and companies paid £2,500 ($3,900 â‚¬3,100) as standard to have a float in the parade, plus tax. Gay Star News does not yet know if Pride London is in a position to refund that money or not.
It’s an extra embarrassment for London as the city is hosting World Pride this year and was expected to attract big crowds for the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender events in Britain for years.
They will also cancel official events in the gay district of Soho, including a large DJ party in Golden Square. A family event in the area will go ahead but it’s unclear if the official sponsor of it, Tesco, will be involved.
A celebratory rally in Trafalgar Square will go ahead but will be scaled back.
A statement from the organizers said: ‘Each and every year, Pride London needs to achieve some serious commercial targets to fund the event – and this year, targets are even higher than before, because of increased cost, the sheer scale of the planned event and mounting pressure to deliver a "world class" event.
‘To a backdrop of a more difficult economic climate and tough sponsorship calls considering everything that is happening in London this year, fundraising from both corporates and from within the community has been more challenging than ever. Despite creating a strong sponsorship base for this year’s planned event, there is, in the week leading up to 7 of July, still a shortfall.
‘All agencies involved in delivering the event, including the Greater London Authority, Westminster City Council and Metropolitan Police have agreed that it is prudent to deliver an event that is affordable, without compromising the safety, security and integrity of the event.
‘Whilst World Pride will have no official activities in Soho, we do expect the day’s celebrations to continue and for Soho to be very busy.’
UPDATE: Londoners are now calling on Mayor Boris Johnson to save the event. Find out more and the first reported figures for the cash shortfall in our new exclusive here.