Hundreds of people have been left disappointed and upset after they were unable to gain access to the Pride Glasgow festival in Kelvingrove Park yesterday (14 July).
Yesterday’s Pride Glasgow Parade was the biggest yet, with organizers saying over 12,000 took part. It was led by Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister.
However, problems arose when the parade finished at Kelvingrove Park, where a two-day park event is now taking place. Headliners include Mel C (of the Spice Girls) later today.
The post-parade festival has previously taken place at Glasgow Green. This is the first year the ticketed event has moved to Kelvingrove Park. Although those to arrive first were able to gain entry, many of those who arrived later found themselves having to queue for prolonged periods of time – despite having purchased tickets.
There are reports that some people breached the security fences in an effort to get in. On Facebook, disgruntled tickets holders say that some people fainted due to the heat.
Temperatures in Glasgow hit 23C yesterday and there was a strict rule that people were not allowed to bring their own refreshments into the park. This means many – many tired after already marching the route – ended up queuing for a prolonged period without liquid refreshment.
Pride Glasgow: We apologize ‘unreservedly’
Pride Glasgow posted the following statement to its Facebook yesterday afternoon.
‘The interest in Pride Glagsow today has far exceeded our expectations. Our parade had over 12,000 march, the largest number in our history.
‘Glasgow Pride apologises unreservedly to those people who purchased tickets and were unable to enter the site.
‘A number of media sites have covered how some revellers have been able to breech the security fence, we are working with out (sic) security team to stop any further breeches and ensure everyone who wants to has a safe Pride.
‘Police Scotland are present at Kelvingrove Park to support the Pride Glasgow event organisers and stewards to ensure the safety of those attending the event.’
‘It was one of the poorest experiences I have ever seen at an event’
However, the statement has prompted over 300 comments – most from angry ticket holders. Many are now demanding refunds and are unhappy that there was no mention of how to obtain a refund.
Facebook user Kenneth MacLeod replied to the statement: ‘As someone stuck at the front of that ticketing mess today I can say whole heartedly that it was one of the poorest experiences I have ever seen at an event.
‘The organisers should refund everyone who wasn’t able to attend and offer free entry to those for the next year.’
Allan McKenzie-Kerr wrote: ‘I bought VIP TICKETS ages ago when they first went on sale. Then bought the upgrade STEPS TICKETS. Travelled all the way from Aberdeen, stood in a queue for ages only to be told there were no VIP wristbands left.’
Chloé Gardner said: ‘I’m waiting to be told of how to seek refunds. This is absolutely ridiculous.’
David McAllister said: ‘So, just to clarify – I was there today and had a fabulous day! However, if I come back tomorrow, will I be guaranteed entry?’
It’s estimated that the festival capacity at Kelvingrove Park is between 4,000-6,000, but it’s uncertain how many tickets for the event have been sold.
GSN contacted Pride Glasgow to ask them how many tickets were sold, if there will be any opportunity for refunds for ticket holders to obtain refunds if they were unable to gain entry. We’re awaiting a response.
Nicola Sturgeon: Pride Grand Marshal
Today’s event will be just as busy, if not busier, than yesterday. Besides Mel C, the festival will conclude with a concert from 90s pop legends, Steps.
Gay Star News went down to the Pride Glasgow parade to capture photos of its biggest march yet.
Also present on the day was Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland.
Speaking to the crowds at Kelvingrove Park, the Pride Grand Marshal said: ‘I choose to be here no matter what or who is here this weekend.’
She then added: ‘I’m wearing this #ChooseLove t-shirt because it’s raising money for refugees. The UK should be open to LGBTI asylum seekers.’
She also led the Pride parade making her, according to her party, the first elected head of government in the UK to lead an LGBTI march.
Declaration of interest: Gay Star News is a media partner of Pride Glasgow.