World Pride 2012 has caused much confusion this week, so GSN has compiled a full guide of what is happening in London over the 7 to 8 July weekend.
Firstly, floats and cars will not be allowed in the main parade on 7 July. Instead, the parade has been renamed a ‘procession’, and festival goers are invited to march to show support. They can even bring shopping trollies if they really want!
After that the main stage in Trafalgar Square will be showcasing musicians, speakers and more until early evening. International gay sensation, Boy George, will perform alongside R&B singer, Deborah Cox.
Boy George’s performance will be complemented by the London Gay Big Band. Dance act Drag Divas will also be performing on the main stage. The main stage schedule has been changed to 1pm to 6pm for policing and safety requirements.
And there will be no Soho street party this year as World Pride’s funding could not cover the Dance Stage or the Tesco Family Area. Police have threatened to crack down on street drinking and bars which play music which can be heard outdoors may also face action against them, although it’s not yet clear how vigorously this will be applied in practice.
Further dampening the party are weather reports indicating heavy rain showers and little sun are expected in London and South East region over the weekend, so umbrellas, coats and jackets look necessary.
Meanwhile it’s a good chance to check up on your sexual health. In Berwick Street, Soho, free HIV testing will be available from 1pm to 5pm on 7 and 8 July.
A couple of other events are worth noting over the weekend.
The Gay Photographers Network Exhibition will be returning to the Strand Gallery, John Adam Street for its second year and will be running until 8 July.
World Pride have released a statement expressing their ‘sincerest apologies’ to festival goers who were let down by the scaling back of the event. But they say they still have faith in the weekend being a memorable festival.