Brighton Pride needs to change

The organisers of Brighton Pride festival met with Brighton City Council this week to discuss "the need for change", after last year's event was described as too straight and not safe for LGBT people. Will charging people to come to Pride make things better?

Speak to most gays in London and they talk about Brighton Pride with affection. People in the know will tell you that it's much better than London Pride, which still doesn't seem to have become the event it should be.

If you actually go to Brighton Pride though, it's a different story. The parade is exactly as you'd expect, well attended by gays and straights, brightly coloured and fun. But then you head over to Preston Park and it's a different story. It's busy, yes, but edgy too and not in a good way. It also feels very straight. Of course straight people are welcome at Pride but the focus of the event has to be the LGBT community otherwise it has not succeeded.

So it is good to hear these issues are being addressed. Following the meeting between Brighton and Hove City Council and the organisers of the event on Wednesday evening, the council said: "A very positive meeting was held to explore the immediate future of Pride.

"As a result of this, all parties were happy to accept the need for the event to change and develop, responding to opinion and exploring new ideas

"All parties left the meeting with good intent and wanting to see a successful Pride for the city."

All sounds very positive, but what does this mean? Well, they are going to charge apparently. Surely, that's a good thing. No other similar one day festival would be free, so why should gays expect Pride to be? After all, someone has to pay for it and most people donate to one of the army of volunteers collecting there anyway.

Of course, we don't want to exclude people who couldn't otherwise afford to come. Why don't they make the tickets as cheap as possible and keep the donations boxes? Any entrance fee should deter those who just come looking for trouble.

As David Harvey, who ran the event between 2003 and 2006, said, if it's commercialised, then Pride could start supporting community activities again.

Good luck to you Brighton Pride! Make us pay and we're more likely to come.

Date: 05 February 2011


David Harvey was quite correct and you should take time to read his article posted on FB under Save the Pride we love. Long term contracts have been awarded which needlessly and long term supporters have been shunned. It is time for a root and branch review.
cardomecards, Brighton - 05 February 2011 12:42 PM

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