By this point, we’ve had our fair share of cancellations due Covid-19. We’ve seen double-year cancellations of Glastonbury Festival, Notting Hill Carnival and many, many more. But that doesn’t mean it comes as any less of a blow when an event of such importance as the Pride Parade gets cancelled for anther year.
The biggest LGBTQIA+ festival was due to take place on September 11, having originally been pushed back from its usual July date. It was expected to gather crowds of around 35,000 people in central London.
Organisers said that the event would have needed to be scaled back to just two or three stages, with the pivotal main parade taken away. It has since raised questions over some events across the country that have been allowed to go ahead, some even prior to the July 19 “Freedom Day” relaxation of rules, such as Euro 2020 partying across the capital.
Pride in London executive director Christopher Joell-Deshields said: “Covid-19 has affected all of us, changing so much about how we live our lives and gather together in our communities.
“Pride, like all other major public events, has faced countless challenges with regards to safely holding one of the largest events in the capital.
“I’m truly saddened to say that Pride in London won’t be happening in person this year. Last week was extremely challenging navigating the government’s recently updated Covid-19 guidelines and legislation for large-scale public events like ours.
“It became clear when working through final risk assessments that our event could not provide the level of mitigation expected from the local public health team and the government.
“It would have meant losing the crucial parade and reducing the event to just two or three stages scattered across central London with limited tickets.
“This goes against everything we want Pride in London to be or that we have been so far.
“No parade, no protest, means no Pride. We cannot waiver from that commitment to you, our community. How are we meant to tell some people that they have tickets and others they don’t?
“I know that events like Manchester Pride, Brighton Pride and Notting Hill Carnival have also had to take these tough decisions based on the advice of public health officials. The team and I agree public health and well-being is our top priority.”
It will come as devastating news for many in London and beyond, with the hope now being that the Pride can return stronger than ever for 2022.