Official – Pride London & WorldPride drastically scaled down

Pride London is one of the highlights of the London gay calendar, attracting up to a million people to watch a parade of floats and walking groups from Baker Street to Trafalgar Square, followed by political speeches and musical acts.

Following reports of financial difficulties, the event – which was billed as ‘World Pride’ – has been scaled down. The parade will be a ‘procession’ and include no floats or cars. Activities at Trafalgar Square will continue with changes to the programme and no events will take place in Soho as part of WorldPride. The Golden Square activities have been cancelled, and the Family Area will be run as an independent activity. The parade will now start at 11am instead of 1pm and events in Trafalgar Square will end earlier than advertised.

Organisers of groups running floats on the parade had paid up to £2500 plus tax to participate in the event. It is unknown if Pride London has offered refunds to the groups who have hired vehicles.

We’ve reached out to Pride London to find out whether there will be street closures on and around Old Compton Street.

So So Gay has also asked organisers whether public service groups such as the police, fire brigade and military will still be involved in the ‘procession’. Sources have indicated that its reassignment to a ‘protest march’ may jeopardise their involvement. Additionally we are seeking clarification on which acts remain on the main stage in Trafalgar Square of those previously announced.

The official statement from Pride London reads ‘Following an all-agency meeting at City Hall on the 27th June regarding the Pride London World Pride 2012 celebrations on the 7th of July, we’re pleased to announce that despite previous misreports in the press about cancelation, this crucial event to celebrate the equality and diversity of the LGBT community will be going ahead.’

‘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 the 7th of July, still a shortfall.’

‘All agencies involved in delivering the event, including the GLA, WCC and Met Police have agreed that it is prudent to deliver an event that is affordable, without compromising the safety, security and integrity of the event.’

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