LGBTQ+ charity Manchester Pride has announced that this year’s Manchester Pride Festival will be postponed until 2021.
The charity, which campaigns year round for LGBTQ+ equality, is responsible for one of Europe’s biggest celebrations of LGBTQ+ life every August Bank Holiday weekend.
With the safety of everyone who is involved with or attends the event in mind, this year’s festival, which generates over £34m of economic benefit for the city, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic until it is safe to hold large-scale gatherings again.
All tickets bought for the 2020 event will be rolled over to the postponed event in August 2021. Anyone who no longer wishes to attend can apply for a refund or make a donation to the charity.
Those wishing to donate to Manchester Pride can do so through the charity’s Just Giving page. (LINK) or donate £3 to Manchester Pride by texting MCRPRIDE to 70450. Texts cost £3 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about its work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. Those who would like to give £3 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text MCRPRIDENOINFO to 70450.
“Since large gatherings were banned in March, we have been working tirelessly to map out the options available to us for the four day event that forms the heart of our year,” said Manchester Pride chief executive Mark Fletcher.
“Cancelling the festival altogether was something that my team did not want to consider but after consulting with our partners and reviewing every option, the only way we can deliver what we have planned for this year is to move it to August 2021.”
The charity plans to hold a celebration of LGBTQ+ life in 2020 but it will be very different from the event we have become accustomed to.
“LGBTQ+ people in Greater Manchester look forward to the Manchester Pride Festival every year as a safe space where they can celebrate with their communities and meet like minded people,” said Mark. “We take our role in providing this very seriously, especially at a time when social isolation is at its worst. We are committed to delivering a safe and suitable alternative celebration, but we aren’t in a position to confirm exactly what that might be yet as the boundaries that we must work within are dictated by the pandemic which is still changing day to day.
“Everyone here at Manchester Pride is devastated and heartbroken by this decision. Manchester Pride Festival is our flagship event, one of the biggest celebrations of LGBTQ+ life in the UK, and the highlight of the year for all of us. The LGBTQ+ community and its well-being is at the heart of everything that we do, and we are proud of everything that we have achieved as an organisation over the last two months including delivering the Manchester Pride 2020 Conference online, alongside our Live in Your Living Room events, Community Conversations, Listening Groups, Online Consultation and Youth Pride Workshops, all while working in isolation from our team members, and in a completely unprecedented situation.
“We will continue with our mission to work with LGBTQ+ people, helping them to live free from discrimination and to feel safe in their own environment and to educate people on how to recognise, understand and prevent discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, in order to achieve our vision of living in a world where LGBTQ+ people are free to live and love without prejudice. There are tough times ahead, but we are confident that with the support of the city, LGBTQ+ people and allies and the organisations that continue to support us year on year, we will weather the storm.
“In this unprecedented time I ask that Greater Manchester remembers that we are a charity and we need its support more than ever right now. We recognise that LGBTQ+ people may be living in difficult situations and that they need to engage with their chosen families and communities to get them through. Donations received will ensure that we are able to carry on our work digitally to provide this vital work throughout the year.”