January 6, 2011
Former chair of Brighton Pride speaks out
The chair of Brighton Pride from 2003 – 2006, David Harvey, has written to national gay publication the Pink Paper to air his view that Brighton Pride is failing.
Mr Harvey gained charitable status for the festival in 2004 but claims that the current management committee is failing to meet its responsibilities as a charitable event.
He said that the festival needs a “radical” overhaul and could be rescued by commercialising it, erecting gates around Preston Park and charging for entry. One solution he recommended was a takeover bid by production company Wilde Ones and club brand Wild Fruit. Mr Harvey worked with both of these companies during his time as chair but claims to have no current connection.
Mr Harvey claims that through commercialisation the festival would once again be able to afford to give grants to voluntary and community groups so that they could participate in the annual event.
He added that the festival was losing its gay identity and LGBT people no longer felt safe. “If you’re going to a gay event, you have to feel safe,” he said. “Pride is for LGBT people and their friends – it is not just for anyone who wants a party.”
In 2009, Brighton Pride organisers announced a £50,000 budget deficit and admitted the festival was not paying for itself and cancelled the winter event.
Brighton Pride has not yet commented.
To see the letter in full visit the Pink Paper.
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