Brighton’s gay bars and clubs are taking revenge against Pride organisers after a “serious communication breakdown” that has led to the cancellation of the annual Street Party.
Three bars have already joined the revolt by withdrawing all donations promised to Pride, with many more expected to follow suit.
Last year, venues raised more than £10,000 over the festival weekend, which was donated to Brighton Pride in order to help fund the festival.
The official Pride after party usually brings the event to a fitting climax, with 35,000 revellers dancing in the streets.
Some venue owners have accused Pride organisers of keeping them “in the dark” about this years party, complaining that they weren’t told of the problems until it was too late to organise alternative arrangements.
“We had enough time to organise but Pride never told us,” Dale Drury, manager of the Bulldog pub told The Argus.
He added, “Safety issues can be dealt with, all you have to do is talk.”
Some bars have also accused the police of meddling with council authorities to jeopardise the most successful festival event in the city.
Pride organisers publicly raised concerns about the Street Party last month, saying that the amount of people at the event was reaching unsafe levels. New legislation also meant that Pride would be responsible for the entire street – leading to them ‘pulling out’ of organising the party. Pub managers are “livid” at Pride for not informing them of their decision months earlier, which would have given them enough time to organise a street party themselves.
The withdrawal of funds from local bars could hit Pride hard as the charity relies on fundraising to organise the events.
Pride Operations Manager PJ Aldred has now said that Pride will be supporting outside bars at the event. But for venue managers, it’s too little, too late.