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Manchester Pride accused of ‘dumbing down’

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  1. Hodge Podge 27 Aug 2010, 7:57pm

    I’m going to be at Reclaim The Scene’s alternative pride picnic thing, it should be fun!

  2. Jess Conrad 28 Aug 2010, 4:02pm

    What A Lot Of Grumbleweeds….You Are Lucky Folk Want To Take Part In Pride….There Is And Should Be No Question Of Dumming Down…..Just F…ing Get On With It!!

  3. Steve in Brazil 28 Aug 2010, 8:18pm

    Yes, I quite agree with the comment at No 2. get on and enjoy it. Although I can see the point of it being a ´safe place´ and not open during Pride unless you can pay, what is one weekend folks?

    Manchester Pride manages to raise money ever year for local lesbian and gay charities, something not many other Pride events manage to do.

    As is common with a lot of things, most people have no idea (nor do they want to know) what goes on behind the scenes to bring them some superb event. Even the costs of providing toilets for those present is staggering. But they arrive on the day and seem to think that everything just appears there as if by magic. And, because everything just appears on its own, by magic, then why should they have to pay for it?

    Although now living in Brazil, (so I am missing this weekend in Manchester unfortunately), I worked on Manchester Pride for a number of years and know only too well the work and planning that goes into it… When Pride is finished, work starts on NEXT years event!

    Pride also provides a much-needed financial booster shot in the arm for many local gay businesses. It is a chance for the whole city to come together and celebrate Manchesters Gay scene and community.

    As I said, these things do not come for free. Other Pride events have tried different methods of covering the costs.. Taking buckets round and asking for donations at events etc… they rarely cover their expenses! People do not seem so willing to donate to enjoy the event they are attending, and keep it free for others…. shame, but that is how it is.

    So, Manchester Pride must charge, and charge they do. Yes, the Village is sealed off during the Big Weekend.. but it is only one weekend out of the whole year. Let everyone enjoy it who wants to go… Without the moaners. Those who want an ´alternative pride´, some picnic in a park or whatever, then please do so.. There is plenty of room for both.

    To those able to go this weekend, have a great Manchester Pride!

  4. Pathetic, really. I was there yesterday, and it wasn’t “dumbed down” at all. If they had bothered to check out the lifestyle expo, there were many charities, political groups and organisations, just as there were in the parade. In fact, me and my friend joined several organisations yesterday. Manchester Pride is truly amazing, and the tickets aren’t ‘too’ expensive, as they help fund both bride and charities.

  5. I’ve been there all weekend and, while not dissappointed, I was not entirely imressed, either. Gone are the advice stalls from the Village Square, instead replaced by a Co-Op store and a stage that seemed never to have any live events on it.
    The ‘Lifestyle Expo’ was a farce. WTF has Mecca Bingo got to do with informing and educating people? They were there to try to sign people up for membership to the local hall. That stall could have been taken by any number of groups.
    Was good to see the ‘boys in blue’ representing all their differeent aspects, with 4 stalls. Last yeat the NHS had a tent on The Square where you could sit down and chat to them, this year had a stall no bigger than a garden shed and were reduced to handing out leaflets instead of being able to talk.
    The Parade was good (big up Sir Ian, both for that and his rousing speech at the opening ceremony on Friday), but the last float was tailgated by the roadsweepers. As one bystander commented to me “feels like they’re saying ‘look, we gave you your bit of fun, now go back to your little compound so we can forget about you until next year…'”
    It was worth the money, and I would go again next year, but I think the organisers have rested on their laurels a bit this year and gotten a little too complacent. Maybe if they read these pages they may up the ante again to get it back to the usual standard for next year … time will tell.

  6. David Griff 31 Aug 2010, 12:57am

    One weekend a year is a lot if your young, gay and homeless and find that the only place you really feel any semblance of safety is the village.

  7. PercivalPounder 31 Aug 2010, 9:24am

    Excellent weekend and thanks to all of those who organised it. Why should Pride be political? I’m right wing AND gay. I hope you don’t suggest I should be an outcast!

  8. The article is inaccurate. It started in 1990 so it’s the 21st event this year, not 20th. Besides which the word ‘pride’ wasn’t used until Europride in 2003.

    The fundraising aspect is overhyped. It is a gigantic event now which brings in £17.5m of extra income for local businesses but it raises no more for good causes than it did 15 years ago and that’s a disgrace for an event that was started entirely to raise funds for HIV and AIDS causes.

    In the financial year 1994/95 the Village Charity raised £60,000 for good causes (equivalent to about £115,000 in today’s money). In 2009 Manchester Pride raised £135,000, in 2008 £105,000 and in 2007 just £95,000.

    My photos of the first event in 1990 can be seen here:

  9. Steve in Brazil 31 Aug 2010, 3:46pm

    “The fundraising aspect is overhyped. It is a gigantic event now which brings in £17.5m of extra income for local businesses” Yeah, also much needed income. These days, the word ´business´ is often used as some kind of dirty word. Yet what do we expect when we visit Manchester Canal Street? We expect a gay-friendly and safe place where we can be ourselves.. We expect to be able to get a drink, a meal, maybe enjoy a night out, get our hair cut, buy things etc… I always tried to use gay businesses in the village. Again, they do not just stay there as if by magic, just for us all to look at. They need supporting. Pride goes a long way in doing that. In ensuring that they are there for the rest of the year also..

    “In the financial year 1994/95 the Village Charity raised £60,000 for good causes (equivalent to about £115,000 in today’s money). In 2009 Manchester Pride raised £135,000, in 2008 £105,000 and in 2007 just £95,000.”

    Yes, we need to look at how even more money can be raised for LGBT charities… But I say again, let´s also compare these figures with the balance sheets for OTHER pride events throughout the country…. How much do THEY raise for local good-causes exactly?

    Many manage to run at a HUGE loss every year and raise nothing for anyone.

  10. I don’t agree with the idea that any amount for charities, no matter how small (compared to the profits), justifies massive profiteering courtesy of an event that excludes vast numbers of LGBT people due to the youth/pop festival focus and ticket prices.

    In fact this is the ‘smoke and mirrors’ trick that led us to where we are: the good names of the charities being used to justify businesses and individuals lining their pockets. In 1999 the ticket was called a ‘pledgeband’. But in the end that year zero was raised for good causes.

    In 2000 the much smaller and free-to-attend GayFest raised £110,000 which is equivalent to about £140,000. It’s as if there is some kind of glass ceiling on the charity amount and it is never allowed to go above £140,000.

  11. Apologies, the figure was £105,000 raised from GayFest in 2000. Equivalent to about £130,000 now.

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