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Future of Brighton Pride uncertain over ‘£200,000 debt’

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  1. Father Ted 7 Feb 2012, 10:35am

    I don’t see why Pride should cost anything, people should be free to do their own thing. Looks like turning it into a ticketed event like any other ( which it isn’t) may have killed it off.

    Maybe a return to community spirit, rather than it being another commercial event, will bring it back to life.

    1. Because when it comes down to it, it costs money to hire security, rent space for stalls and booths and stage areas, along with the equipment to go along with all of those, and to obtain the permits and licenses to hold the event in the first place. Add to this the cost of cleaning up after the event and the hours of preparation that go into it beforehand, and like it or not, there’s quite a hefty bill sitting there.

      Whether an event is commercial or not, there are still costs that go along with it. They made even greater losses in years past, when it was a free event.

  2. It will be a shame if it does fold, I’ve had some amazing times at Brighton Pride. Problem is it has imploded on itself and become a victim of its own sucess much like London Pride had several years ago. That and the fact party goers were refusing to donate, in the last few years that I went there was a lack of people collecting money.

    While I don’t agree with ticketing, the park should be fenced off with two entrances with volunteers collecting money from revellers on the way in as they used to with London Pride back in the day when that was a superb event. People are more than happy to donate on the way in.

    Other options would be coporate sponsorship but again many people don’t like that idea.

    They should write to companies who are at the top of the Stonewall gay friendly companies to ask for sponsorhip, I am sure many of them would be happy ro raise their profile higher.

    Maybe let it take a rest this year and come back in 2013 with the best event yet!

    1. I don’t think it is up to the partygoers to financially subsidise Pride. They are already spending money in the local economy.

      A massive amount of money is earned and spent during Pride.

      Where does this money go – into the tills of Brighton and Hove’s shops/bars/restaurants/hotels etc. These businesses make an absolute fortune from Pride.

      They should fund the event as they are the ones reaping the financial rewards from it.

      1. Staircase2 7 Feb 2012, 9:46pm


        I knew it had to happen at some point!

        dAVID’s posted something which makes sense!

        Well said, sir!

    2. Patrick Lyster-Todd 7 Feb 2012, 2:52pm

      The reality is that London Pride – when it was free – folded for precisely the reason that attendees wre NOT happy (or prepared) to donate on the way in. During the Clapham event in the late 90’s, the event was swamped by a very large number of people who gave nothing (many, it appeared at the time, were non LGBT coming along for a free event). Donations of £5 pp were requested on the turnstiles, £2 pp was needed to break even – and 35p pp was averaged. Pride then went bust. In later years, it bceame ticketed (primarily at Finsbury Park) but this too didn’t last as the backers could never get it to work financially (and, whatever some reckoned, never made an overall profit), and many gay men and lesbians didn’t want to pay the large-ish entry prices. Unfortunately, even with corporate sponsorship (absolutely essential to keep ticket prices down) all too many people wanted something for nothing, believing that they had some sort of divine right to a festival in the park/ctd

    3. Patrick Lyster-Todd 7 Feb 2012, 2:55pm

      ctd/ with all the attendant security and health & safety costs (to mention just a few) for nothing … I’m sorry but the world just doesn’t work like that.

      I hope that Pride Brighton makes it … I too have enjoyed many happy days there over the years … but, ultimately, one only gets what one is prepared to pay for.

      1. Staircase2 7 Feb 2012, 9:50pm

        Not true

        I, for my part, firmly believe that London Pride’s downfall was chronic mismanagement of what was actually a free end of march celebration.
        And I believe that’s exactly what is happening at Brighton too.

        As many others have pointed out, Brighton benefits ENORMOUSLY from the financial input which comes from Pride weekend/week. I was told (and I have every reason to believe this is true) that Pride is Brighton’s biggest earning weekend in the whole year.

        Surely its not outside the wit of Brighton to sort out an arrangement which benefits everyone concerned and maintains a due level of competence in the management of the event.

  3. Keith Farrell 7 Feb 2012, 12:06pm

    this whole pride thing is out of hand, seems everyone wants a free party. since coming back to the UK, I have seen how expensive things are and how unhelpful councils are, seems too much greed. the business’s that benifit, do they spend anything? If your business is going to be boosted surly you need to pay something towrd the clean up, and the council, surly you need to spend a little money towards the event that put your town on the map, come on people stop your greed and pake sure your town does not become a no go area. Yes we are proud to be free, we still have a long way to go we are only reasonbly free in 10 countries in the world, maybe instead of us spending our pink money on a pride march, we need to spend it to get our rights every where. let the councils decide if they want to encourage gay people to vist for pride marches

    1. Brighton & Hove Council strongly supports the Pride event and in the past few years has heavily subsidised the event. Obviously inthe current climate they can’t afford to do it this year which is a shame.

      I do agree with you that local business should make more of an effort in terms of cost as they do benefit from the extra trade.

      It’s a shame that these events become so popular that they and up caving in on themselves due to in fighting and lack of financial support from the gay community itself.

  4. Helen Wilson 7 Feb 2012, 1:11pm

    Something must be wrong with the Pride committee if they cant make money out of Brighton Pride. The glaringly obvious excessive expense is the whole Preston park set-up.

    Have everything on the seafront and in Kemp town.

    1. You know, that is a really good idea.

  5. Brighton will never allow its Pride Festival to fold.

    It’s too important to the local economy.

    Personally I think the bars/restaurants/hotels etc (who benefit massivelly from the festival) should pay more towards the event. They are the businesses which benefit from the event.

    The Pride organisers have to pay all the expenses yet don’t recoup the very obvious financial benefits the festival brings to the town.

  6. Spanner1960 7 Feb 2012, 2:18pm

    Year after year, it seems Pride events end up running into organisational and/or financial difficulties. I’m sorry but LGBT people are useless at this sort of thing and couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery. That combined with the fact that gay men are the most tight-fisted bunch of tossers on the planet that will cheerfully blow £50 on a pair of underpants but squeal like stuck pigs when they are forced to shell out a fiver for an all-day event.

    What it needs is straight, or at least straight-headed business organisers that raise the cash via local sponsors and businesses and run the show as a profitable exercise. Until people stop with the lefty, back-biting and in-bitching and quit treating it less like a social event and more like a business, Prides will continue to crash and burn.

    1. But why should gay people pay for the Pride event.

      Anyone who attends the festival will be spending a fortune on the day/weekend already.

      Pride is a nice party. But for the majority of people life can continue very happily without a Pride festival.

      It is the hospitality industry (bars, restaurants, clubs, hotels, shops etc) which need Pride to continue as the Pride weekend is one of the most important weekends of the year for them in terms of revenue.

      Brighton and Hove Council realise his – so they should be charging these businesses.

      Given a choice between contributing a couple of thousand quid or cancelling the festival, any bar in Brighton will chose to pay a couple of grand. They make so much money from Pride that they can afford to pay for it.

      1. Pride if for gay people, therefor gay people should pay for it. They are the ones wanting it so they can shout about who they are and what no, so either pay for it or let it go.

        1. Yes Pride is for gay folk.

          But I’m not willing to pay to see Bananarama and Sonia miming their hits.

          The money generated to the Brighton economy over the Pride weekend runs into the millions I would guess.

          Where do these millions go? Into the pockets of the bars/clubs/hotels/restaurants.

          I’d be curious to see what revenue the Bulldog (for example) generated over the Pride weekend.

          I’d be equally curious to see what financial contribution it made towards the cost of the festival.

        2. Spanner1960 7 Feb 2012, 5:12pm

          The Olympics is for people that like sport, so why the fck am I paying for it!??

  7. obviously donation process is not working as it should, maybe there should be a review and new options applied ie. £1 entry charge to all gay venues (voluntarily and unanimously agreed between venues owners) on a specific day of the week (for substantial period), that would go towards cost of organising the pride. surly a preferred option to high cost of the ticket

    1. Spanner1960 7 Feb 2012, 5:14pm

      That cannot easily be managed. Better off would be to just stick 10-20p on every drink or sandwich. It would soon add up.

      1. it would be a challenge, but it seems gay people don’t want voluntary donate to pride, i know a lot of us couldn’t give a toss about pride, but when ‘forced’ to contribute small amount through some sort of charge i’m sure we wouldn’t complain that much about it, also businesses have responsibility to support the pride and a small charge of £5 at the event would prevent freeloaders/trouble makers from attending

        1. Staircase2 7 Feb 2012, 9:55pm

          ‘dont want to donate’ my arse!
          who do you think pays for the overpriced drinks, food, funfare rides, dildo’s in the park etc?

          Not everyone who comes to Pride is able to afford to contribute either – but their presence helps make Brighton Pride as attractive as it is to those who do/can.

          I remain convinced this is to do with chronic mismanagement more than it is to do with ‘freeloading’ LGBT festival goers…

  8. If I’m honest Brighton pride itself seems to have changed and I think this has also caused a problem.

    When I went three years ago (the last time after going for years before) it was dirty, grimy and full of straight people looking for a day out.

    Above all though is was full of flaming soapdodgers. Dirty, rotten squatter types who seemed to have cottoned on it was yet another freebie they could take advantage of.

    The solution is multi-fold:

    1. Change the venue. Preston park is lovely and big, but make it more intimate – as Helen suggested above, perhaps by the seafront.
    2. Ticket the event, but not at £12.50/£17.50. Try £10 and throw a free drink in. That means many can come and it’ll keep out some of the more unpleasant characters.
    3. Work HARDER with the bars and pubs so that donations are made. Stick buckets in the bars and pubs on the bars.

    Keep pride for the LGBT I say. After all, it’s straight pride for the other 364 days a year.

    1. Staircase2 7 Feb 2012, 9:57pm

      ‘flaming soapdodgers’…!?!?!

      What on EARTH are you talking about!? What kind of snobby arsed bollocks is that?

      I cant believe you think its acceptable to have written that let alone think it!

      1. I can do, and say whatever I please within reason so please don’t presume to tell me what to say or think.
        You may not agree with it. Personally, I don’t give a f***

  9. Staircase2 7 Feb 2012, 9:44pm

    …whatever happened to ‘we must charge because we need to raise enough money to cover it’…..!?!?

    God this makes me angry!

    Once a Festival like that starts charging all that happens is they push up ALL the costs exponentially just because it becomes a commercial, profit-making venture.

    If these reports are true HOW can they be so STUPID?!

    Following London Prides ridiculous example was NOT the way to go…

    1. Spanner1960 7 Feb 2012, 11:14pm

      What was that I said earlier about “gay men are the most tight-fisted bunch of tossers on the planet”?

      Nuff said.

  10. Shame was going to go for first time this year. Oh well

  11. I am a local business owner and although I am not at all against Pride the idea that it boosts business is false. This only happens in certain areas of the town. Where we are we always see a drop off in custom on Pride day since customers all head off for the Pride events and to Kemp Town. As I say, I have no problem with that for one night per year but to suggest I should fund something that loses me business is barmy!

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