Brighton & Hove Pride will not be going ahead as planned in August after organisers made the “difficult decision” to cancel the 2020 parade and festival amidst the current global health crisis.
The famously gay Sussex seaside town was due to hold its 30th anniversary Pride celebrations over the first weekend of August, with Mariah Carey confirmed as the headline act for Saturday's festival, in what would have been the legendary singer's first ever official Pride performance.
A statement from organisers says the decision has been made with “a heavy heart” and that organisers have been “shocked and devastated by the unprecedented turn of events over the past weeks – especially the catastrophic health and economic impacts this pandemic is having on members of our community.”
The statement says they were hoping to wait until closer the time to “avoid disappointing our volunteers, community groups and the public”, but that the escalating pandemic and the added pressure an event such as Brighton & Hove Pride would put on the emergency services contributed to the decision to postpone until next year.
“We know, when the time is right, it will be even more important for people to come back together and celebrate our communities and city,” it says.
The statement also notes that there’s a possibility of some scaled back Pride events if the COVID-19 crisis improves in the coming months, but that “we can’t in all honesty deliver the landmark anniversary Pride celebration we had been planning”.
Responding to news of the cancellation, Attitude Editor-in-Chief Cliff Joannou said: “We are saddened to hear that Brighton Pride has been cancelled this year.
"Attitude is a long-time media partner and is fully aware that this was not a decision taken lightly by the organisers.
"From its inspiring parade to the incredible park event, we know that Paul Kemp and the incredible team that produce one of the UK’s greatest celebrations of LGBTQ identity are already working to make Brighton Pride 2021 bigger, better and prouder than ever before.”
Existing ticket holders will have their tickets honoured and rolled over to the rescheduled event in 2021, but they are also being asked to consider donating them in support of Pride and the essential fundraising projects it contributes to.
If 2020 ticket holders donate their tickets, they’ll be given priority purchasing options in the 2021 pre-release ticket sale.
Almost a million pounds has been raised in the last six years to fund local initiatives.
Those who are unable to attend next year and don’t wish to donate their ticket can apply for a refund via the Brighton & Hove Pride website.
The postponement of Brighton & Hove Pride is the latest in dozens of similar announcements, with some Prides hoping to reschedule their event for later in the year but many cancelling 2020 celebrations altogether.
Check out our full list of affected Pride events here.