LCR Pride Foundation has announced the cancellation of Pride in Liverpool and its annual March with Pride for 2021. The event, which is sponsored by Barclays, was due to take place on Saturday 31st July.
Despite the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown and hopes for a more normal summer with the expected return of some larger-scale events, uncertainty and risks around mass public gatherings and COVID-19 have prompted the organisation to cancel the physical events for a second consecutive year.
The decision comes after investigations into all possible options to bring the annual march and Pride in Liverpool celebrations back did not deliver a safe and viable option.
Lewis Collins, Chair of the LCR Pride Foundation Board of Directors, said: “Our decision to cancel Pride in Liverpool and March with Pride for 2021 has not been taken lightly.”
“The organisation’s team and board have worked tirelessly with Liverpool City Council and other partners to explore all possibilities, but despite these efforts we have not found an option that would allow us to confidently proceed and deliver an event that would guarantee the safety, health and enjoyment of the people who attend each year, and the suppliers, businesses and partners that support the event.”
“The health, safety and wellbeing of all involved with and attending the event is absolutely paramount. The ongoing uncertainty around COVID-19 restrictions and the limitations we face in terms of implementing COVID-19 security measures at a free-to-access event attracting 50,000 people, has made it clear that we will not be able to deliver Pride in Liverpool or March with Pride safely and effectively in 2021.”
“We understand how important Pride in Liverpool is in bringing our communities together and realise the disappointment this announcement will cause. As always, we will shortly be announcing our annual theme and digital programme to ensure we can still celebrate Pride across the region and provide support and visibility to the city region’s LGBT+ community. We will of course continue to monitor the situation and explore smaller region-wide events, while also looking to our 2022 celebrations and preparing for what we are sure will be an incredible return for Pride in Liverpool.”
Andrew Websdale, Regional Head of Barclays Spectrum, Barclays LGBT+ colleague network, said: “Pride is more than a march, it’s about coming together as a community in celebration, unity and solidarity. So while we all wish we could get together on the streets of Liverpool this year, we know that LCR Pride Foundation will put on a phenomenal virtual event programme that raises awareness of the struggles that the LGBT+ community still face, and celebrates how far we have come, in a way that is safe for everyone. We are proud to be the headline sponsor of Pride in Liverpool for the fourth year, and we will continue to actively support Pride.”
For more information and announcements about LCR Pride Foundation’s digital programme and other initiatives, visit lcrpride.co.uk
Below responses can be attributed to Andi Herring, CEO of LCR Pride Foundation.
Other large Prides are still planning to go ahead this year. Why has Pride in Liverpool been cancelled?
Unlike other Pride events that have announced 2021 dates, of which many are paid and ticketed events, Pride in Liverpool is a free-to-access event, which limits our charity’s ability to implement COVID-19 security measures such as smaller capacities, rapid testing at the site or in advance of entry, and the yet-to-be-confirmed ‘vaccine passports’.
Why not sell tickets so these measures can be put in place for 2021?
First and foremost, Pride in Liverpool has always been a free event and LCR Pride Foundation is committed to keeping it this way, so it remains accessible to the whole community. Our March with Pride is one of our most important elements and we proudly welcome all to protest without attendance restrictions or tickets, to implement these restrictions wouldn’t be practical or in keeping with our ethos.
Secondly, the organisation of paid events on the scale of the larger ticketed Pride events take a significant amount of time and finance to curate and implement. With the guidance and potential restrictions unclear and ever-changing we simply could not predict what will be asked of us or what cost implications this may have to our charity.
About LCR Pride Foundation
LCR Pride Foundation was established in 2019 with the aim of making the Liverpool City Region the most LGBT+ friendly region in the UK.
The organisation champions the rights of LGBT+ people living in and visiting the region. It fights to highlight the daily barriers they face and create an inclusive culture for all to enjoy and participate in, through a diverse programme of events, initiatives and campaigns.
For more information visit: www.lcrpride.co.uk