Pride in London was cancelled on Friday, just a few weeks before the public were set to attend the highly-anticipated event – leaving some people angry and frustrated.
The director for community engagement with Pride in London confirmed the disappointing news in a short video posted on Twitter.
Christopher Joell-Deshields explained: “Pride like all other major public events has faced countless challenges with regards to safely holding one of the largest events in the capital.
“I’m truly saddened to say that Pride in London won’t be happening in person this year.”
Unsurprisingly, the news did not go down well among the fans of the festival, especially as it was also cancelled last year.
When the news broke, The New Statesman’s Rachel Cunliffe tweeted: “This is so sad. It’s an outdoor parade.
“If the Euros can happen, why not Pride?”
Why the Euros 2020 final did go ahead
Approximately 60,000 fans flocked to Wembley stadium to watch England compete in the Euro 2020 final against Italy back in July.
The match was blighted by chaos at one point when ticketless fans also flooded into London, with some even attempting to enter the stadium.
Covid spread rapidly among the attendees with some even dubbing their strain of the virus the “Wembley variant” in the days immediately after the football game and many claimed the occasion was a super-spreader event.
But the match went ahead as part of a pilot scheme, the Event Research Programme, run by the government to see what kind of risk large gatherings posed to the epidemic.
England has since lifted almost all of the restrictions – yet many public events, like Pride, are still being cancelled.
Another account supported the comparison to the Euros, tweeting: “Oh, but when it’s football London is wide open.”
One pointed to the other events held in the UK and asked: “340,000 people at Silverstone but Pride is too much? The rules don’t make any sense.”
There were approximately 350,000 who attended Silverstone at some point during the three-day motor racing event held in July.
Another took aim at the management team and said: “As pride organisers you’re hardly fighting.”
But, not all hit out at London Pride’s decision.
Some believe this was the safest move
A different Twitter account wrote: “Gutting news but absolutely the right decision. Pride without the protest just isn’t.
“Solidarity with your whole team who must be devastated to have to make such a hard decision.”
But why did it have to be cancelled?
Joell-Deshields explained that navigating the new Covid guidelines and legislation for large-scale events was “extremely challenging”.
He added that it was clear Pride in London could not “provide the level of mitigation expected from the local public health team and the government”.
Joell-Deshields said the parade would have to be cancelled, with the whole event restricted to two or three events across London with a limited ticket supply.
He explained: “This goes against everything we want Pride in London to be or that we have been so far.”
He explained: “We cannot waiver from that commitment to you, our community.”
Joell-Deshields added that volunteers will still be focusing on engaging with LGBT+ communities to “achieve our committed objections towards diversity and inclusion”.
He said his team will now start planning for Pride in London 2022, which will honour the 50th anniversary since the UK’s first pride event.
There will also be an appeal to declare 2022 “a year of queer”.
Pride in London is not the only major event this year which had to cancel.
Manchester Pride, Brighton Pride and Notting Hill Carnival were all called off, along with Glastonbury Music Festival.
Southampton Pride, on August 28, and Reading Pride, held on September 4, will still be going ahead.