Liverpool Pride has announced details of a revised format of the event for 2015 due to the charity’s financial constraints – taking it back to its first principles around inclusivity and equality with FREE events for the LGBT community.
Changes to the event on Saturday, 1 August, mean that there will be no event at the Pier Head as first announced, or road closures at the Stanley Street Quarter. There will no outdoor alcohol drinking zones.
However, event highlight the Pride March will go ahead making its way from St George’s Hall through the city centre, and the Michael Causer Vigil will remain key parts of the event.
A programme of activities will also take place across the city, including market, education and community zone, workshops, guest speakers, acoustic music, a mobile cinema, and a family zone, with locations including Stanley Street Quarter.
Established in 2010, Liverpool Pride is a charity run entirely by volunteers. This year the organising charity has faced difficulties in attracting additional sponsors to help fund the format that attenders have come to expect in recent years, due to the current economic climate and escalating event costs.
Despite the changes, the Pride team is keen to stress that an event will go ahead for the sixth consecutive year but in a new scaled down format for 2015 while they go through a transitional year.
Liverpool Pride is one of the city’s most popular, visual and flamboyant events in the calendar. It attracts thousands of colourful characters in creative costumes, as well as families, who take to the streets to support the Pride cause.
This year’s theme, as voted for by the public, is Love Is No Crime – and attenders are encouraged to take part in the programme dressed in their most wild and wonderful interpretations of the theme.
The date of Liverpool Pride always coincides with the anniversary of when murdered gay teenager Michael Causer tragically lost his life. Michael died on 2 August 2008, and the festival was specifically created in his memory as a way to celebrate his life and empower the LGBT communities. This year’s Liverpool Pride takes place a week before what would have also been Michael’s 26th birthday.
Liverpool Pride 2015 is being supported by main sponsors Homes For Everyone and Liverpool City Council. Supporters also include After Adoption, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, Hugh Baird College, Unison North West LGBT, and Barefoot Wine.
Joan Burnett, Trustee of Liverpool Pride Charity said: “This has been an extremely difficult year for the Liverpool Pride charity in financial terms, after the weather affected 2014’s event adversely. We have worked very hard to bring the charity out of a deficit situation, meaning we can focus on a different kind of event this year, whilst working towards sustainability for 2016.
Our theme, Love Is No Crime, will focus on the Pride March and positive messages about LGBT lives. Liverpool Pride is a registered charity so we have to stay within our financial restraints, therefore the event will feel less commercial and more community driven, with lots of free activities. We are extremely grateful to our sponsors and supporters for continuing to champion the Pride cause.
“It’s a day for remembering why we hold Pride – to try to ensure that what happened to Michael Causer never happens again. LGBT people in our region still undergo violence and prejudice simply for who they are, and Liverpool Pride is a campaign for equality and dignity for everyone. By putting the March at the centre of our attention, we’re giving the campaign the profile it deserves.
“However this is Liverpool Pride, so visitors can still expect fabulous celebrations across the Stanley Street Quarter, and we aim to announce a great line-up of brand new music, dance and film, and health and wellbeing in venues across the city, but we do still need support.”
There will be extra activity leading up to the increasingly popular and poignant Liverpool Pride March from St George’s Hall, which remains the main part of the day. This will include an extended muster time on St George’s Plateau from 10.30am, with a programed schedule of activity running through until the march start time of 12pm.
Liverpool Pride will also host a free to visit Community Pride zone, sponsored by After Adoption. This includes workshops, face painting, crafts and games, drama classes, acoustic music, market traders, and a speakers’ corner where specially invited guests from around the world will focus on life issues facing the LGBT community. This will run from 1pm to 5pm with a site still to be confirmed.
There will also be Pride At The Pictures. The 100-seater mobile Picturehouse Cinema will screen four feature films, one of which will be the premiere of a new LGBT film made in Liverpool. The cinema will be open between 2pm and 10pm, and tickets are £6 per screening and available to book in advance via Picturehouse@FACT.
The winners of the Out On Stage competition organised by The Michael Causer Foundation, will also be performing on the day, the unprecedented music prize offered the chance for Liverpool’s best unsigned music stars to perform with headline slots at Liverpool Pride.
Liverpool Pride 2015 will be brought to a poignant close with the Michael Causer Vigil on Sunday, 2 August, the vigil will take place in Temple Square (between Victoria St and Dale St from 5.30pm.
A new fringe event for 2015 is the Stanley Street Quarter Pride Weekend, which will run alongside Liverpool Pride, from Friday to Sunday (31 July to 2 August). The Stanley Street Quarter venues are hosting entertainment to complement the festival and some bars will be ticketed. Stanley Street will not be closed and outdoor drinking is not permitted.
Andy Herring, Chair of the Stanley Street Quarter, added: “It is a great shame that Liverpool Pride will not take place in its usual format this year, but on a positive note, the Stanley Street Quarter and its venues are working together to create a fantastic weekend festival to run alongside the event. We have lots of exciting entertainment planned and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone over the weekend.”
Liverpool Pride charity are reaching out to the business and local community for support to enable a Pride event to continue in the future. If anybody would like to support they should get in touch via the Liverpool Pride website.
Keep up to date with Pride Liverpool announcements by visiting www.liverpoolpride.co.uk where people can also register to volunteer or find out about sponsorship opportunities.