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09:55 | 18th November 2017

News: UK

Tue 1 Jun, 2010
By Danielle Carter


It's been another huge success overall, and we look forward to really building on the aspects that people really enjoyed this year in 2011 and those things that we fell short on we immediately address in our debrief.

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Birmingham Pride Huge Success

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An estimated 75,000 party revellers from around the UK descended on Birmingham for the 14th annual Pride festival, which has become one of the biggest free LGBT festivals in the UK.

Despite a wet start to the proceedings on Saturday, the event enjoyed sunny weather on Sunday. The festival launched with a colourful Carnival Parade setting off from Victoria Square with around a dozen motorised floats and hundreds of people from the LGBT community taking part in support of this year's theme 'Equality Over The Decades'.

The parade procession toured parts of the city centre before ending up directly in the gay village, which organisers heralded as a big improvement over last year.

In 2009, the parade caused mayhem and gave rise to serious health and safety concerns after the city council refused to sanction a route to get the parade from Victoria Square to the gay village.

Festival Director, Lawrence Barton commented: "It's been another huge success overall, and we look forward to really building on the aspects that people really enjoyed this year in 2011 and those things that we fell short on we immediately address in our debrief."

This year's free festival featured performers from the music industry including Starmen from Sky1's Pineapple Dance Studios, the Cheeky Girls and Steph Fearon, a semi-finalist from BBC1's 'Over The Rainbow'. A good supply of former X Factor contestants also featured including Same Difference, Laura White and Rowetta.

The free two-day event also featured a dance arena, cabaret marquee, funfair, men's and women's tents.

Whilst the majority of the party-goers appeared delighted with what the festival had provided, some LGBT community leaders have described the village green area as a disaster zone. The excessive noise from the dance tent located next to community tent meant that most of the community performances had to be scrapped.

Rev Chris Dowd, commented:"On Sunday I was trying to conduct a candlelit vigil for those who could not party with us, which had to be cut short because of the loud music and a bunch of drunk young straight girls disrupted it. I felt shame, not pride.

Lawrence Barton responded: "The community area being sited alongside the dance arena was a huge mistake which mustn't ever be repeated. We are fully committed to ensuring this festival is an inclusive event for all members of the LGBT community, and next year we must deliver the community aspects with renewed vigor and ensure that this is a top priority. I am personally extremely disappointed about this aspect of the event."

He added, "We mustn't lose sight of the fact that thousands of visitors enjoyed the event overall and that clearly any elements that we need to improve upon will be discussed with all the stakeholders, including the city council, police and fire service at our debrief meeting. There is a will and a commitment to get it spot on next year."



 

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