The festival had to go virtual last year as a result of the pandemic.
Ever a highlight of Bristol’s summer plans, the huge Bristol Pride Festival had to go virtual last year, owing to public health concerns over holding the event in the midst of a pandemic. However, Bristol Pride has announced that it’s festival will go ahead this year, however it’s Pride 2021 celebrations such as their parade and Pride Day events will sadly be postponed this year.
Bristol Pride had confirmed the date for this year’s festivities in April, with the city’s biggest LGBTQ+ celebration taking place between July 3 and 16, but the event will no see some changes due to the rise in Covid cases across the UK. While the majority of the programmed events are able to go ahead, Bristol Pride has confirmed that the Pride Dog Show on July 3 will also be postponed and since nightclubs will not be permitted to reopen until a later date, the Official After-Party on July 10 will unfortunately be cancelled too.
Eve Russell, Festival Director of Bristol Pride, said: “We’re so sad to announce that we have taken the decision to postpone the Parade March and our planned Pride Day Gathering on 10th July, at such short notice.
“Following the government announcement to delay the roadmap, we have met with Public Health, Bristol City Council and Avon & Somerset Police to discuss the feasibility of all parts of these events. We had robustly planned all our events to ensure they could go ahead had the rules not been relaxed, but sadly COVID-19 cases are rising significantly in Bristol, particularly among young people, and it just won’t be possible to deliver the day in a way that is safe at this time.”
The festival director continued: “This is heartbreaking for our team who have spent the past 10 months planning a safe programme of events and of course, most importantly, for the LGBT+ communities which are the heart of Bristol Pride. We know how much they have been looking forward to coming together and celebrating after the long period of isolation the pandemic has forced upon us.
“We will continue to look at the data and liaise with the council to agree new dates when it’s safe to do so. We hope people can still celebrate but must remind LGBT+ people to be responsible as to how they do this. We urge them to not gather in big groups at this time when we are very much experiencing a tipping point in Bristol. Whilst we know this will be disappointing for everyone, health and safety must remain top priority at all times.”
However, the Bristol Pride events still has a “really exciting programme of in-venue and socially distanced events, such as their Cabaret Show, Comedy Night, Queer Vision Film Festival, drag prov workshops, plus Eve Russell said they are “working on some exciting elements to enjoy your Pride together with your bubble safely.”
On behalf of Bristol Pride, the festival director added: “You can still support us, and the work we do, by buying a supporter wristband. We’re still here, we’re still proud and we will march together soon.” The event’s supporter wristband is priced at £5, which enables future events like Pride Day to remain accessible to those who may not be able to afford to attend an exclusively ticketed event.
With previous years featuring performances from over 100 artists including Boney M, Ru Paul Drag Race Star Peppermint, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and Spice Girl Mel C, the festival’s return to its former venue of The Downs in 2022 is also expected to be a fantastic event.