Brighton Pride ends controversial bar contract

Posted On 28 Jun 2010 at 8:06 pm

Brighton Pride has severed its controversial bars contract with 19 Events after the company failed to pay any of the money it owed – and has signed a new four-year deal with Club Revenge.

The festival organisers were criticised for hiring 19 Events after it transpired that one of its directors, Tom Smith, was facing fraud charges.

But once the company failed to cough up, Pride was free to speak to other companies which had expressed interest in the contract.

Both Pride and Club Revenge now have the challenge of getting the event up and running with just 45 days to go before it takes place on August 7.

Pride chairman Robert Clothier said: “After exploring a number of alternatives, we are very pleased to announce that we have signed a contract with Club Revenge to supply the bars on the Park.”

Revenge, which operated the bars contract for three years till 2008, has agreed to make a substantial sponsorship donation to Pride in addition to the contract fee.

Robert Clothier added: “Pride acknowledges that the path to this excellent solution has not run smoothly, but are pleased that we can, at last, concentrate our energies on delivering the best Pride ever.”

Following the agreement, Vavoom and Buddies have announced that they will be on the Park too. For Buddies, who will be supplying the bar in the members’ area, it will be a welcome return after a year’s break.

Andrew Roberts, general manager of Club Revenge and R-Bar, said: “We are excited to be working with Pride to ensure that our much loved event goes ahead in the way that we all have come to expect.

“It is an important day not only for local businesses and for Brighton as a city, but for the thousands of LGBT individuals to whom this one day is so significant.

“Revenge is in detailed negotiations with a well-known local dance promoter and hopes to be in a position to announce the operator of the dance tent very shortly.”

Mr Clothier other well-known local brand names will be getting behind Pride.

He added: “Pride acknowledges that there have been issues raised by the local business and community groups.

“We are committed to resolve them, but with six weeks to go before the big day we hope that everyone will now get behind Pride to help deliver the best event ever.”

This latest development follows a disastrous week for organisers. On Thursday, both the Women’s Performance Tent and Popstarz announced they would not be hosting a tent at the event because of lack of confidence.

Brighton and Hove City Council leader Mary Mears announced she would be calling an urgent meeting with council officers and other party leaders to discuss the problem.

The contract with 19 Events was signed after a previous contract with Aeon Events Limited was terminated after Aeon refused to pay until it was given proof Pride could afford to run the event.

Mr Smith, 26, of Marine Parade, Brighton, is due to attend Lewes Crown Court on September 27 over alleged offences which took place while he was working for the Hilton Hotel in Gatwick nearly three years ago.

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