Health chiefs and council bosses are urging people to celebrate Pride online – and their message is supported by Pride organisers who have laid on a digital event instead.
There were fears that the good weather could attract crowds to mark what would have been the annual Brighton Pride weekend despite the current coronavirus restrictions.
But the authorities have been keen to stress that there are no official Pride events taking place n the streets of Brighton and Hove.
Today (Saturday 1 August) would have been the day of the parade, ending in Preston Park, and followed by the street party in Kemp Town this evening.
Instead, Brighton and Hove Pride has created a digital celebration called We Are Fabuloso, featuring – among others – Norman Cook, also known as Fatboy Slim, Bjorn Again, Lola Lasagne, Jess Glynne and unseen footage of Nile Rodgers and Chic. To watch, click here.
In a joint statement Brighton Pride, Brighton and Hove City Council and Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “There are no official Pride events taking place in Brighton and Hove this weekend.
“Large, unplanned and unauthorised gatherings are banned during the pandemic.
“To prevent the spread of the virus, people are being urged to avoid mingling in groups from many different households.
“Transport services to and from the city are limited, with trains running only a quarter of their usual services due to the impact of covid-19.
“This year’s ‘stay at home’ Pride is very different from the usual event and aims to keep the spirit of Pride thriving while keeping everyone safe inside.
“Instead of gathering together in the city, Pride followers from near and far are being called on join in the celebrations for Brighton and Hove Pride 2020 at home this weekend, by tuning into online events broadcast from a purpose-built studio in the heart of Brighton.
“Brighton and Hove Pride is one of the city’s largest events, in usual years drawing thousands to celebrate by taking part in its parade and Preston Park event.
“Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Pride 2020 is set to be different with a digital Pride celebration – Fabuloso – planned by the organisers of the official annual city event.
“Pride takes place to recognise and celebrate the LGBTQ+ history and the progress made towards equality.
“Pride is also a protest as people stand up against the continued injustices that LGBTQ+ people face in the world and show solidarity.
“Celebrating virtually offers the opportunity to use digital and social media to make a truly inclusive event, which will ensure everyone will be able to come together to experience Brighton and Hove Pride, including fantastic free-to-view entertainment
- a spectacular line-up streaming live into homes
- a weekend of digital celebrations and archive performances from some of the world’s biggest LGBTQ+ stars
- line-up will be tied together by live presenters
- many online warm-up events
Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty said: “Although this year we cannot come together in person to celebrate Pride, we can still fully support and celebrate our fantastic LGBTQ+ communities online with Fabuloso.”
Councillor Mac Cafferty added: “2020 marks 50 years since the founding of the Gay Liberation Front and a reminder that equality has been hard fought for.
“We believe passionately in the transformative effects of Pride and the importance and strength of our diverse communities.
“Moving the celebrations online brings people together during the pandemic in a safe way.”
Brighton and Hove Pride managing director Paul Kemp said: “We want people to come together in a safe and socially distanced way and have their own Pride celebration at home.
“We are excited about plans for a spectacular Fabuloso online festival to mark its 30 years of campaigning, protest and celebration and help raise essential funds for our LGBTQ+ community groups.
“During these challenging times we are inviting all our friends in the city, the country and the world to join in our celebrations of Pride together.”
Andy Hodson, the clinical chair of Brighton and Hove CCG, said: “While the Pride event is not taking place due to covid-19 and the challenges it brings to social distancing safely, its significance cannot be cancelled.”
Dr Hodson added: “Digital Pride is a fantastic way for friends from around the world to tune in and join in our annual Pride celebrations safely from the comfort of their homes.”
Residents and visitors are reminded by Pride organisers and partners, including the police, that unofficial events are not welcome or allowed because of the pandemic.
Pride is hosting its weekend line up at www.youtube.com/PrideTVNetwork.
LIKE WHAT WE DO? HELP US TO DO MORE OF IT BY DONATING HERE.