York Pride – North Yorkshire’s biggest LGBT+ celebration – will not take place again this year.
Despite the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, organisers can’t find a way to safely stage the colourful, crowded spectacular by its planned date of Saturday 5 June – when some restrictions will still apply.
“Instead, we will be putting all our efforts into a bigger and better virtual Pride online,” the Pride team says.
They said there were still too many risks to staging a safe and successful event.
“Our intended date is not allowed under the new rules, but with the government’s dates for future stages of relaxation all being based on the best case scenario and still subject to change we are unable to accurately reschedule a date for later in the summer,” York Pride said in a statement.
“We may also be required to restrict numbers, ensure adequate social distancing, carry out rapid testing and verify vaccine passports on entry.
“As a small charitable organisation, we have neither the funds or the volunteer numbers to be able to put these impractical and expensive measures into place.”
Safety is top priority
Their statement went on: “This devastating decision is not one we have made lightly as we were so looking forward to getting together and delivering an amazing, inclusive event to celebrate the diversity of our community.
“However, our top priority is the safety of our attendees, volunteers, artists, traders and emergency services as we all continue to battle the virus and prevent new outbreaks.
“We know that many members of our LGBT+ community have been affected negatively by the pandemic, so it’s vital that we’re still all able to come together and connect with each other, albeit virtually, at our online Pride on Saturday 5 June 2021.
“When the time is right, we’re also hoping to arrange a number of smaller in-person events for later this year.”
The organisers concluded by saying: “We hope you can understand why we have had to make this tough decision once again and we’d like to thank all our supporters, sponsors and stallholders for their support through these difficult times for all of us.
“We look forward to welcoming you all back to a truly fabulous York Pride in 2022, which marks the 50th anniversary of the very first Pride in the UK!”