Posted 25 August 2021
Eve Russell, Festival Director said;
“In June, following the advice of Public Health, Bristol City Council and Avon & Somerset Police to discuss the feasibility of all parts of our Festival, it was decided that we were unable to hold the Pride Parade March and Pride Day and that subsequently, we would postpone these elements until a later date.
Over the last few weeks we have closely monitored the COVID rate nationally and for Bristol and the surrounding areas, we’ve also continued to have meetings with a safety advisory group. Your safety, health and wellbeing are paramount to us.
With all of these factors taken into consideration, it is with a very heavy heart that we must cancel the Parade March and Pride Day for this year.
We know that many of you will ask why other protests and events can happen or why people have been able to attend football matches. There are various measures that we would need to put in place in order for us to be able to proceed with our plans, they include, full ticketing with a very limited capacity and we would need to ask for Covid Passes which can only be obtained by confirming your vaccine status or, from a negative COVID-test. We have been told it’s not possible to hold the parade or Pride Day without these measures which are in place for a valid reason.
The restrictions these procedures put in place go against what Pride is, some people would be able to come and others would not. These rules are not inclusive and to put further limitations in place, particularly for the march, means it is not open to everyone when it should be. Pride is about a community and people who are excluded. We don’t want to make it an event that increases the divide and makes more people from our own community excluded.
We have also taken into consideration that it would be irresponsible for us to hold the march with the number of people that we would expect to attend, without any way of mitigating risks. The numbers in Bristol are still above the national average and we would have no way of ensuring that there aren’t people with COVID marching and we don’t want to put our community at risk.
As a team, we would have delighted in the opportunity to have marched and celebrated with you all but it’s sadly not to be this year. We feel very grateful to have been able to deliver some brilliant events this year and we thank you for attending.
We all really look forward to marching and celebrating with you next year, where once again we will bring the streets of Bristol alive with Pride.”