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Concerns Grow Over Castle Park Availability For Pride

Pride Bristol organisers have revealed their concerns on whether Castle Park – the scheduled venue for this year’s Pride Day celebrations – will be able to host the event.

On a notice posted on the Pride Website it is revealed that their are doubts that the park will be in a fit state to host the day’s events, following damage done by the ‘Love Saves The Day’ festival which was held in the location at the end of May. The two day event was plagued by heavy rain and as a result large parts of the park were turned into huge expanses of mud in the space of 24 hours.

The organisers behind the event promised to cover the costs of repair, and the park has been fenced off since the event while repair work has continued in a bid to return the park to it’s original condition with notices informing the public of the situation.  The notices stated “Love Saves The Day will be reinstating all the areas that have been affected at our own costs and with no expense to the park or council. We are liaising closely with the Bristol City Council Parks team to help return the park back to its natural state as soon as possible. ”

However, the Pride Bristol organisers have doubts on whether the work will be completed in time for either a full or partial programme of events can be hosted in the popular city-centre park.

“Many in Bristol will know Castle Park has suffered damage following the Love Saves The Day Festival, made worse by event contractor lorries driving over the ground.” The Pride website states.

The statement continued “As a result we’ve been working with the council to review the site and check the feasibility for Pride to use it. We hope so! It’s been our home since 2010 but we need a site fit for purpose, the ground has started to recover but some of it is will be unusable, we don’t want to make things worse! Pride has always carefully considered the site to ensure no damage and we want to stay in Castle Park for years to come. There’s a lot to consider, most of the site that we want to use is fine, but some is not and we already know if we do stay there’s compromises and a loss of earnings to Pride which is a concern”

Pride organisers have advised that although at this time last year, programmes for Pride had been printed and distributed, they are delaying this year’s publishing until the situation becomes clear. “We didn’t want to send our programme to print if we were going to be asked to move site (yet more costs) so please bear with us, we’ll keep you posted” the website explained.

People are encouraged to download the Pride Bristol app for their smartphones to keep up-to-date with the latest developments, and the running order for the Pride events also.   The app is available for download on the major app stores for 99p, with all monies after app store costs have been deducted going to Pride.

Bristol City Council stated after the Love Saves The Day festival “Love Saves the Day is a very popular event which has been well-attended in the past few years without any significant damage. Unfortunately, this year’s weather combined with the number of people attending resulted in areas of the park becoming churned up. We have taken on extra staff to clear, as a matter of urgency, footpaths that were left muddy, and we will carry out work to restore the grass. We will re-turf some areas – which means they will have to be fenced off for up to two weeks – while the rest, because of the cost, will need to be re-seeded. Areas which have been re-seeded will need to be fenced off for four to six weeks.”