With a little over three months to go until Bristol’s Pride Celebrations, A Crowdfunding campaign has been launched to ensure the festival can continue.
Bristol Pride is a vibrant and important event that champions and celebrates the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) community with equality for all. It represents the chance for people, their friends, families and supporters to stand up and declare they are proud of who they are, their loved ones are and that prejudice and hate has no place in the city.
Every year the organisers work hard to put together the Bristol Pride festival which is a weeklong series of activities that use Events and the Arts to Celebrate the wider LGBT+ community, Challenge misconceptions and educate, raise awareness, tackle issues affecting our community, provide the chance for city wide engagement, to bridge communities, tackle hate crime and lastly provide safe spaces with specific work to engage those who are isolated and most vulnerable. The week of events culminates in an open outdoor music and arts festival that provides our biggest opportunity for engagement and links service providers and groups with their target audiences. It provides a platform for LGBT Talent and brings the whole of Bristol together in a visible and vocal statement of equality, for all.
However, all of these events and activities receive no funding from any local or central authorities. All activities rely on fundraising, be that within the local community at fundraising events, or approaching local businesses for commercial support.
The organisers commented “Pride costs thousands of pounds to put on (the toilets alone cost £2500!) and every year we have to raise the all the money to pay for Pride from scratch. Unlike some other Bristol city events and equality celebrations, or indeed other UK Pride events, we do not get automatic funding to happen. Whilst we do apply and sometimes get some small grant money, often for specific projects, these funding opportunities are reducing and year on year our costs increasing. With sponsorship and fundraisers we’re doing well but we need to raise at least another £10,000.”
“We want to continue to deliver a week of events that challenge and educate whilst providing opportunities for LGBT performers, writers and artists, some of whom have gone on to great success. We often include events for marginalised members of the community; with costs such as venue hire, equipment and infrastructure continuing to rise, without support we simply will no longer be able to put these events on.”
Pride Day itself has become a great success. Built from scratch in 2010 to being voted the 2nd BEST PRIDE in the UK in 2014. Everything at Pride Day has to be paid for including marquees, stages, tables and chairs, toilets, security and even onsite first aid as well as licences and site fees to hold the event.
The orgainers behind the main Pride Day work hard to ensure that it remains an open day by not charging an entry fee, but in 2013 donations on the day equated to just above 20p per person with 2014 not being much more. “We are working hard to keep Pride Day an event that is open to everyone instead of charging a set ticket fee (which would increase costs of the event in itself) as we feel this excludes those that may not be able to afford to attend or come to find out more about the community and how they can support.” an official commented.
Pride not only provides safe spaces and events to support the LGBT community but it’s great for the local economy. In 2013 it was assessed that Bristol Pride brought £953,000 into the local economy as Pride filled local hotels, brought people to our city centre streets and shops, supported other local community groups and events and local venues.
The official crowdfunding website offers many rewards for donations of varying amounts, should the total pledge of the £5,000 target be met. For a £5 pledge you can get a Day Supporter Wristband which will enable you to get discounts onsite at Pride including money off at the bar and food concessions all day. A wristbands also means you can bring your own alcohol onsite.
A pledge of £6 or more will get you a Limited Edition 2015 Bristol Pride fabric wristband with all the benefits of the Pride Day wristband including money off at the bars, food concession and the chance to bring your own alcohol onsite. Pledges of £15 or more are rewarded with a Day & Night Supporter Wristband entitling you to a day and night pass that includes the day discounts at Pride (money off at bars and food) as well as entry to the official Pride afterparty and free entry to selected partner pride afterparties.
Pledges of higher amounts are rewarded by other limited availability items such as other festival tickets, Pride gold passes, VIP tickets to Pride, Tickets to Bristol Zoo and a fantastic specially mounted A3 print of the rainbow fireworks from the 150th anniversary celebrations for the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Pledges and more information can be found on the official crowdfunding website.