Exeter Pride in the running to be UK Pride 2018
EXETER Pride committee, the group which organises the biggest annual celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) communities in the county of Devon, says it is excited to announce that it is in the running to be UK Pride 2018.
Six Pride organisations have throw their hat into the ring to host UK Pride in 2018.
The first UK Pride took place at Pride in Hull in July 2017, attracting visitors to the city from across the UK.
Licensed by the UK Pride Organisers Network (UKPON), UK Pride is the national equivalent of EuroPride and WorldPride.
Exeter Pride, Folkestone Pride, Isle of Wight Pride, Liverpool Pride, Preston Pride, and Pride Cymru have all announced that they will bid for UK Pride 2018 at UKPON’s annual conference in Blackpool later this month.
Co-Chair of UKPON, Andy Train, who is also Vice-Chair of Pride in Hull, said: “At Pride in Hull we were delighted to have the honour of hosting the first UK Pride earlier this year, and it’s a tribute to the impact it had on our Pride to see six Prides bidding for next year’s event. The Pride movement is growing across the UK and we had more than 20 brand new Prides this year.
"UK Pride helps to create a focal point for one Pride each year, to help increase visibility and awareness.”
“UK Pride status is a unique opportunity and uplift for any Pride. I wish all six Prides all the very best of luck, and I can’t wait to see their bids,” said Mr Train, who is also the Regional Director for the UK for InterPride, the international Pride organisers association.
All organisers of Pride events in the UK are entitled to be members of UKPON, and each Pride organisation has one vote at the Conference.
Adam Rank, Chair of Exeter Pride, said: “Exeter Pride hopes that winning UK Pride will help us to increase LGBT+ visibility not just on one day but all year.
"Next year, 2018, is our 10th anniversary year and the perfect time to consider how far we have come both as a movement and a city.
"We work closely with cultural partners and local businesses, and hope that becoming UK Pride will help us not only to celebrate diversity but also to honour the city that we are so proud of!”
The 9th Exeter Pride held on May 13 included a colourful rainbow flag march from the St Sidwell Centre down Exeter High Street to Northernhay Gardens featuring thousands of people, community groups, roller skaters, Street Heat samba band, firefighter, police, students, an ambulance, Morris dancers and volunteers carrying two 50-metre rainbow flags.
Also taking part were trade union and business LGBT+ groups plus individuals.
National and local bands and acts performed from the main stage, the headline acts including Joss Stone, Sandra from "Gogglebox", Reigns who performed the official 2017 Pride Anthem, Sprectrum Choir, Lloyd Daniels, The Ferrantes and more.
Speeches were given by the Lord Mayor of Exeter, Councillor Cynthia Thompson and the MP for Exeter, Ben Bradshaw.
There was also a Family zone, Talking zone, Health zone, Trans zone and a marketplace with more than 60 stands.
Principal supporter of the 2017 Exeter Pride was Exeter City Council through its Community Board. Others included Devon County Council, The University of Exeter, FSB (Vision ICT), Devon and Cornwall Police, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, UNISON South West, Nandos, Patronus Security, Vaults Bar and Club, River Dart Country Park Ltd and Cartridges solicitors.
Alan Quick, trustee of Exeter Pride, said: "Exciting plans are being made for the 10th anniversary Exeter Pride on Saturday, May 12, 2018, details of which are to be announced in the near future.
"Exeter Pride is now welcoming approaches from those who would like to get involved as volunteers, have a stall, audition to perform or be a partner or sponsor.
Groups or organisations which would like to apply to take part in the march are also asked to register.
"To get in touch, email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
"Further information about Exeter Pride is available via Twitter: @exeterpride or Facebook: Facebook.com/exeterpride ."
At the UKPON conference, each Pride will have just 15 minutes to present their bid, and all are being invited to publish their bids online so that people can view them in advance.
The winning Pride will be announced at approximately 3pm on Sunday, October 22, and will be livestreamed on Facebook.
This month Thessaloniki Pride beat bids from Bergen Pride, The Belgian Pride and Hamburg Pride to host EuroPride 2020.