WorldPride London ‘Scaling Back,’ And Participants Aren’t Happy About It

PinkBigBenAccording to reports out of London, this year's WorldPride event is falling apart at the seams. Though the event was meant to include cars and floats, it is now being billed as a foot parade and many of the planned activities have been called off, including a gathering in Golden Square.

Organizers are playing it as an economic "scaling back" that is more inline with earlier, less extravagant pride events. They are "returning to the roots of the original Pride London rallies," they said in a statement.

Potential participants, however, are having none of it, and are making no secret of their disdain. James-J Walsh, a former Pride London director, took to Pink News to voice his displeasure:

As a former Associate Director of Pride London, who was involved with the bid for the London WorldPride Event I can’t say I’m all that surprised, but what you might be surprised to hear is that the planning for this started almost five years ago.

We are at a point where the official festival fortnight has already begun and in little over a week, thousands will be making a national or international commute to London with nothing to see and nowhere to go beyond that of an ordinary Saturday night out in Soho. It’s a travesty for the UK’s LGBT Tourism and Hospitality industry, and a despicable wasted opportunity for the International LGBT Rights movement.

LGBT activist Peter Tatchell also spoke out about the WorldPride "chaos," particularly the time change: the event was meant to start at 1pm, but has been pushed up to 11am.

"Many people have booked coaches and trains to arrive at the original start time of 1pm, and it’s too late to ensure that everyone knows that the start time has changed," he said. "It is going to result in total chaos and gridlock throughout the West End. The police and the mayor are stark, raving mad to have agreed to this shambles."


  1. EuroGuy says

    For many of us European residents, this was the one celebration where we could feel free, be gay, and be liberated. This event, like SO many Pride events represents so much to so many. It should always be a staple due to that

  2. Michaelo says

    I came out at this celebration years ago. It’s a great outlet to come out and be yourself. I really respect Pride events in general for what they represent. They let our youth have a space to not only party, but befriend new people, and for once be in an environment where the majority of people around them are gay and proud to be so.

  3. RBearSAT says

    So raise your own money for this. It amazes me how some in our community feel they are entitled to these over the top productions. Most are the fantasy events they’ve always wanted to produce since first coming out, most being Project Runway wannabes. With so many economic challenges these days, either do the cost/benefit justification to your tourism council to justify the expenses or raise it yourself. But quit whining because you didn’t get to throw your elaborate party.

  4. Mark says

    I would think that at this point floats are having finishing touches put on them,cars,marching bands and the rest of the participants have been giving their line up orders,parties and events booked and everything else confirmed.. How do you go from something that has been planned for five years to scaling back one week before the event?

  5. Nathan says

    I’m sure the city organizers have their hands full with all the Olympic planning, makes sense to me that they would scale back other events this year.

  6. ratbastard says

    Why did they lose their government funding? Something is being left out in this story.

  7. Paul says

    Gays can’t even plan a festival? And they want to raise families?
    Guess there’s not so much to be proud about this year. The real Queen stole your thunder. Go prance around somewhere else.

  8. Tim says

    Government funding was cut due to the European recession and the UK’s austerity measures. No big, dark secret. Had this been a regular Pride London event, then it would be acceptable to cut back, but this is WORLD PRIDE which has a legacy from every other host city. That’s the worst part about this. They didn’t live up to their commitment when chosen to have the honour of hosting a worldwide event. Organisers of the Olympics have nothing to do with it.

    It’s long been an embarrassment that you can have big name headliners in places like Birmingham but in London, long considered one of the best cities in the world to be gay, the entertainment is ridiculous. Past, recent headliners are a Dame Edna cover act, Bucks Fizz and this year, Hazel Dean? Honestly, does no one care that much? If funding is an issue, follow the lead of Manchester and charge admittance. Sadly, the majority of gay bars around Soho are straight owned and they feel they are entitled to get all the extra business for free without making any contribution to the cause. It’s a very broken system.