Pride never comes without the risk of a fall. And sadly, this year the fall comes at the cost of some red faces at organisers, Pride London.
With just a week to go before the event, the organisation announced that “funding shortfalls” would mean a major scaling-back of the parade and entertainment.
Still, the show must go on, and the three central tenets of Pride – procession, performance and partying hard – remain. Here’s what’s ahead for Saturday:
The largest victim of the budget shortfall is the traditional street parade, which has now been scaled down to a procession. Organisers are describing the change as a “return to the roots” of the original Pride London rallies. It will cover the same route as planned, but there will be no vehicles or floats participating. The procession will get underway at the earlier time of 11am. Starting in Baker Street the route will take-in Oxford Street and Regent Street, moving down Pall Mall and Cockspur Street, past Trafalgar Square to Whitehall.
The entertainment in Trafalgar Square is expected to proceed, but with some changes to the programme.
Soho Street Parties
There will be no official World Pride events in Soho. Licensing regulations will be that of any normal day, and the Golden Square event has been cancelled. The Family Area in Soho will proceed independently. Whilst World Pride will have no official activities in Soho, expect the day’s celebrations to go ahead with gusto as nothing will stop the party.
East End Film Festival
American entertainer Lea DeLaria will host a discussion on Organising Prides in Hostile Environments with Sam Dick from Stonewall and Amnesty International’s Emily Gray, followed by a film about Pride in Latvia.
Amnesty Headquarters, EC2A 3EA
17-25 New Inn Yard
Nearest tube: Old Street
London Gay Men’s Chorus
100 gay choristers will raise the rafters of Southwark Cathedral with an inspirational on the eve of Saturday’s partying. For a recommended donation of £10 don’t miss this opportunity to see a magnificent choir which sometimes charges three times that much.
Southwark Cathedral, SE1 9DA
Nearest tube: London Bridge
£10 donation recommended.
The Gay Photographers Network presents its third annual exhibition. The work is for sale, so is opportunity to bag yourself a talking point to hang in the hall.
Until July 8
The Strand Gallery
32 John Adam Street
Nearest tube: Charing Cross
This is potentially 48 hours long if you start with Bear Necessity on Friday. The Saturday night’s Hustlaball boasts a “jacuzzi show” with 50 male erotica models. Things move across the road to Brixton Club House at 6am for Hot Rods Recovery Party.
Town Hall Parade, SW2 1RJ
Nearest tube: Brixton
£16 for Hustlaball ball (£59 for all three events)
Boy George takes the stage at one of London’s most intense gay clubs, Fire.
10pm until next day
South Lambeth Rd, SW8 1RT
Vauxhall £10 adv.
Britain’s leading Eurovision DJ, Dave Simmons, is joined by Swedish sensation Shirley Clamp for a dedicated Europop night. Wrapping up at 3am, there’s room for an after-party or a kebab.
372 Kennington Lane, SE11 5HY
Nearest tube: Vauxhall
World Pride Party
Heaven is hosting a huge G-A-Y party. Free entry wristbands will be dished out by promo boys on Old Compton Street. Don’t leave it too late or you’ll be queuing in the Thames. Expect Adele remixes and squealing boys enamoured with balloons.
Under The Arches, WC2N 6NG
Nearest tube: Charing Cross
Free with wristband
As well as Martinis in mankinis, Pride is a time for the LGBT community to highlight important issues. This year the programme of debates includes:
Love Without Borders: Homosexuality is still illegal in Commonwealth nations where The Queen is head of state, including Barbados, Pakistan and honeymoon favourite St Lucia. Pride will focus on showing these places that free love is a human right.
Suicide Rate: Recent studies show that suicide rates amongst LGBT people are higher than that of the general population. Classroom bullying destroys young gay people while familial intolerance damages adults. Pride is working with organisations like Broken Rainbow and School’s Out to combat this.