North West England’s biggest LGBT event raises £52,000 for good causes but profits down by half due to rain and lower charitable giving in 2012

Manchester Pride, one of the UK’s biggest and best gay festivals, is to donate £52,000 ($84,000, €64,000) to charity – but its profits have been halved by bad weather.

The event charges for entry to the streets of Manchester’s gay Village during the pride weekend but always spreads its profits around the north west’s LGBT and HIV charities.

But this year’s festival in August in the gay capital of northern England faced a perfect storm of wet weather and a UK-wide decline of 20% in charitable giving.

Organizers have also blamed the bank holiday (public holiday) when pride is always held falling earlier than usual and acts being confirmed later for lower attendance figures.

They will make changes to the event over the next few years but have dismissed rumors they are thinking of shifting pride from the popular gay Village to a park.

‘Bad weather cancelled many local and national festivals this year so whilst we’re disappointed not to have matched last year’s fundraising total I’m glad we were able to generate a profit for our charities, many of which rely on us to keep operating,’ explained Manchester Pride chief executive, John Stewart.

‘In its current format, Manchester Pride does a good job of fulfilling its objectives of celebrating and campaigning for LGBT people but as a charity we also need to significantly increase fundraising.

‘We will achieve this by introducing new elements to Manchester Pride, looking to change those aspects that people who come don’t like and by examining how we can reduce our costs again in 2013. I’m confident that next year will see a much fresher festival and significantly more money going to charity.’

Organizers stress that pride-goers will have a say in the changes. Community and online consultations that started in the summer will continue next year as organizers begin to shape Manchester Pride 2013.

Manchester Pride Fringe, which has taken place in the week prior to the main pride festival, the Big Weekend, will eventually move in 2014. It will become a summer festival staged around the city center showcasing the best in LGBT arts and theater talent.

In 2013, the Fringe will be extended to run for two weeks prior to the Big Weekend so that people have more chance to enjoy it.

Also planned for 2013 is a new Manchester Pride Community Festival, a free to enter event in the Village which will take place in early summer and bring together all of Manchester Pride’s charity partners to showcase their work and raise additional funds.

The popular, flamboyant parade through the city center and the HIV vigil, both free to attend, will continue as part of the Big Weekend with the majority of the festival’s entertainment taking place as part of a paid-for event in the Village.

Once inside, wristband holders are promised new undercover areas and more space in the outdoor main stage arena with fundraising activities playing a much more prominent role throughout the weekend.

Although changes are planned for 2013, organizers are committed to Manchester’s Gay Village remaining at its heart putting paid to rumors of a move to a festival park format.

Stewart added: ‘Manchester Pride is the only pride in the UK to consistently raise money but it needs to evolve if it is to continue to meet its aims.

‘We hope by spreading events through the year, adding new content to broaden our appeal and overhauling the Big Weekend festival site to bring some of the entertainment undercover will generate more money for charity and refresh the festival for the thousands of people who enjoy it every year.’

Categories: News

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