Rain on the parade: Swindon and Wiltshire Pride cancelled for 2018

By Staff Reporter - 9 May 2018

Arts and CultureCommunity

The Swindon and Wiltshire Pride Committee has with regret announced that the event planned in August will not be taking place this year.

For the past 10 years, this annual community parade and festival at the Old Town Gardens, Swindon, has been a celebration of diversity and inclusion which has been enjoyed by many thousands of people. Swindon Pride for the past decade has been an eagerly anticipated annual event on the town’s event’s calendar. However, with a number of key committee members retiring last year with no one coming forward to replace them, plus the income and funding needed to hold a free event has not been as expected, the current committee has taken the decision not to hold the event in its current form.

Lee Clarke, the Pride Chair, said: “This decision was not arrived at lightly and we appreciate the disappointment not only from the LGBT community but by the many Swindon residents who have come year on year to support us.

“We will be holding a Pride Day at the Regent Hotel on the 11 August with our headline act to raise funds for an event in 2019 to celebrate LGBT diversity but given the location it won’t be on the scale we have been able to enjoy in previous years.

"The Committee would like to thank all those who have supported this event over the past 10 years, including the many sponsors and local businesses who have given their time and donations plus the talented artists who have performed on the various stages and have supported this community event.

"The money raised from the fundraising events we have already held will go towards an event in 2019. The committee will be holding ongoing monthly fundraiser events at the Regent Hotel on Victoria Hill to continue to raise the funds for the 2019 event. It is vital to our community to bring everyone together to raise the funds to keep Pride as a free event for all to celebrate and support each other.

"Whilst we regret the need to alter this tradition, the Committee feels that postponing the Swindon and Wiltshire Pride for 2018 in its present form is the just and responsible thing to do. It is our hope, however, that this will not mean an end to the annual celebration. The Committee will work hard to create an event next year which everyone can enjoy and be welcomed to."

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