Leeds Pride has become one of the biggest events on Leeds City Calendar over the last 15 years. Over 50,000 people take the city of Leeds to celebrate the LGBT+ community with great music, food and a positive atmosphere.
Last year the festival had to be cancelled because of COVID-19, and with a heavy heart, the organisers have decided that it would be too risky to run the festival this year. Leeds Pride is cancelled, the event that was planned for the 1st August 2021 will no longer go ahead.
Taking to social media the Leeds Pride Channel the organisers hinted that the while other events announced they are going ahead, “they’re not free to attend events open to everyone”. This would make the festival harder to make COVID safe.
The decision to cancel won’t have been taken easily as the festival brings so much joy and the spirit of Carnival to the Yorkshire city.
The post also hinted at roadworks making the ‘footprint’ considerably reduced, making it impossible to accommodate the footfall of the festival.
You can read the full statement below or visit their social media page here for more information:
“Leeds Pride over the last 15 years has become one of Yorkshire’s leading events for the LGBT+ community, committed to championing and celebrating the contribution of LGBT+ people in Leeds and beyond.
“Leeds Pride is one of our city’s most important events that attracts over 50,000 people each year who come to watch our parade of over 100 floats weave its way through the city centre.
“The parade has always been the priority for Leeds Pride as a visible presence of LGBT+ people and a recognition of the origins of the Pride movement.
“The government have set a target of 21st June to lift all restrictions that potentially could enable major events to go ahead. But this does depend on many things including the roll out of the vaccination programme, a continued reduction in the number of Covid infections and less pressure on the NHS.
“We have looked at the government guidance available and a further guidance on Covid Safe Events and a review on social distancing and mask wearing will not be available until late spring.”
“Whilst other events and festivals have announced that they are still taking place, they are not free to attend events open to everyone.
“It is impossible for us to offer a Covid safe parade, where 10,000’s of people line the parade route through the city centre and a free entertainment offer open to all both in Millennium Square and on Lower Briggate.”
“With roadworks in and around Lower Briggate and Meadow Lane carpark closed due to work starting on the city park, our footprint will be considerably reduced in the city centre and impossible to accommodate the footfall we normally get.”
“Last year we were incredibly disappointed that Leeds Pride had to be cancelled due to coronavirus. But this year we still need to make sure that everyone who comes to Leeds Pride is kept safe and we do not put an additional burden on the NHS.
“This isn’t a decision we have taken lightly, but we are sorry to let everyone know that Leeds Pride parade and street entertainment planned for the 1st August 2021 will not be taking place this year.”
“We will be working with partners and stakeholders over the coming weeks and months to announce their plans for the day (Sunday 1st August) and we will be supporting them in delivering smaller satellite events throughout the city over Pride week.”
“We understand that many people will be disappointed with this announcement, but with the uncertainty around the relaxation of Covid regulations and what the new guidance will be, including Covid testing prior to attending events, we feel this decision is the best both for Leeds Pride and the wider community of Leeds.”
People have taken to Twitter to commend the organisers for making such a tough decision and choosing safety. There will be lots of devastated people who will have been excited to celebrate the 15th anniversary.