Important new information about the LGBT+ Pride in London Parade
23 June 2016
LGBT+ Pride in London, a Community Interest Company, took over organising the capital’s annual Pride event in 2013 when 15,000 people were estimated to have participated in the Parade; this number increased to 30,000 in 2014 and last year to 40,000. One of the consequences of this expansion in numbers is that some people on the Parade waited for over five hours before setting off. As a result of feedback from members of the LGBT+ community, Pride in London discussed a change in the Parade route and the introduction of wristbands at Open Meetings (which were accessible to everyone) and with the Community Advisory Board.
Purpose of wristbands
We want to ensure everyone has an enjoyable day and is kept safe. The wristbands were introduced after consultation in order to help identify how many people wish to participate in the Parade and to allow us as organisers to get a clearer idea of numbers so that we could successfully plan the road closures with the right number of stewards with sufficient space to accommodate participants. Pride in London is putting more stewards on the Parade and in Soho than in previous years and the Metropolitan Police is also deploying additional visible officers at Pride.
There has always been a registration process for groups wishing to parade. When a group signs-up they go through an approval process run by the Community Advisory Board and we ask how many participants they expect to have, this number is then used for wristbands. Given the horrific events in Orlando, which were a direct attack on the LGBT+ community, we opened up additional Parade space which is normally kept as a contingency and registered parade groups were given the opportunity to apply for additional wristbands, another 3,892 wristbands were requested.
The largest number of groups ever registered to take part in the Parade this year, 293 including 64 floats. This sends a clear message about how important Pride still is for people to campaign, celebrate and commemorate. It is vital that participants are able to enjoy their day and we want as much attention as possible to be focused on the community, charity and other groups on the Parade. Therefore we are encouraging people who wish to show their support for the LGBT+ community to come and watch the Parade and cheer on all those participating. The route is normally crowded around Oxford Circus, the top of Regent Street and around Piccadilly Circus, the best viewing spots are therefore on Lower Regent Street and Waterloo Place. For the first time this year, there will be announcement podiums along the Parade route so information about the groups on the Parade can be given to spectators. We are also encouraging people to attend Pride Festival events, which includes a special night at the Natural History Museum on Friday 24th June and the Pride in the Park and UK Black Pride events in Vauxhall’s Pleasure Gardens on Sunday 26th. For more details please download the Pride in London app via our website www.prideinlondon.org
Joining the Parade
Pride has been working very closely with the Mayor’s Office, Transport for London, Westminster Council, London Ambulance Service, the Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade to ensure the event is well organised, as the safety of participants is our top priority. We are very aware that this year more people than ever before could be interested in attending Pride. We want to enable as many people as possible to be Out and Proud or show their solidarity with the LGBT+ community and we recognise that many people are either not aligned to a Parade group or their group hadn’t registered before the deadline. Whilst we are encouraging people to cheer on the Parade we are pleased to announce that people will now be able to join it at the end of the final section, a space that has in the past been used for a giant rainbow flag. If you would like to join this section of the Parade you should come to the Parade form-up area at the top of Portland Place at 15:00. Please enter via Park Crescent where you will then be directed by stewards. Please do not arrive before 15:00 as the area will already be very busy and we need to allow time for the Parade to move off before filtering you into the final section of the parade.
We anticipate the streets of Soho will be even busier than usual, especially around the Women’s Stage on Dean Street and the Cabaret Stage on Wardour Street. We are therefore encouraging people to also visit the family area in Golden Square and to check out the Community Village in Soho Square. When the entertainment in Trafalgar Square finishes at 20:00 we hope people will also consider visiting LGBT+ venues outside of central Soho, which are likely to be less busy.
LGBT+ Pride in London is organised by a dedicated team of volunteers and hundreds of them will be on duty across the weekend, helping with stewarding or rattling buckets to help secure the financial future of the event. We hope you will work with them to ensure the event is a great success and thank them for the time they are giving up to make it possible.
See you at Pride, and thank you for cooperating with us to keep the event safe and enjoyable.
From the Pride in London team
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