News & Information for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Trans+ people in Cheshire
Digital Chester Pride 2021
After a lot of careful consideration, Chester Pride has taken the decision to not hold our annual LGBT+ Celebration in a physical format for 2021, instead reviving the Digital Chester Pride format in a bigger and bolder way.
Digital Chester Pride 2021 will take place on Saturday August 7th, starting at 2pm live on our website www.chesterpride.co.uk The format will build on last year’s successful event, but it will be refreshed with even more entertainment, information, and general good fun. If it is possible, safe, and appropriate at the time, we will host a few physical hosting parties where people will be able to watch the Digital Pride stream, and celebrate, with a small crowd. Chester Pride will also be felt across the city, with a special Rainbow Trail being created through the city centre. Across a couple of weeks people will be able to follow their own route through the centre to view decorated windows, showcasing LGBT+ history, icons, achievements, issues, and more, in retail and hospitality spaces, both existing and empty.
For the charity, Covid-19 has created a lot of ongoing issues. In a statement the Chair of Pride Warren-Lee Allmark said, “We have, of course, not been able to hold any events since February 2020, which we have been happy to comply with to protect our guests, partners, and volunteers from Covid-19. We are still committed to protecting all those who might work on, or come to, our events. Whilst the UK Government has set out a roadmap that gives hope to events and festivals happening as we enter step 4 in June there are, however, multiple factors that still present potential risks, and may result in the roadmap not occurring as forecast. This is coupled with the financial damages caused by the suspension of events. We have been unable to fundraise as we would normally, through public donations and fundraising events, and neither have we been able to access any government relief schemes. This has left us unwilling to commit financially to planning a large-scale event that has still so many questions marks and potential risks as to whether it can go ahead.”
This switch to a digital format is not one the Chester Pride Committee have taken lightly. The planning for our event starts shortly after the previous year’s event, around October, with meetings between us, Cheshire West & Chester Council, statutory and emergency services taking place from January. Covid-19 uncertainty puts pressure on us being able to deliver a safe event that does not have a negative impact on the local Police, Hospitals, Paramedics, and Fire services already stretched because of Covid-19, and who will all likely still be facing increased pressure even as the vaccination scheme progresses.
We are still planning to take advantage of the easing of restrictions to plan some fundraisers and social events for the community. We are putting together a full calendar of events, and we are planning a ‘Reflect and Connect’ event currently expected to take place in September. It will be a much smaller event than a typical Chester Pride event, with a current expected capacity of around 2,000; though many of the event details may change between now and the event taking place. This ‘Reflect and Connect’ event will offer a day of entertainment on its stage, but also a chance for the LGBT+ community to socialise and get access to support and information.
Chester Pride’s event may have been affected by Covid-19 for two years in a row, but it has been able to undertake its charitable work in partnership with its key partners and sponsors who have continued their support throughout the pandemic. Chester Pride owes a huge thanks to its partners M&S Bank, Cheshire West & Chester Council, Bank of America, and Virgin Care who are supporting them again in 2021 along with its sponsors Bristol Myers Squibb, Airbus, Bed Student Rentals, ABC Taxis 434343, Body Positive Silver Rainbows, University of Chester, DTCC, Mecca Bingo, Chester Boat, The Environment Agency, Cheshire Fire & Rescue, CWP NHS Trust, Cheshire College South & West, and David Keane Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, not forgetting their incredible service partners and fantastic volunteer committee who have worked hard throughout 2020 and into 2021.
Fri 26 March 2021