Pride in Liverpool cancelled for second year in a row

Organisers of Pride in Liverpool, one of the biggest events in the city’s visitor economy calendar, say they cannot deliver a ‘viable and safe’ event amid COVID-19 restrictions. Tony McDonough reports

Pride in Liverpool
Pride in Liverpool attracts more than 50,000 people to Liverpool. Picture by Bryan Fowler


Pride in Liverpool is being cancelled for the second year amid continued uncertainty over mass gatherings and COVID-19.

This year’s event was due to take place on Saturday, July 31. This is several weeks after June 21 when the Government’s roadmap says all restrictions could be lifted. However, organisers believe it is not possible to deliver a “viable and safe” event.

Pride in Liverpool attracts more than 50,000 people and is one of the biggest events in the city’s visitor economy calendar. Its cancellation for the second year in a row will be a blow to hotels, bars and restaurants already suffering due to the year-long epidemic and subsequent lockdowns.

Lewis Collins, chair of the LCR Pride Foundation board of directors, said: “Our decision to cancel Pride in Liverpool and March with Pride for 2021 has not been taken lightly. The organisation’s team and board have worked tirelessly with Liverpool City Council and other partners to explore all possibilities.

“But, despite these efforts, we have not found an option that would allow us to confidently proceed and deliver an event that would guarantee the safety, health and enjoyment of the people who attend each year, and the suppliers, businesses and partners that support the event.

“The health, safety and wellbeing of all involved with and attending the event is absolutely paramount. The ongoing uncertainty around COVID-19 restrictions and the limitations we face in terms of implementing COVID-19 security measures at a free-to-access event has made it clear that we will not be able to deliver Pride in Liverpool or March with Pride safely and effectively in 2021.”

Unlike other Pride events that have announced 2021 dates, of which many are paid and ticketed events, Pride in Liverpool is a free-to-access event. This limits charity’s ability to implement COVID-19 security measures such as smaller capacities, rapid testing at the site or in advance of entry, and the yet-to-be-confirmed ‘vaccine passports’.

“We understand how important Pride in Liverpool is in bringing our communities together and realise the disappointment this announcement will cause,” added Lewis. “As always, we will shortly be announcing our annual theme and digital programme to ensure we can still celebrate Pride across the region and provide support and visibility to the city region’s LGBT+ community.

“We will of course continue to monitor the situation and explore smaller region-wide events, while also looking to our 2022 celebrations and preparing for what we are sure will be an incredible return for Pride in Liverpool.”

This year’s event was due to be sponsored by Barclays and Andrew Websdale, regional head of Barclays Spectrum, Barclays LGBT+ colleague network, said: “Pride is more than a march, it’s about coming together as a community in celebration, unity and solidarity.

“So while we all wish we could get together on the streets of Liverpool this year, we know that LCR Pride Foundation will put on a phenomenal virtual event programme that raises awareness of the struggles that the LGBT+ community still face.”

For more information and announcements about LCR Pride Foundation’s digital programme and other initiatives, click here.

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