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MCR Pride Needs To Change Says New Director

John McCready has a futile search for figures about this year's event

Written by . Published on November 11th 2013.


MCR Pride Needs To Change Says New Director
 

DESPITE assurances the release of the accounts for Manchester Pride 2013 have been delayed. Critics of Manchester Pride - a registered charity that organises the August Bank Holiday LGBT event - fear the figures will show a steep decline in the amount raised and released to charities. They fear the slip from a release date of Friday 8 November is questionable to say the least

“Pride has lost direction and we have little or no say in how it is run. I believe it's time for the trustees to start making room for people who are active in the gay village."

The resignation last Wednesday of Chief Executive John Stewart has incensed suspicion in the community. They believe Stewart's departure and the disappointing results are not unconnected - and that the event is becoming increasingly ineffective and losing touch - with criticisms levelled that it has become a, 'big pop concert' and, 'a gay Glastonbury'. 

A protest organised by the Facebook campaign group Facts About Manchester Pride (Monday 11 November) took place at midday today outside the Portland Street offices of Pride. 

Interim Director, Mark Fletcher, taking on Stewart's role, has promised changes in response to the criticisms. “We are planning a campaign to recruit trustees to strengthen the skill set of the board. We are a charity organising a festival to celebrate and campaign for the LGBT community- as well as raising money. Like many others, we’ve been hit hard by the recession. Donations have reduced and ticket sales have declined.

"We have a plan in place to review the existing event structure, identifying ways to significantly reduce costs or increase revenues without compromising quality. We aim to engage with the community by holding listening groups, the first of which will take place in January in the city centre.”

Asked about the delay in releasing this year's figures, Mr Fletcher would only comment that work was still being, 'finalised'. He declined to comment on Mr Stewart's departure or discuss any reason for it - or its timing.

Protest organisers claim their own sources show that when eventually announced, the charity amount may be the lowest since 1990 when the event was no more than a collection of market stalls and a far cry from the huge ticket only events of recent years. These have been said to draw visitor numbers of over 150,000 and see £22m of spending on events around Pride in local businesses and hotels.

Mark Fletcher says Pride has commissioned "an independent economic impact survey" in response to this estimated peripheral economy. “Once the findings have been reviewed we will be in a better place to comment”.

Mr Stewart had previously commented on the difficulties of running the event which sold 38,000 tickets this year. “Clearly, we would like to raise a substantial amount for charity every year, but have to recognise that in a challenging economic climate, attending a four day event is a considerable commitment for our patrons.”

In 2012 the registered charity raised £991,656 and gave £52,000 to good causes. Anti-Pride voices have claimed only an estimated £36,100 of the £52k was raised during the financial year and that the publicised amount had been topped up out of 'reserve' funds. Pride has confirmed this to be the case. The charity sum was, again dissenting voices pointed out, just 3.7% of the total income.

According to Pride’s own figures, charity donations have fallen from £135,000 in 2009 to £52,000 in 2012. The £52,000 raised in 2012 was split between the LGF Condom and Lube Scheme and the GHT Welfare Fund, with the remaining 50% distributed in community grants. Pride state that between 2003 and 2006 'Operation Fundraiser' raised almost half a million pounds - distributed to over eighty local LGBT and HIV groups and other charities. 

Tony Cooper, manager of Via on Canal Street and former chair of the Village Business Association commented, “Pride has lost direction and we have little or no say in how it is run. I believe it's time for the trustees to start making room for people who are active in the gay village. I've had dialogue with Manchester Pride for several weeks and not seen any change. I find myself believing that they do not want to engage with the community at large and certainly not the businesses who support them to the tune of £40-60k every year”. 

Geoff Stafford the co-founder of the Facebook campaign group Facts About Manchester Pride says the planned protest isn't tied to any particular group. “This feels like a turning point. We've been campaigning for two-and-a-half years. Now Pride has upset a lot of the LGBT community - from the lower paid who feel excluded by high ticket prices, to gay business owners and charity workers. In the current climate smaller charities in particular depend on this funding. We expect many of those people will join in the protest. I think the board of trustees should resign.”

Pride parade

Pride parade

While still CEO at Pride, John Stewart had commented, “Major festivals do not organise themselves, nor does the cost of providing entertainment on three stages and security pay for itself. The amount raised for charity is almost entirely dependent on level of tickets sales, as costs have to be covered. Once costs have been met, the entire surplus is donated to charities”.

Mark Fletcher seems less defensive than his predecessor and willing to admit that real change is long overdue. “We have started to look at ways to secure the future of the festival and help us to deliver our charitable objectives. As mentioned previously we do currently have a plan in place to review the existing event structure, and identify ways to significantly reduce costs or increase revenues without compromising the quality.

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77 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Andrew WigleyNovember 11th 2013.

Ticket sales have declined!!! Because prices are sky high...

Stephen SmithNovember 11th 2013.

The whole board should resign now - they are an absolute disgrace to the LGBT community! They refused to come and speak to us at today's protest. How can John be held accountable for the failings of the last 5 to 10 years?

4 Responses: Reply To This...
ANDREW KNovember 11th 2013.

MCR Pride raised the largest amount it has ever raised in 2009 so that's a slight sweeping statement there.

Stephen SmithNovember 12th 2013.

Andrew only 3.7% of the money raised last year eventually went to charity after Pride admitted that they had 'fudged' the figures (as is confirmed above) - so I'm afraid it's not a sweeping statement.

Matt BradyNovember 12th 2013.

Did you really think they would come out onto the street and have a discussion with you? Really? Why would they do that? It would obviously just end us as a slanging match.

Stephen SmithNovember 15th 2013.

They don't answer questions by email or phone either Matt!

AdamNovember 11th 2013.

How sad we went down to the office and they were "too busy to speak to us" and we were threatened the police would be called (for no reason). The Pride issue is scandalous in terms of donations and who has profited and why this has been run so badly. I would never go to Pride other than fringe events unless this model is changed. One that has probably made 3% of the total income for donations. For whose advantage is this? As for the Gay Village and the decline of that area, the closing businesses and the restrictions and lack of investment into the area means it is an area in danger. It is appalling the Council offer such a lack of support and do not change the business rents and allow the true cultural investment into once the proudest LGBTQ strip in the UK. The lack of strategy, support, the influx of crime, cultural development of the Village and the restrictive licenses and 'wasteland' are killing the area. I will not post more than this once, suffice to say there will be more protests for a disenfranchised community and those seeking to run these protests hope that people will support us. To be complicit is to allow the decline of an area and those who will not engage with us, including Pride, the Council, our LGBT Leads (unless we compliment their failures and do not ask questions). This has to change and change now. Do follow the FAMP page on facebook or smaller one's like Forgotten Pride and Better Rethink LGBTQ Manchester (for links to research, events and what we are doing). Many of us are ready to fight for change and we hope leaders will listen and not dismiss the community dialogue that is so important for so many people who do not deserve to be disrespected in this way.

14 Responses: Reply To This...
JoanNovember 11th 2013.

Adam. The council does not set the rents which private businesses pay to private property owners.

AnonymousNovember 11th 2013.

Adam, sometimes I think I'd love to live in your world where the council is all-powerful and has domain over all things. Sadly we don't live in such a socialist paradise, but in fact the real world where local government only has limited powers and ever diminishing resources to tackle any issues that concern their citizens. You make such a racket about how the council underserves the village but I can't help wondering what you, as a private citizen, actually do to about these things that matter to you? Apart from complain to the council, that is.

AdamNovember 11th 2013.

I believe there are possibilities for Business Rates Relief and Exemptions. This helped areas such as the NQ thrive. Now that businesses are closing could this be applied to Village? www.gov.uk/…/overview… And anon, considering everything I say is so stupid I do not know why you even bother to reply or try and rile me. It doesn't.

DavidqueerNovember 11th 2013.

Annonymous>> " I'd love to live in your world where the council is all-powerful and has domain over all things." <<< Sounds much like the kind of rubbish a member or chief of the council would come out with to me! It's a widely held belief those in powerful positions are living in an alternate reality to the vast majority of ordinary people.

DavidqueerNovember 11th 2013.

Hilarious moment this afternoon as the protest descended on the Town Hall!.. when a grinning Sir Howard Bernstein (Manchester City Council's Chief Executive Officer)snook out behind the crowd at the side entrance - but he was spotted and pursued... although it appears the highest paid civil servant in Greater Manchester (£200,000 p/a) has his own private entourage of G4S protection to keep that grin glowing....

AnonymousNovember 11th 2013.

DAVIDQUEER - well, I'm neither of those things, I'm a just a citizen and work in the private sector, so maybe you should think again about the validity of my comments, without making presumptions on where they come from. Adam - I like a debate is why, and I live in hope that one day you might actually listen to someone and learn not to babble such blether all the time.

AnonymousNovember 11th 2013.

Oh deary me Adam. Do you not even understand the difference between rents and rates?

AdamNovember 12th 2013.

I do anonymous, yes. I am trying to think of ways to empower the people I care about and do not see myself as an oracle but someone who cares deeply. Though it gives you extraordinary pleasure to pull apart anything I ever post. Why even if I posted about 'my favourite pizza' you'd be there winding it up for some weird kick! I hope to see positive change and transparent debate which is not happening in many areas. Then there would be genuine dialogue. Considering my posts are such empty waffle, you certainly find a lot to pull apart, even though you say the sentences and sentiments are such indecipherable nonsense. That Pride was supported by so many Leaders despite appalling donations, suggests if I lack common sense so do they! So as your 'Anonymous' posts are so recognisable it seems any story I comment on, or the hopes many have for a more empowered community is something you will always tirelessly mock. Whatever floats your boat! Do you even care about the LGBTQ community (somehow I doubt it) or is this just fun and games for you? Love to my favourite hater. As you say to my friend David "so maybe you should think again about the validity of my comments, without making presumptions on where they come from".

AnonymousNovember 12th 2013.

You clearly do not know the difference based on your posts. The rest is the usual incoherent, hysterical blaa.

AdamNovember 12th 2013.

Hey, you are like a bad ex or something. Persistent and always just 'there'! Lot's of love to you! You sure we haven't dated or something? Such learned wit is truly dispensable. #ICantMakeAMistake #ImmaculateConception #SignificantlyBetterThanYou

AnonymousNovember 12th 2013.

The funny thing is that there are at least two Anonymouses above, so it's not just one person that finds your rants wearying and pointless, that you think you 'recognise'!!

AnonymousNovember 12th 2013.

A strangely narcissistic response there Adam. I have no idea who you are, nor do I care. Just try to articulate yourself a bit better and do some proper research before spouting forth and you might stand a chance of taking more people along with you. Now what was your point about rents in the village again? Or was it rates?

David WoodsNovember 12th 2013.

Now I am bored by the extremely petty anonymouses and pointless arguments. Can anyone return to the point of the story and Pride question, gay Manchester? I see the political names are keeping out from posting rants probably because they supported Pride. As for all the anon posting, it gets wearisome. I actually do not believe some people posting care in the least about the issues at hand in the slightest they just want to rile people.

David WoodsNovember 12th 2013.

& yes, Pride is a mess. The Gay Village is in big trouble and like many it bothers me. Any suggestions are better than no suggestions whatsoever.

RobbsyNovember 11th 2013.

Pride has been falling apart for a while - and as a local resident I can point to a shocking decline in attitudes as well as organisation. It used to be fun - now its a joke.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Andrew SmithNovember 13th 2013.

well said

AnonymousNovember 13th 2013.

The days when I used to rollerblade into McTucky's on a Saturday night whilst just wearing gold hot pants are long gone.

AnonymousNovember 15th 2013.

Why Anon, Sackville Street is traffic free on Friday and Saturday nights so hot panting and roller blades would be welcome (especially since we saved McTuky's for you)

David Michael EvansNovember 11th 2013.

I hate the whole weekend..oversized, oppressive crowds, everyone legless for days on end...its horrible...it was best way back in the early 90s when it first started, had real local community feel, back then.

Hero
Hall of Hall HallNovember 11th 2013.

I agree with Robbsy. But this only reflects what has happened to the Canal St area over the same period. What used to be new and fresh has become slightly ghettoised and a clique.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 14th 2013.

Who made this person a hero, Mancon?

Julia GrantNovember 11th 2013.

A new chief executive who decided that. Not the LGBT COMMUNITY that's for sure. They have been appointed by the board. BUT WHO APPOINTED THEM. not the LGBT community. In 1999 MARDI GRAS run by the council lost 175,000 and went BANCRUPT GAYFEST was a community group who ran the event for 2 years raising over 190,000 for local charities. GAYFEST had no fences, no pledge bands we just collected money in buckets for the charities. AND WE WERE SUCCESSFUL. The event should be handed back to the community after all we own the event. MANCHESTER PRIDE have a few questions to answer. DID THE MONEY RAISED LAST YEAR 35,000 plus 17,000 top up has that been paid out in full....... Money from the arches held by pride 11.000 is that still safe. 2014 tickets have been sold is that money safe....... You cannot blame the weather for low number this year the weather was perfect for pride. Time for MANCHESTER PRIDE LTD AND MANCHESTER PRIDE EVENTS LIMITED TO CLOSE ITS DOORS. You showed yourselves up today the community came to talk to you and you wouldn't even open your doors. You are shameful. I believe MANCHESTER PRIDE LIMITED is close to bancrupcy........ Wether that is right or wrong you are morally BANCRUPT . The way you treated the community members today is an absolute disgrace . HANG YOUR HEADS IN SHAME.....YOUR NOT WANTED....YOUR NOT NEEDED....... LISTEN TO YOUR COMMUNITY.

9 Responses: Reply To This...
Matt BradyNovember 12th 2013.

Who is the community? There are short of 800 members of FAMP. That ain't many. Who decided that the 16 people pictured at the protest represent the views of the 'community'? Why is that group any more representative than Pride Ltd?

AnonymousNovember 12th 2013.

It's not the Hacienda Flesh community. It's Blackpool!

tblzebraNovember 12th 2013.

Facts About Manchester Pride do themselves no favours - I support and agree with many of their views/points and so 'joined', but they removed me from the group when I dared to question them (and ask for proof) about some very dubious comments/claims. Dissent or disagreement isn't allowed - dangerous territory.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2013.

@Matt - when was the community consulted about this charity event being turned into a pop festival and booze up funded by 96.3% of the income? I was there when it started in 1990 and I don't remember being asked. Oh yeah, that's right - we weren't asked! Some marketing people just decided they would take it over and the council rubbed its hands together at the thought of the millions.

AnonymousNovember 14th 2013.

@tblzebra - For the first two years Facts About Manchester Pride had an open policy of allowing just about anyone in. Unfortunately in the end it wasn't practical because there was an endless stream of people on the attack who tried to divert attention away from the issues. Sometimes there would be what seemed to be an organised attack to distract from something that had just been posted and so on. Many are on this gravy train and will do anything to keep it on the rails. So this summer there was a meeting and it was decided to adopt a stricter policy. I find it very hard to believe that you wouldn't be given proof about claims made by any of the key people in the group. More likely that you were on the attack, aggressive or abusive and were kicked out as a result. It's laughable that anyone should claim that dissent isn't allowed in Facts, when it was set up in the first place because the official spaces relating to the gay village and Pride were totally censored. After two-and-a-half-years Facts is still waiting for its first mention in the LGF's Outnorthwest magazine. It has been covered by the MEN, BBC, Gaydio, Midlands Zone, Manchester Confidential, Mancunian Matters, Pink News. I think you should open your eyes to the bigger picture as far as censorship is concerned...

SmittyNovember 14th 2013.

"I find it very hard to believe that you wouldn't be given proof about claims made by any of the key people in the group. More likely that you were on the attack, aggressive or abusive and were kicked out as a result." Tblzebra, I think the phrase is Q.E.D. Such an unpleasant bunch...

tblzebraNovember 14th 2013.

Exactly Smitty and I'm going back about at least two years, so apparently it's gotten a whole lot worse. 'On the attack, aggressive or abusive' was not the case, I simply disagreed about some stuff, asked for proof, have a different viewpoint, wouldn't be fobbed of and was thrown out. I received much support about it afterwards. Their loss, but trying to change things in a positive manner isn't really part of their agenda

Stephen SmithNovember 15th 2013.

the fact that 400 people have signed a petition calling for change in less than 24 hours is proof that people want chage www.change.org/…/board-of-manchester-pride-manchester-city-council-manchester-police-we-the-undersigned-demand-a-public-meeting-over-the-conduct-and-future-of-manchester-pride…

AnonymousNovember 12th 2013.

Two things we should not be paying for such a heavy staff team. Two events managers who only oversee logistics! Then we hire freelancers at what cost! One of those freelancers is the interim CEO who didn't secure one major cash sponsor this year! Or so the rumour has it, again not personal its just the whole situation is to quick fixed. volunteer event managers are out there & desperate for the experience instantly with that small change you would save much needed money. It's hard but not personal to individuals, it is simply stripping it back to basics Secondly if Pride goes back to its routes then a community focused trustee board is fine but if it continues under the same format the trustee board needs Representation from the community but also expertise in finance, event management, marketing etc to ensure the event is delivered to its maximum potential under charity commission regulations... the trustee board are strategic and therefore it needs to have maximum correct strength and vision lead by an impartial transparent community focused chair with a business head for fundraising. Serious change with maximum positive output Just my thoughts anyway.

Hero
JRawlyNovember 12th 2013.

I haven't been to pride for a number of years as it has become about making money for the bars and the council and not for the charities. I first attended a pride event in 2000. I didn't have to pay to get into the Village, but each bar had a bucket on the door collecting a donation as you walked in. All the door money went to Operation Fundraiser. The drinks prices were the same as any other time of year. Nowadays, it is all about paying to get into the street and then a lot (not all) of the bars charging an entrance fee with no mention of where this is going. I honestly think the "event" itself needs to die and then start again with the basics of what Mardi Gras/Gayfest used to be. A community event for charity.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 12th 2013.

But who or where is the 'community'? The last time I found a bit, they were packing condom packs in the Rem upstairs a long time ago. Consumers are really what exists.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2013.

Ewww! Nearly thirty years after John Hurt told us all about the tip of the iceberg and gay men need to be made aware of protection?

AnonymousNovember 12th 2013.

A quick survey in Hot Village magazine for Queer Manchester who care about Village & Pride. Link is here: www.surveymonkey.com/…/FPZGYQQ…

SmittyNovember 12th 2013.

Jrawly if you've not been to Pride for a number of years then how on earth do you know that bars charge to get in? None of them do. And as far as I can tell - and believe me I could probably conduct a statistically significant survey given the number I frequent - none put their prices up? Pride is a great event, tens of thousands of people attend and the vast majority of them have a fantastic time. This idea that £20 is some kind of outrageous sum is ridiculous. I also remember Pride before it became a safe, ticketed festival and my spectacles clearly don't have the rosy tint that some have here! It's clear that something needs to be done to ensure that Pride starts turning more of a profit, but there's a lot of positive people out there who play an active part in our community who can probably give better ideas than a shrill, unrepresentative minority who only look to an idealised past and think it can be replicated in 2013. Prides across the country have been suffering and many have closed completely. It's to Manchester Pride's credit that they have kept their head above water. The challenge now is to get the cash coming back in so that our community can benefit. Sorry for the length of rant!

7 Responses: Reply To This...
Stephen SmithNovember 12th 2013.

Smitty I was there this year and some bars do put there prices up and bars do charge to get in. When only 3.7% of money raised is going to charity there is something seriously wrong.

AnonymousNovember 12th 2013.

Smitty supporting both sides as usual. Just because friends or worked for Head of Comms in MCC & Police. Keep it in the family and your invites to posh events coming in! £20 (no much higher actually + the same for kids and families and for teenagers) "is some kind of outrageous sum is ridiculous". Down with all LGBTQ aren't you? How 'New Labour' of you. Don't have the cash, struggling in your life, you can't be a part of Corporation Pride. And justifying minimal donations how? Rose tinted spectacles indeed. Or blue.

SmittyNovember 12th 2013.

Stephen I agree that there's a problem that needs to be fixed. As I said above, a lot of Prides have been in trouble across the country, not just Manchester. A couple of the smaller ones have actually gone belly up. On the bars putting prices up, fair enough if you saw that. I think you should name and shame, because if some do then that's disgraceful. But I honestly did not see that happening at all in any of the bars that I went to.

Andrew SmithNovember 13th 2013.

Sorry just 3 pride I know of what have made record amount of money for charities Newcastle Brighton Birmingham this year and all 3 have been busier than ever before so how can it be to the downturn with in the UK. and also getting told ticket sale was up this year from last.

SmittyNovember 13th 2013.

Brighton did well this year. I think they raised £43k - but remember that Manchester pride has raised more than a million quid over the past 10 years, notwithstanding the issues over the past two years. Newcastle pride is a much smaller affair anyway. But Brighton had to introduce charging three years ago I order to keep afloat, so they aren't a great example to use for those who constantly knock manchester pride for no longer being a jumble sale outside the Rembrandt!

SmittyNovember 13th 2013.

Brighton did well this year. I think they raised £43k - but remember that Manchester pride has raised more than a million quid over the past 10 years, notwithstanding the issues over the past two years. Newcastle pride is a much smaller affair anyway. But Brighton had to introduce charging three years ago I order to keep afloat, so they aren't a great example to use for those who constantly knock manchester pride for no longer being a jumble sale outside the Rembrandt!

AnonymousNovember 15th 2013.

@smitty, you're just too Brighton-centric.

AnonymousNovember 12th 2013.

People like Julia Grant are quite right. The event is no longer for the community, and now, "Manchester Pride" is a corporation paying massive salaries to huge amounts of staff, not to mention the councillors with their snouts in the trough.

Hero
Tony MartinNovember 12th 2013.

I attended this year after giving it a miss last year and I was shocked, it does not feel like a celebration any more, it was messy and felt unsafe. Furthermore the bars were 'cashing in' charging ridiculous prices for drinks, exploiting visitors to the event. I will not be attending next year unless radical changes are made.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 12th 2013.

That's the pink pound for ya!

AnonymousNovember 15th 2013.

No it's the VBA

AnonymousNovember 12th 2013.

test

tblzebraNovember 12th 2013.

I attended Mardi Gras/Gayfest from when the Village was unfenced, charity donations were via buckets at the entrance to venues and the totals given to charity (as a % of number of participants/total raised, etc.) far surpassed when the event was later rebranded as Pride.  On principle I’ve never attended for a long time, since the year Manchester residents who I knew personally were helping Pride in minor ways and they unnecessarily stayed over at Malmaison hotel and had a wonderful time funded by Pride ‘expenses’.

Matt BradyNovember 12th 2013.

In case people haven't noticed, time has moved on and the Village isn't what it was 10, 15, 20 years ago. People don't go there to trap off in the same way they did, thanks to the net, dates can be had in the suburbs, the NQ etc. The clubbing scene has changed. The Village needs to adapt or die. Pride fills the whole of Manchester for a weekend. It should make more money for charity than it currently does. But the people who run it aren't satan's children. It's corporate. So what? £20 for a ticket with a years notice isn't that much. And the moaning about beer prices...that has always been the case - at ANY event where there are 1000s of people, prices are high. Look at the NQ, Deansgate Locks. It's called the free market. If you haven't the cash to buy in the Village, bring your own in with you. We've done that for years. Will a 'community' event support businesses across Manchester in the same way? Why are the 1000s who attend Pride every year not part of the 'community' that is being talked about?

5 Responses: Reply To This...
tblzebraNovember 12th 2013.

I never went to 'trap off' Matt, how quaint. I went because it was a safe place for me to openly be who I am, when I couldn't do that in most other social situations/venues. And it still isn't safe to do so in many.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2013.

Don't call it "Pride" then. A word that was associated with political events has been hijacked as some kind of brand name. Manchester's event was never meant to be a political Pride anyway, it was a fundraiser. How would people feel if one of the childrens' charities was hijacked by marketeers and some arse on the board went on the radio defending 3.7% of income going to causes, saying that now it was more about having a "festival" and people in Russia rather than raising funds for the kids like it used to. There would be outrage. Vile...

AnonymousNovember 13th 2013.

Hijacked? Wasn't the word 'gay' hijacked?

Andrew SmithNovember 13th 2013.

Well said Anonymous and also you can not take drink in to the village over pride not like other pride Newcastle and Brighton as I think the bars would have something to say about that. And also as we have been slated within the press this year about Manchester Gay Village having a bad drinking culture but there are more and happy to fence us into the village like cattle with very little to do but drink.

Andrew SmithNovember 13th 2013.

And if it's costing so mush for pride to be run lest stop the parade why should pride pay for the parade for the full city to enjoy getting so mush money into the city without the city help to support to pay for it. Also I don't think there was one bar what had a float in the parade this year a big let down.

SmittyNovember 13th 2013.

I think the parade is really important Andrew. I've been in it for several years and it's really amazing that so many people turn out to watch it from kids to little old ladies. It sends out a brilliant signal to the world about acceptance and inclusiveness. It's about showing that LGBT people are part of Manchester's community. Having spent time with people at manchester pride from parts of the world where gay people are oppressed merely reinforces how important pride is. We're one of the world's gay capitals and having one of the best prides in the world really helps put us on the map. It's a real tribute to the staff and volunteers who put it on every year that it has such a great reputation - despite the very small, very shrill, very angry minority who just want to do it down. That's not to say it's perfect - it has to get back to making the kind of money it was a couple of years ago because so many groups, charities and organisations in our community rely on it. It's a big challenge.

Andrew SmithNovember 13th 2013.

Ok lets stop fencing the village off and let everyone take part within the full weekend

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 15th 2013.

When I was a smalltown boy back in the day it was raining men. Can you tell me why?

Andrew SmithNovember 13th 2013.

But the money is so important to all the great charities within the village supporting so many people and i think that is a lot more important to me

MikeNovember 14th 2013.

It's a disgrace that so little money has been given to charities over the last few years. The authorities need to investigate where the money has been going because it certainly isn't going to the charities where it's most needed. There needs to be a full investigation into salaries and expenses paid to the board and also what money was paid to contractors involved in the pride weekend to see if the companies taking part were the cheapest available and also if any of the board members have anything to do with these companies. The whole board need replacing but it also needs replacing with people who have nothing to do with the present board or anyone else who has been involved with ANY of the previous incarnations of Pride, new blood and new ideas. I for one would get rid of the so called VIP area, if these people want to attend Pride then they attend and mix with everyone else, also bring back the funfair, this seemed to be very popular at previous pride events. Get rid of the Z list acts that no one has ever heard of or are likely to ever hear of after pride is over. If it really needs to be a paid for event then then make it paid for on the saturday and sunday then open it up to everyone on the monday for a small nominal charge.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 14th 2013.

Here Here! Whilst I agree Pat Karney should have his own special area - I'd rather it wasn't one with free-flowing champagne and canapes made by Australasia.

AnonymousNovember 14th 2013.

There's a lot of gay on gay crime these days though.

Andrew SmithNovember 15th 2013.

Well said Mike & Anonymous these people need to remember that pride is about raising money for great Gay Charities what are struggling to keep there doors open supporting the Gay Community. Not ran to let some people have the 5 star treatment. I so agree about the funfair to be back next year and also stop the X factor shit what as been on the last couple of year's. I just hope these people and there friends and family never need support from the great charities.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Andrew SmithNovember 15th 2013.

Also I would like to see pride to be moved out of the village to make it less then a drinking culture event. As Manchester Gay Village as been slated within the press and from the Town Hall this year. But them people are so more and happy to fence us off within the Village from the rest of the city and charge us for entering the Gay Village. I would like to see a official pride party to stop some of these clubs just popping up over pride to make money from the event.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 15th 2013.

Castlefield would be a good location. There could be prizes for the best Roman costume.

AnonymousNovember 15th 2013.

A move of course would not actually move the 'celebration' from Canal Street simply provide two centres one fenced say Castlefield and the other open.

AnonymousNovember 15th 2013.

Instead of fencing it off, why can't we all hold hands and form a big circle around the village?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 15th 2013.

don't get run over

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