On the 25th April we held our first PRIDE organising meeting at Plymouth’s newest venue The Diamond Queen despite the short notice calling the meeting over 20 people attended. We hosted the meeting without an agenda to allow free and open debate that proved very popular and demonstrated that people are willing to work together to deliver a Pride weekend with the main event Pride in the Park taking place on 20th July 2013. This open approach allows the event to evolve organically and it is clear that whilst putting a programme of events together for this year we have to consider plans for next year. Including the structure of the organising group, future funding and growth opportunities.
Hawkins Meeting House is going to kick off the first of the fund raisers with bucket collections through the next Bank Holiday extravaganza Sunday 5th May.
We discussed a few ideas around competitions and talent shows one of the suggestions via Facebook was to hold a poster competition to give the event its own identity. It was considered that there will not be enough time to ‘re brand’ this years event as we will soon need to run printed material off. However we will look at running the competition leading up to the event and allow the public to vote for the winner that will be used to promote next years event. More details soon once we have the rules and logistics sorted out.
There will also be the possibility of drumming workshops with proceeds supporting Pride.
We suggested to the venue managers that attended the meeting that perhaps they consider working together to build a full weekend of events – we will contact those who couldn’t make it to see what ideas or plans they have. We will of course keep you updated as the venues confirm their plans for fundraisers and the Pride Weekend itself. Once again the main event will finish at 7pm providing the venues opportunity to maximise on the after parties and give people opportunity to freshen up and grab a bite to eat before hitting the scene.
The level of support and enthusiasm is amazing, there is a real buzz about the event, and the weekend with real energy behind it.
The next meeting (date and venue TBC) will focus on few of the ideas including the options for a ‘Rainbow Parade’.
A member of the University of Plymouth LGBT group UPLGBT+ has communicated their disappointment that the event is being held in the summer again and not planned to fit the academic year. He feels that Plymouth University students are being excluded.
In our response we included:
“The meeting back in October was the beginning of a consultation exercise about the event and the best date. We continued to canvas people for some time after and the consensus was that we keep to the traditional ‘summer pride’. As you point out Plymouth University is here and will contribute massively to the community and we fully except that. We are also very aware of the negative impact the long summer holiday has on many business that support the university and its students. Therefore by holding pride in this quieter time will give them a much needed boost.
The summer date is accessible for students particularly those studying away and want to attend Pride in their home city. I realise that the city ‘imports’ more students then it exports but it’s not just about numbers – it is important for them! Also we have active volunteers from City College, Plymouth College of Art and Marjons ALL PLYMOUTH STUDENTS. It is worth noting that last year over 40 young people completed the Youth Chances Survey at Pride in the Park.”
We are actively seeking donations of prizes that can be used in our main raffle or for the winners of proposed competitions. If you would like to donate something or make a financial contribution then please make contact.
If you do have any suggestions or comments then please do share them with us – Contact Us or leave a comment below.