LGBT Pride is the spine of the community and our movement. Pride in London organises a massive parade on July 8th this year in central London, plus an arts festival. I had a dream that LGBT Pride should manifest in all local communities, and set up Southwark LGBT Pride Festival as a contribution to Pride in London. It runs June 25th - July 7th, and includes film, theatre, cabaret, a Treasure Hunt, quizzes and our own queer version of Desert Island Discs, Tell-Tale Tracks. Though it's designed to showcase LGBT+ talent, we hope there will be something to appeal to everyone, whatever their sexuality. We have also deliberately included family-friendly events. This is building on the tiny (3-day) festival we ran in 2016.
We now have a small team of dedicated volunteers who have been working on all aspects of the festival. It is mainly based at The Ivy House, a community-owned pub which has also been designated an outstanding community asset.
It receives no public money at all, but we have decided that all events will be free, with the exception of a benefit cabaret for the Russian LGBT Network, whose need for support and help is dire, coping as they do with state-sponsored homophobia up to and including murder.
Despite our lack of funds we still have to pay for publicity, equipment hire, artistes' expenses (nobody is getting a fee), prizes and some phone calls. We estimate that the cost is going to be £2000, which is peanuts considering the number of events in the programme - 14 in total. If we have a surplus we will roll it forward to the 2018 Festival, which we have already started discussing. All donations gratefully received.