‘Stay at home’ plea ahead of Brighton Pride weekend

Revellers are being warned that large gatherings remain banned because of the pandemic as Brighton Pride prepares for its 2020 extravaganza to go online.

Covid-19 restrictions led to the cancellation of this year’s festivities, which were attended by around 300,000 people in 2019.

This weekend’s “stay at home” event – Fabuloso – is set to be a very different experience but retaining the spirit of Pride while keeping everyone safe.

Police are asking people to avoid “unsafe or illegal” unofficial events amid reports that some are planning to congregate on Brighton beach.

While mass gatherings can pose risks of greater coronavirus transmission, a local health boss said this year’s digital endeavour is a “fantastic way” to keep the traditions going safely.

Brighton Pride 2019
Brighton Pride 2019

Paul Kemp, managing director of Brighton & Hove Pride, said: “We want people to come together in a safe and socially distanced way, and have their own Pride celebration at home.

“We are excited about plans for a spectacular Fabuloso online festival to mark its 30 years of campaigning, protest and celebration and help raise essential funds for our LGBTQ+ community groups.

“During these challenging times we are inviting all our friends in the city, the country and the world to join in our celebrations of Pride together.”

Fabuloso will be live-streamed online, starting on Friday evening, so viewers across the world will be able to tune in from the comfort of their homes.

All the entertainment is free to watch but viewers will be encouraged to make a donation so Brighton & Hove Pride can continue its fundraising for community organisations: https://www.brighton-pride.org/donate/

So Excited. We Are Fabuloso, Streaming live from 7pm Friday 31st July. Main Pride show from 5pm Saturday. FREE to View. Subscribe here: https://t.co/tLorVeo9A6pic.twitter.com/bzl0LYEgbm

— Brighton & Hove Pride (@PrideBrighton) July 30, 2020

Dr Andy Hodson, clinical chairman of NHS Brighton and Hove CCG, said: “While the Pride event is not taking place due to Covid-19 and the challenges it brings to social distancing safely, its significance cannot be cancelled.

“Digital Pride is a fantastic way for friends from around the world to tune in and join in our annual Pride celebrations safely from the comfort of their homes.”

While the official Brighton Pride event in the city has been cancelled due to the virus pandemic, the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said a combination of unofficial events and other attractions on a hot weekend have sparked concerns among its members.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) said trains to and from Brighton and the surrounding stations will be extremely busy this weekend, with significantly reduced capacity to support social distancing.