Gloucestershire Echo

In the running County aims to host Europe-wide Pride event in 2027

- Will LUKER

GLOUCESTER­SHIRE could be hosting a major Pride event to unite the LGBTQ+ community in three years’ time, as the county is in the bidding process to host Europride2­027.

Announcing that the county is in the running, Pride in Gloucester­shire confirmed the European Pride Organisers Associatio­n has listed Gloucester­shire as a potential host.

Rivals include Torremolin­os in Spain, Turin in Italy and Vilnius in Lithuania.

Europride is licensed to a different host city each year and for 2024 the host location is Thessaloni­ki in Greece and 2025 will be Lisbon in Portugal.

Previous locations include Copenhagen, Malta, Vienna and Belgrade and the last Europride to take place in the UK was London in 2012.

The event can last up to two weeks and it involves a festival, a march, a Human Rights Conference and an array of LGBTQ+ arts and cultural activities and can attract hundreds of thousands of people globally. So could it be heading to Gloucester­shire?

Each organisati­on has five months to complete their bids and be ready for publicatio­n on September 8, 2024, and Pride in Gloucester­shire say they are confident they can present a “competitiv­e and meaningful case to bring this prestigiou­s global event to Gloucester­shire and back to the UK.”

Pride in Gloucester­shire spokespers­on Richard Stevens said: “2027 will mark 15 years since Europride was last held in the UK.

“The UK, once known for its strong LGBTI+ credential­s, has seen a continuous decline in not only its internatio­nal standing but also community confidence and fear from a rise in hate crime and the creeping influence of extremists.

“With Gloucester­shire’s reputation for hosting world-class events coupled with our reputation for being inclusive and community-focused across a whole region, we feel that we will be able to deliver a Europride with the impact that empowers the LGBTI+ community not just in the UK but across the whole of Europe.”

Lenny Emson, president of the European Pride Organisers Associatio­n which licenses Europride, said: “With the increase in right-wing and far-right government­s and politician­s across Europe, Pride events are becoming ever more important as an opportunit­y for the LGBTI+ community to come together and show their strength in numbers and togetherne­ss.

“Europride continues to grow in importance and as a stand against the weaponisat­ion of LGBTI+ rights in politics wherever it takes place.”

Europride say the event has the ability to “enact change and directly improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people.”

The Gloucester­shire team also add that even though they expect this to generate at least £30m directly for the local economy, using this opportunit­y “to create a true legacy for LGBTQ+ people” is their primary focus.

While their plans must be kept under wraps until September, the Pride in Gloucester­shire team welcomes any interest from people, organisati­ons or businesses interested in getting involved in either supporting their bid or playing their part should their bid be successful.

The result of the bidding is expected to be announced on Saturday, November 2.

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 ?? ?? Pride events are held across the county
Pride events are held across the county
 ?? ?? Richard Stevens, of Pride in Gloucester­shire
Richard Stevens, of Pride in Gloucester­shire

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