Brighton Pride to charge entry and cap numbers

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Brighton Pride 2011 will charge entry and limit visitor numbers for the first time.

Organisers of the festival said they had to make significant changes after complaints about safety and litter at last year’s event.

Spokeswoman Judith Manson said she could not yet say how much entry would be, as festival organisers are still consulting with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service about capacity.

But she said the price would depend on this figure and the cost of erecting barriers and paying for security.

She said: “We’ve spent the last five months listening. The message has been very clear – Pride has to change to be safe and enjoyable for everyone.

“There has been growing anti-social behaviour in the last few years It’s about making sure that LGBT people and their friends feel safe at Pride.

“It’s about giving the message that homophobic behaviour is not acceptable. If we see it, we have to do something.”

The theme for this year’s festival is ‘Out of this world’, which was chosen by local gay businesses and the event will be held on August 13th.

Last year saw more than 160,000 people joining the festival.

However, donations were not high enough to cover the £350,000 it costs to stage the festival.

Last month, the former chair of Brighton Pride said the festival needs a “radical” overhaul.

David Harvey, who ran the event between 2003 and 2006, said Brighton Pride was too straight, that LGBT people did not feel safe there and and that trustees could be breaching Charity Commission rules by “running a party disguised as a charity”.

He argued that Pride should be commercialised to allow it to start supporting community activities again.