Brighton Pride is still planning to go ahead in 18 weeks’ time, despite calls for it to be cancelled

Brighton Pride with Mariah Carey is still planned to go ahead in 18 weeks

The organisers of Brighton Pride are still hoping the event will go ahead, despite growing calls for it to be cancelled due to the current health crisis.

The huge festival attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year and is an essential charity fundraising event for the city, bringing approximately £20 million to the economy.

This year’s festival on August 1 and 2 is expected to be particularly busy as the event celebrates its 30th anniversary with headline acts Mariah Carey and the Pussycat Dolls.

More than 100 Pride events around the world have been postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but with just 18 weeks to go until Brighton Pride, organisers have yet to make a decision.

They told The Argus: “As the current situation regarding COVID-19 is changing at a rapid pace we are awaiting updated government advice after the current three week lockdown.

“We have a meeting scheduled with the council and emergency services in late April when we will discuss any new implications and government advice and the delivery or possible postponement of Pride events, but until this time we are continuing our contingency planning and working with our partner agencies.”

A giant rainbow Pride flag is carried along the sea front during Brighton Pride 2018 on August 4, 2018 in Brighton, England. (Tristan Fewings/Getty)

They added that they would be following government and health guidelines and will continue to assess the situation on a regular basis.

The organisers also thanked the NHS and emergency services, “who are always a big and important part of Pride.”

But some Pridegoers fear that the festival could put unnecessary strain on the NHS, which could just be emerging from the pandemic by the time the festival rolls round.

One Argus reader among many who have called for the event to be cancelled said: “With the over-70s and the vulnerable being told to self isolate for three months and emergency services no longer providing support for large events, I think unfortunately it’s time to cancel just for this year.

“I know a lot of work goes into organising Pride. I have tickets and would be just pleased if they were valid for next year.

“Emergency services won’t have the time to give to organise Pride.”

The latest government advice on March 16 was that large gatherings should not take place, but it’s not known how long these measures will be enforced.