Free festival takes on Pride Glasgow in wake of ticket chaos

Pride demo cropped

Mardi Gla is taking over the Merchant City for two days in July

25th June 2019 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

A free LGBT+ festival will be held in Glasgow amid ongoing difficulties surrounding this year’s Pride event.

Earlier in June, the city council told Pride organisers that they would not be able to use the Riverside Museum as this year’s venue after a payment was missed.

The decision comes after hundreds of tickets were oversold for Pride 2018, meaning many attendees were turned away from the event in the city’s Kelvingrove Park.

Pride Glasgow said they have been handcuffed by debts incurred from the previous board.

In a statement, organisers said: “The withdrawal is due to the fact that Pride Glasgow has not been able to make the first instalment of the agreed repayment, plus 50% of the venue hire within the agreed tight timescale.

“Despite the fact that we have sponsorship contracts and income from ticket sales, with proof of good cashflow for the event, the cut-throat way we feel we have been treated, is upsetting.

“The march will still go ahead as planned on August 17, and we are quickly making plans to move to a non-council owned venue.”

Meanwhile, the charity LGBT Co-operative is running a separate Pride March on July 20, and a free festival dubbed Mardi Gla in the Merchant City over the weekend.

With six zones themed around icons including Harvey Milk, Freddie Mercury, Peter Tatchell and Ellen DeGeneres, the event celebrates 50 years since the Stonewall uprising in New York.

Organiser Will Labate said: “We hope that folks will be reassured to hear that we are a new group of professionals who have come together to run Mardi Gla. We start with a blank canvas and have no association with the previous operators of Pride events in Glasgow.

“The LGBT Co-operative is absolutely delighted at the level of support that we have been receiving from the community and the wider public as we have worked to bring people back together in the spirit of the Pride movement for Glasgow’s new Pride – Mardi Gla.”