BRIGHTON Pride still hopes to go ahead, despite calls for the event to be cancelled.

With just 18 weeks to go, organisers are still delaying making a decision on whether the festival, which is thought to bring £20 million into the city’s economy, will happen on August 1 and 2.

Organisers told The Argus: "Brighton and Hove Pride is a city wide event that we deliver with the support of our agency partners. 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.

"With August being several months away, we are following government and health guidelines and will continue to review our position on a regular basis.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank and support the incredibly hard-working NHS and emergency service staff who are always a big and important part of Pride.

"Brighton and Hove Pride is an essential charity fundraising event for our city and whilst we don’t have a crystal ball, we sincerely hope the summer brings brighter news for everyone."

Mariah Carey and the Pussy Cat Dolls are due to headline the Pride In The Park events in Preston Park for the celebration’s 30th anniversary.

One Argus reader among many who have called for the event to be cancelled said: “With the over seventies 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.”

Major sporting and cultural events across the country have already been cancelled in response to the pandemic.

The Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has advised that social distancing measures may need to be in place for at least half a year to stop the spread of Covid-19 and recommended alternating between more and less strict measures for most of a year.

“Government advice issued last week called for all mass gatherings and public events to be cancelled but it is not known how long the measures will stay in place.

The latest Government advice published on March 16 said: “Large gatherings should not take place.”

However, until the lockdown is lifted no gatherings of more then two people will be allowed to go ahead.

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