BRIGHTON Pride has been cancelled, organiser have announced.

The annual festival that sees thousands of people flock to the city has been scrapped for the second year in a row.

In a statement posted online, organisers said they are "heartbroken" to cancel the popular event due to the uncertainty over mass gatherings.

Last year, coronavirus restrictions meant the event to mark the landmark 30th anniversary was cancelled “with a heavy heart”.

The celebrations were due to take place this year on August 7 and August 8.

Paul Kemp, director of Brighton Pride said,“We are devastated at having to make this decision for a second year and recognise the huge impact on local businesses, charities and community groups who rely on the fundraising potential of the Pride weekend.

“Pride attracts tens of thousands of people to our city for the LGBTQ+ community parade which is the heart of the Pride celebrations, where social distancing clearly can’t be facilitated safely.

The Argus: Brighton Pride has been cancelledBrighton Pride has been cancelled

"Our planning has also identified significant supply chain challenges including infrastructure, security and staffing making it impossible to deliver a safe event with any certainty.

“Community fundraising has always been our main objective for Pride, but without the safety net of viable Covid cancellation insurance, we cannot jeopardise our ability to deliver a sustainable fundraising Pride in future years.

“I’d like to thank all of our contractors, suppliers and partner agencies who have tried their upmost to help us move forward with planning, and to everyone who has purchased a ticket for their understanding and support, we can’t wait to bring Pride back in 2022 better than ever.”

Hundreds of people took to social media to express their disappointment at the decision, with some questioning the "cautious" move, ahead of the easing of lockdown restrictions. 

Writing on Twitter, many festivalgoers called the decision "heartbreaking", while user Damian Barr wondered what was next.

He said: "What are we going to do without Brighton Pride?

"How can we (safely) bring togetherness and joy to those who need it most?

"Lockdown has been hard for all and even harder for marginalised communities who start out with fewer spaces and chances for connection and support.

"What to do?"

As part of the announcement, Chris Gull, chairman of The Brighton Rainbow Fund, said: “We were sorry to hear that Brighton Pride have had to make the difficult decision to cancel plans to deliver a full-on physical event again this year.

"We totally understand and support that decision.

“For several years before the current organisers took over, Brighton Pride had failed to raise any funds for our local LGBTQ+ projects.

"Under the current organisers’ tenure almost £1 million has been raised for local good causes, the vast majority of which The Brighton Rainbow Fund has distributed as grants to those projects.

“Without the security of a government backed COVID insurance scheme (as offered in other countries), many festivals across the UK are reaching the same conclusions that Brighton Pride have, in short that there are still too many unknowns to be able to predict the situation in late Summer.

"Decisions and spending commitments have to be made now. Nobody can be certain, for instance, that a variant that is resistant to the current vaccines won´t emerge and that a further lockdown won´t result.

“The sensible and responsible decision has been made. The long term fundraising for our local LGBTQ+ projects is best served by ensuring that the successful fundraising model that has been created is sustainable over many years to come.

"The risk of, to be blunt, the organisation collapsing due to COVID delivering another twist is not worth taking.

“We look forward to hearing about what events Brighton Pride will be organising, and know that fundraising for our local LGBTQ+ communities, along with the safety of attendees remains the core aim.”