Pride in Hull has launched its bid to bring EuroPride – the biggest LGBTI celebration in Europe – to the city in 2023.
EuroPride takes place in a different host city every year, attracting hundreds of thousands of attendees from across the continent – and world – to celebrate all things LGBTI. In addition to the traditional Pride festival event and parade you might expect, EuroPride also incorporates an opening and closing ceremony, an HIV vigil, and a human rights conference along with an expanded programme of LGBTI events and activities.
And if Hull is successful in its bid, the organisers are planning a year of activity to take place across the city in a rainbow-strewn echo of the Hull UK City of Culture 2017 – the year which also saw Hull named as the first ever UK Pride.
Pride in Hull has hosted events in the city to celebrate the LGBTI community since 2001, growing from initially a small crowd in Queen’s Gardens to a major festival, drawing in tens of thousands of people from across the UK, with more than 50,000 celebrating in 2019.
The chosen host city is one that has a proven track record in holding LGBTI events, and after the runaway success of Pride in Hull being UK Pride in 2017, there is a quiet confidence that Hull could be the city of choice come 2023.
Matt Walton, chair of Pride in Hull, believes there’s never been a better time to stand up and throw a hat into the ring to host EuroPride in 2023.
He said: “EuroPride is such a huge event, bringing thousands of people to its host cities, and we believe that Hull is ready to shine as the hosts of EuroPride.
“The volunteer team behind Pride in Hull have proven time and again that we know how to put on a safe, fun and spectacular celebration, and we’ve learned a huge amount over the past few years.
“We’ve faced huge changes as a city and a nation – from Brexit to the current situation with the coronavirus lockdown – but the Pride in Hull committee absolutely believe in the city’s passion to build bridges and reconnect people.
“We’ve seen the power of the rainbow to bring hope in the past couple of weeks, and we know that EuroPride in Hull would be such a source of joy and hope for all.”
A huge planning effort has already begun behind the scenes, and will continue to raise support and create concepts ahead of the full bid submission in early summer, with a decision expected at the European Pride Organisers Association AGM in Oslo this October.
The planning team are now hoping to capture the imagination of the people of Hull to make this huge opportunity a reality.
Matt added: “What we saw in the UK City of Culture year in 2017 was a huge coming together of people from all walks of life – from arts lovers to sceptics – and we know the city can do it again.
“We were devastated to have to cancel this year’s Pride in Hull event due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but it was for the best reasons. Hopefully us revealing this great big and frankly audacious bid will help raise some smiles to everyone who’s currently isolated.”
Pride in Hull’s official letter of intent to bid to host EuroPride 2023 was submitted on March 31 and full bid will be submitted in June ahead of the AGM in October.
Soon, the Pride in Hull team will be unveiling more about how people can get involved and get behind the bid, from writing letters of support to recording messages and submitting ideas for events and venues.
[Claire – Pride in Hull]