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Pride in London more popular than ever

18 October 2015

Ahead of its Open Meeting at City Hall on the evening of 6th October, LGBT+ Pride in London has released the key findings from its 2015 survey of 1,600 people from every part of London’s LGBT+ communities. They show that LGBT+ Londoners think that Pride in London is performing very well and organisers, London LGBT+ Community Pride Community Interest Company, are working hard to ensure that Pride in London 2016 is even bigger and better and more inclusive of every part of the community.

  • Satisfaction with Pride in London increased again in 2015
  • 40,000 took part in 2015’s record-breaking Parade

  • One third of Pride goers were attending for the first time

  • Consultation on criteria for exclusion from the Parade launched

Overall satisfaction

The main measure of overall satisfaction with the event increased from 7.9/10 in 2014 to 8.1/10 in 2015. Nearly half of all respondents (48%) gave Pride in London 2015 a nine or ten out of ten.

Most people also thought Pride in London represented the LGBT+ community as a whole (4.3 out of 5 agreement with the statement).

Pride goers were also happy with the role sponsors play, with 70% agreeing that ‘having sponsors makes for a better and bigger Pride’ and 77% agreeing that ‘It’s great to see so many high-profile people and companies taking part’.

Why people come to Pride

The single main reason for taking part in Pride in London 2015 was to celebrate our community’s success, at 42%, a much higher score than in the previous year. This might be a reflection of the passing of equal marriage legislation in the UK and Ireland and the Supreme Court announcement from the USA, coupled with Pride in London’s #PrideHeroes theme which celebrated campaigners and activists who have both won the freedoms we enjoy today and are still working around the world to secure and extend equality for all LGBT+ people.

To have a great day out with friends and family was the reason given by 19 per cent. To be part of the parade motivated 16 per cent. To make a political statement was the reason given by 11 per cent of people, which is consistent with 2013 and 2014.

Pride is reaching more people than ever

One third of those taking part this year had not been to Pride before and sheer numbers are increasing by 20-25 per cent year on year. The survey also found that 80 per cent of people plan to return in 2016.

Our themes for the past two years, #PrideHeroes and #FreedomTo, were turned into community-driven social media campaigns that were extended through advertising on London Underground and Buses. These advertising campaigns, with their positive messages for change, were seen by millions of people who would otherwise not engage with Pride.

In June 2015 alone we had nearly 300,000 people visit our website and #PrideHeroes was used 30,000 times. Online mentions of us more than doubled from the year before to 89,000 and the total potential reach of tweets mentioning Pride in London increased from 63.5m to 226.5m.

We have also created the Pride Arts Festival and Pride’s Got Talent as ways to support and nurture talent in the LGBT+ community and so that that events are staged that highlight LGBT+ issues (e.g. in 2014 there was a panel debate about LGBT rights and issues across the EU – hosted by the European Commission office in London and in 2015 one on the changing experiences and challenges faced by trans* people, organised by the InterLaw Diversity Forum and hosted by Pride sponsor CMS).

Who was in the record-breaking Parade?

Pride in London has worked hard to inspire new groups to participate, to campaign on issues that are important to them and to raise their profile across the community. Some 40,000 people took part on the Parade this year and they break down into the following groups. Businesses make up less than 20% and most of those are in fact LGBT+ employee network groups:

  • Charities 128 [52.7%] including
    • 10 [4.1%] HIV/AIDS charities
    • 34 [14%] non-LGBT charities

  • 34 [14%] non-LGBT charities

  • Businesses 48 [19.8%]

  • Public Sector 34 [14%]

  • Religious & Faith 8 [3.3%]

  • Trade Unions 8 [3.3%]
  • LGBT+ Businesses 7 [2.9%]
  • Political 7 [2.9%] (excl. UKIP)
  • Pride in London 3 (Flagbearers and two access safe spaces) [1.2%]

Consultation on participation in the Parade

This year saw controversy around the exclusion of a UKIP LGBT group from the Parade and their forced entry to it on the day. The Board of Pride has made extensive statements about the impossible decisions they faced against a background of a sharply divided community. The Board of Pride has asked the Community Advisory Board to consult on potential grounds for exclusion of particular groups from Pride events and the process for taking into account the concerns of the community.

Individuals and organisations are encouraged to have their say before the consultation closes in mid-November.

Funding Pride in London

In 2015 Pride cost over £600k to put on. The key cost components are 
£176,000 parade
, £186,000 Trafalgar Square
, £117,000 Soho, and 
£24,000 for the picnic.

Against this £381,000 was raised in sponsorship with other significant income coming from a gala dinner at which Mary Portas was the guest of hour and brilliant speaker, bucket rattling and float entries in the parade. It is important to note that a business pays four times more for a float than a community group and ten times more for a walking group.

Pride is run entirely by volunteers and does not spend money on, expensive on-stage acts, meeting room hire or many of the normal costs of doing business. The costs are largely made up of barriers, stewards, staging, toilets, health and safety and similar.

Michael Salter, Chairman of London LGBT+ Community Pride, the Community Interest Company that runs Pride in London said: 
‘The incredibly positive response to Pride in London by the community we set out to serve is hugely encouraging. An overall satisfaction rating of over eight out of ten is a massive vote of confidence and great expression of thanks to all the volunteers who work year-round to deliver London’s Pride celebrations in June.

‘The diverse mix of Parade participants and solid support from sponsors means that each year London’s Pride celebrations get bigger and better. This is vital as we must take the Pride campaigning messages of equality to a wider audience so attitudes towards LGBT+ people continue to change and improve, not just in the UK but around the world.

‘As the event grows, it costs more to put on safely and this year I am delighted that the LGBT+ community gave more than ever to support it. I am also pleased that the role of our sponsors is acknowledged, they ensure that Pride in London can take place and has remained free to attend. We are looking forward to our Open Meeting on 6th October and to hearing views from across London. We are part of the LGBT+ community, organising the event for the LGBT+ community but I encourage organisations and individuals to respond to the online consultation on grounds for exclusion from Pride, we want the widest range of responses to help inform our decisions.’

Any questions?

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