Edinburgh Pride cancelled this year due to Covid

The event draws tens of thousands of people and was due to be held in June

After considerable discussion with Edinburgh City Council and the Scottish Government, the organisers of Pride Edinburgh have officially cancelled the city’s annual Pride march.

Edinburgh Pride was supposed to be held in June but the organisers decided it would be impossible given the current pandemic and level of restrictions.

In 2019 – the last time Edinburgh Pride could go ahead – the event drew crowds of upwards of 15,000. The march usually ends in Bristo Square, which is decked out in rainbow flags for the occasion.

However, the organisers are hoping to be able to arrange a programme of virtual events to allow LGBT+ people to continue celebrating, albeit in their homes.

The event was also cancelled last year due to coronavirus concerns. This would’ve marked 25 years since the start of Pride in Edinburgh.

This is one of the first UK Pride marches to be cancelled this year, following Northern Pride in Newcastle that was cancelled last week. Other big pride marches in Glasgow, London, Manchester, and Brighton are still officially going ahead in the summer at the time of writing.

In a statement on Instagram, Pride Edinburgh said: “Dear Edinburgh, it is with sadness and heavy hearts that we must announce the cancellation of the Pride Edinburgh’s physical event in 2021.

“Discussions with the City Council, Scottish Government and event partners have concluded that the restrictions created by COVID-19 would make it impossible for us to run a safe event, especially when it draws over 15,000 people to the city every year.

“While there will be no physical event, we are now working on a virtual event to celebrate Pride in the Capital, more information on our plans will be released soon. We are also opening the doors and recruiting new members to join our team, keep an eye on our website for updates on this.

“We thank all our partners and sponsors and most of all the LGBTQI+ community of Edinburgh, Scotland and beyond, we know the Rainbow will always shine in our capital city.”

Via @prideedinburgh on Instagram

What is Pride?

Pride marches are held in most major towns and cities across the globe to give a place for LGBT+ people to express themselves, protest for rights and freedoms, and celebrate.

They first began to commemorate the Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969 – where LGBT+ people fought back against homophobic police brutality.

The first pride march in Scotland was held in Edinburgh in 1995. Pride marches have been held in London since 1972.

Via @prideedinburgh on Instagram

What do LGBT+ Edinburgh students think about the cancellation?

Iona, third year told The Edinburgh Tab: “I was so looking forward to it this year! It was going to be my first Pride in Edinburgh – I missed it when I was in first year, and then it was cancelled last year. I’m glad they are being safe though, and excited to see the online events they are talking about planning!”

Jesse, President of Pride Soc, said: “I think it’s a real shame especially since it’ll be two years in a row but I’m glad that restricting the spread of the virus is a priority and thankful that we’ve been told months in advance rather than waiting to cancel it until last minute.”

Meanwhile, EUSA LGBT+ Liberation Officer George Ross told The Edinburgh Tab: “Obviously it’s very sad that it can’t happen, but happy that they are thinking about the safety of everyone. Hopefully there will be lots of online events and I don’t think it’ll stop the community from celebrating!”

Cover image via @prideedinburgh on Instagram

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