Covid: Northern Pride moves online after second postponement

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image captionThe event features a parade through the city centre and a festival in Exhibition Park

Northern Pride will be celebrated virtually after coronavirus forced the festival to be postponed for a second year, organisers have said.

The event had been due to take place in Newcastle as the national UK Pride event in 2020, but was moved to 2021 after Covid-19 rules banned gatherings.

Director Ste Dunn said postponing until July 2022 was not a decision "taken lightly", but safety was a "priority".

He added that the virtual celebration would keep people "connected".

Northern Pride has been held annually since 2008 and sees more than 70,000 people enjoy events in the city centre and on the festival site in Exhibition Park.

It was chosen as the national Pride event in 2020 and will remain as such when it returns in 2022, organisers said.

image copyrightNorthern Pride Festival
image captionThousands of people enjoy Pride weekend across the city centre and at the festival site

Mr Dunn said the festival would "love nothing more than to be in a position to celebrate Pride weekend with a huge festival this summer".

"Postponing isn't a decision we have taken lightly, but the safety of our event team, volunteers and community is our top priority," he added.

"We've channelled all of our energy into planning a really fantastic virtual programme, which will hopefully have something for everyone."

Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes said the postponement was "devastating", but welcomed the announcement of a virtual event, adding: "Although we can't meet up physically, we can continue to connect with each other through these events and, together, look forward to the better times ahead."

He said he was "really pleased that the next UK Pride will definitely take place here in Newcastle" and would be "working hard with the LGBTQ+ community and the organising committee to ensure that our Pride in 2022 is the best we've ever seen".

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