23 October 2017:
Isle of Wight Pride beat stiff competition at the UK Pride Organisers Network conference to win the right to host UK Pride 2018
After a successful UK Pride Organisers Network conference held in Blackpool this weekend, the Isle of Wight was voted to be the host for UK Pride in 2018.
Only a year ago, they didn’t have a Pride organisation and just a few months later they are now preparing to welcome everyone to their second ever Pride on the 21st July 2018.
Joe Finch from Isle of Wight Pride said today: “It is testament to the incredible impact that our first ever Pride had on our Island that we were given this prestigious event in only our second year. We really want to use the opportunity given to us to not only show off our gorgeous Island to the world, but to make a real impact on the lives of Islanders. We also want to use it as a spring board for the rest of the UK, to show other isolated communities the importance and impact of diverse events such as Pride and the difference it can make, and to encourage them to put on an event of their own!.”
Andy Train, Co-Chair of the UK Pride Organisers Network and the organiser of the first UK Pride at Pride in Hull in July, said: “It was an enormous privilege for Hull, as City of Culture, to host the first UK Pride. Selecting the host for 2018 was a tough choice as we had four excellent bids to choose from. But it’s wonderful to be handing the UK Pride mantle over to the Isle of Wight – the second ever UK Pride at the second ever Isle of Wight Pride. I look forward to seeing their event develop.”
Isle of Wight Pride will take place on Saturday 21st July 2018, with various events organised in the weeks leading up to Pride, including the arts and sporting events.
Yve White from Isle of Wight Pride said: “We are absolutely blown away by being given this huge honour. Its incredible how far we have come in such a short space of time and we will do everything we can to put on an incredible year of events for UK Pride. It won’t be a day, it won’t be a week, there will be events throughout the year to support and engage everyone. Everyone will be welcome.”
Shayne Jackson, Youth Pride Committee Chair at Isle of Wight Pride
“A year in which the MP called gay people ‘dangerous to society’, prominent homophobic columns appeared in the local press and a Councillor suggested banning homosexuals from public toilets, 2017 saw the inaugural Isle of Wight Pride, uniquely taking place on a beach with thousands turning out in support. UK Pride status will enable the Island to build on this success and create a major celebration of diversity and inclusivity, showing the rest of the UK what an amazing place it is.”
The bid had the high profile backing of veteran LGBTI activist Peter Tatchell, and the Isle of Wight’s MP, Bob Seeley.
Isle of Wight Pride narrowly beat Pride Cymru to the title, with Liverpool Pride and Exeter Pride running in earlier rounds of voting. Outgoing Co-Chair of the UK Pride Organisers Network, Steve Taylor, said: “With more Prides in the UK than any other country in Europe, we wanted to establish UK Pride as our national equivalent to EuroPride and WorldPride. That four Prides entered the competition in just its second year shows the power of Pride and whilst the Isle of Wight has won, it was clear that all four Prides could have delivered a fantastic UK Pride in 2018.”