COUNCIL PULLS THE PLUG ON RIVERSIDE PRIDE PLANS FOR GLASGOW

Glasgow Life have confirmed they’ve cancelled a planned booking of the Riverside Museum for Pride Glasgow over money still owed to the Council.

Glasgow City Council’s arms-length organisation, which runs cultural facilities across the city, confirmed in a statement to Pink Saltire this morning that plans to use the iconic venue in Glasgow’s West End would not be allowed, nor will they allow Pride Glasgow to use any other Council-run facilities in the city.

The plan for Pride Glasgow to move to the Riverside Museum venue had only been announced privately to volunteers last week, before Glasgow Life cancelled the booking on Friday.

A spokesperson for Glasgow Life said:

“As the organisers continue to owe Glasgow City Council significant monies from previous events, we will not progress with any future hire of Council-owned property.”

It’s another blow to Pride Glasgow, who’ve been trying to recover from a 2018 ticketing issue which led to hundreds of people being stuck outside Kelvingrove Park after tickets to Pride were oversold. There has also been criticism of the way the event was organised and how acts and hosts were treated.

Pride Glasgow’s Chief Executive and Festival Director left the organisation in the Autumn of 2018 and the charity confirmed it had raised concerns about financial transactions with Police Scotland.  Chairperson, Chris Laing, also confirmed at a public meeting on 16th November that the organisation owes Glasgow City Council in the region of £32,500, which includes charges for damage to Glasgow Green and Kelvingrove Park in previous years.

The charity reported a loss of over £46,000 to charity regulator OSCR when it reported its formal accounts for the past year, which can be read here.  This includes a sum of £41,422 described as ‘unauthorised expenditure’. Pride Glasgow also gave away almost 300 VIP passes for a future event as an alternative to refunds for those caught up in the ticket chaos in 2018.

The accounts show the charity raised over £370,000 from the weekend event in 2018, including £200,000 from ticket sales and an additional £24,000 from community stalls and groups in the Pride march.  Over £70,000 came in from sponsors and almost the same sum again from catering and commercial pitches.

Despite efforts to resolve the issues faced by Pride Glasgow, the city council have now swung their support behind a new group – the LGBT Co-operative, who will run a pride event called ‘MardiGla – Glasgow’s Pride’ in the city this summer.

Council Convener for Equalities and Human Rights, Councillor Jen Layden, told the Evening Times recently,

“MardiGla can be the successful, open, welcoming and free celebration and LGBT Pride that Glasgow deserves – and I’m very happy to support the event. I understand how important this is to the city and I’m confident the team have sustainable, realistic plans to ensure Glasgow has a quality Pride event that everyone in the community can feel a part of.”

MardiGla will make use of the Merchant City Festival infrastructure, with stages and special themed zones set-up around the gay quarter of the city on 20th and 21st July.

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