Pride Cymru weekend is dealt a blow with Pulse Street Party cancellation

Pride Cymru is Wales' biggest pride celebration. Source: National Assembly for Wales (via Flickr)

By Charlotte King

It has recently been announced that the 2019 Pulse Street Party, due to be held in conjunction with the Pride Cymru weekend, has been cancelled. In a statement released by Pulse, it was announced that despite best efforts it has been hard to ensure the event is cost effective this year.

Pulse stated that the cost payable to Cardiff Council to use the street for the event has risen significantly in recent years, with commercial space, specifically the junction at Queen Street and Churchill Way, becoming increasingly expensive.  However, a spokesperson from Cardiff Council stated that the cost of renting the commercial space “has not increased, the rate card has remained the same for a number of years”.

Pulse say the price of hiring this junction between Churchill Way and Queen Street has made the Street Party unaffordable. Source: Richard Cooke

Additionally, Pulse have stated that by holding Pride Cymru on the August Bank Holiday weekend the costs of hiring equipment and labour are far more expensive than usual, consequently making the Street Party unaffordable. Pulse also stated that this has resulted in Pride Cymru being held on the same weekend as Manchester Pride, making it harder for Pulse to find sponsors and visitors for their event because of the increased competition.

In their statement, Pulse commented that they previously applied to extend their licence for the Street Party to cover both Friday and Saturday and to extend their licensed hours from 4:30am to 6:30am, but this was refused by Cardiff Council’s Licensing Sub Committee. According to Pulse, this is another reason why the Street Party could not go ahead this year.

Cardiff Castle flying the flag for the Big Weekend. Source: National Assembly for Wales (via Flickr)

Pulse have expressed that the Street Party has always had “an impeccable licensing record” and seem dismayed at the response from Cardiff Council. In a report on the Sub Committee’s decision, it is stated that the application to extend Pulse’s license was refused because “there [is] a world of difference between being kept awake until 4am and being kept awake until 6am” and the commercial area in question is covered by a Cumulative Impact Policy. This means that to be successful in extending their license, Pulse needed to “successfully demonstrate” that extending their license would not “add to the cumulative impact in the area”, and it was concluded they did not.

The Sub Committee also stated that the area in question has problems with “crime, disorder and nuisance” and extending the licence from 4:30am to 6:30am would result in disturbance taking place “over the whole weekend rather than just one night”.

It was discussed whether increased CCTV could be implemented on Churchill Way and whether police could be provided with body cameras to tackle any additional disturbance.  However, due to the nature of the event and the concern of ‘outing’ members of the LGBT community who would be attending the event, the proposal of increased CCTV was rejected.

Despite rejecting an increase in the licensing hours of the Pulse Street Party, the Sub Committee acknowledged that Pulse “provides a safe place after the Pride event”.

In 2016, it is reported that approximately 5,000 people attended Pride Cymru. Source: National Assembly for Wales (via Flickr)

Speaking to Gair Rhydd, Gina Molinu, the Director at Pride Cymru, stated, “It’s a real shame there won’t be a Street Party this year, however, we look forward to welcoming the Pulse Team to our parade along with other scene bars, celebrating 20 years of Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend this year.”

A member of Cardiff University’s LGBT+ society has also said, “I’m very shocked, the Pulse Street Party has always been a success as far as I’m aware and as it’s such a huge part of the Pride celebrations here I have no idea how its cancellation will impact Pride Cymru in the future..” The source goes on to say, “while I’m very disappointed, I will still attend Pride Cymru.”

Pulse concluded their statement with an apology for having to cancel the event but announced they intend for the Street Party to return in 2020.

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