The increasing spread of the Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have a major impact on LGBT Pride events across Europe in 2020. Europe’s Pride movement has gone through enormous growth in the last three years, and there are approaching 1,000 Pride events across 48 European countries.
The head of Europe’s Pride organisation has confirmed that some Pride events this summer will be affected by the outbreak of Coronavirus that is sweeping the continent.
Kristine Garina, President of the European Pride Organisers Association (EPOA), made the comments after dozens of Pride organisers from around the world met to discuss the situation, and how Prides can respond.
“Coronavirus is presenting a new challenge for all governments and organisations, and Prides are no different,” said Garina. “The unique challenge for Prides is that most are entirely volunteer organisations, where people have to juggle this additional complexity alongside a career or being a full-time carer. We’re doing all we can to help Pride organisers navigate through this challenge.”
More than 70 Pride organisers joined an online meeting to discuss how they can make contingency plans, and how they will respond to the Coronavirus situation. Working in partnership with the global Pride network InterPride, the meeting also included representatives of Prides in Africa, North America, Asia and Oceania.
EPOA is urging Prides to follow World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance and ensure that they make plans ahead of their event, think about impact during their event, and how they will manage issues after the event. They are also urging Prides to engage with funders and sponsors to talk about financial impact.
WHO have published helpful recommendations for those planning mass gathering events, such as Pride. They recommend that all Pride organisers have contingency plans in place should there be a need to postpone or cancel their event, and also consider the impact that public concern about coronavirus might have on volunteer recruitment, travel and other factors.
The number of Pride events impacted
by COVID19 has now exceeded 70