Queensland’s largest annual LGBTIQ+ event, Brisbane Pride Fair Day, will return to its original home at Musgrave Park, West End in 2022. Brisbane Pride Festival today released a statement detailing the unfortunate weather event and other considerations that prompted the move.
President Bec Johnson told QNews that after carefully considering the requirements of continuing to hold Fair Day in New Farm Park, Brisbane Pride Festival assessed other near-city venues with the capacity to host the event.
“The decision to move Fair Day to Musgrave Park is an exciting one. It connects our LGBTIQ+ communities’ histories and will draw together a sea of Pride!
“Fair Day 2022 will be bigger than ever and the committee will be in touch with the community soon about how everyone can become involved in shaping an event to remember.”
The first Brisbane Pride Fair Day was held in Musgrave Park in 1990. A group gathered there following a rally and Pride march through the city.
The event remained at Musgrave Park until 2011 when financial difficulties forced the cancellation of that year’s event. Instead, QNews organised Brisbane Carnival at Perry Park in Bowen Hills. A subsequent donation from QNews and an extensive fundraising drive enabled Brisbane Pride Festival to restart Fair Day in 2012, again at Perry Park.
With support from Brisbane City Council, Pride Fair Day moved to the heritage-listed New Farm Park in 2013.
New Farm Park
Brisbane Pride Fair Day took place until last year on sporting fields leased from the council by a junior soccer club. The contract between Brisbane Pride Festival, Brisbane City Council and the sporting club requires that all equipment be removed from the park immediately following the end of Fair Day. The carefully curated soccer fields must remain in the same condition as prior to the event. A damaged playing surface can take three months to recover. Significant damage can result in fixtures being abandoned because of safety concerns.
The conditions of use are onerous but necessary.
Consequently, Brisbane Pride has been the only large event held in the park in recent years. Until 2021, Brisbane Pride Festival managed to both construct and disassemble stages and a small village of stalls and other attractions without major damage.
Brisbane Pride Fair Day 2021
However, immediately following Fair Day 2021, Brisbane experienced a major weather event. A strong storm swept over the city leaving the grounds sodden.
Despite the best efforts of the Fair Day crew, the subsequent bump-out resulted in damage to the playing surface. Brisbane Pride Festival then agreed to pay a sum to restore the playing field to a safe state and looked forward to again holding Brisbane Pride Fair Day 2022 in New Farm Park.
However, in 2022, a number of factors contributed to making New Farm Park unsuitable for the annual event.
Rain earlier this year caused the postponement of football fixtures and resulted in field closures of up to three weeks. Football Queensland consequently extended the 2022 season. New Farm Park will therefore not be available for Brisbane Pride Fair Day until October 14 at the earliest. Brisbane Pride Festival regards that date as too late in the year because of heat considerations.
Additionally, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology recently called a La Nina watch for 2022-23. The Bureau predicts an increased chance of above-average rainfall across east and north Australia from September. To proceed with Brisbane Pride Fair Day 2022 in New Farm Park, the organizing committee would need to pay an increased deposit on the space. The Fair Day crew would need to move all staging, fencing, marques and other infrastructure on and off the soccer fields by hand or hand trolleys. If rain were predicted for the day, Brisbane Pride Festival might be required to cancel the event at short notice.
Brisbane Pride Fair Day 2022 in Musgrave Park
Organisation is now underway to ensure Queensland’s largest annual LGBTIQ+ event is, in 2022, the biggest and best Pride Fair Day ever.
Brisbane Pride Festival also provided a Fair Day and Festival operational schedule.
Midday on Tuesday, July 26:
- Fair Day information (including date and time).
From Wednesday, July 27:
- Stallholder applications.
- Performer expressions of interest for Fair Day.
- Community grants applications.
- Community registrations for Pride Festival events.
Bec Johnson told QNews that Brisbane Pride Festival was grateful for the community’s understanding during the upheaval to Fair Day caused first by the pandemic, and now, an extreme weather event. The Festival committee also extended thanks to the volunteers whose efforts ensure the continuation of major Pride celebrations.
Happy Pride Brisbane. It’s almost time to party!
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