Newcastle Pride Festival cancelled due to COVID-19

Newcastle Pride Festival Fair Day coronavirus
Photos: Lee Illfield Photography

The organisers of the Newcastle Pride Festival have announced they have cancelled this year’s event due to COVID-19 fears, after months of preparation.

Newcastle Pride President Lee-Anne McDougall said the committee had put in 7 months of planning for the 2020 Newcastle Pride Festival.

However, with the “heaviest of hearts” she said the 2020 festival scheduled for August was cancelled due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

“The Newcastle Pride Committee feels this is the right decision for the wellbeing of the community,” she said.

“It is extremely regrettable that we have had to make this decision.

“The growth shown by the Newcastle Pride Festival between 2018 and 2019 has been phenomenal and beyond our wildest dreams.

“However we feel this is the right decision given the uncertain times we’re in. It wouldn’t be fair to our community for the 2020 Festival not to live up to the bold expectations we have set for ourselves within the community.

“But this isn’t the end of Newcastle Pride, nor the Newcastle Pride Festival. We will return, bigger, bolder and prouder than ever.”

Organisers launched Newcastle Pride festival in 2018 after the closure of the region’s only LGBTIQ pub.

The festival’s inugural fair day event attracted 5,000 punters. Last year, organisers said that attendance figure doubled.

Lee-Anne McDougall said the Newcastle Pride Festival will return in August 2021 with a theme of “This Is Me”.

However, she said the committee are also looking at events that are possible in the interim.

Newcastle Pride Festival among numerous other event cancellations

Strict social distancing and public gathering limits due to COVID-19 have led to widespread cancellation of community and cultural events across Australia.

Organisers of numerous pride events also cancelled or postponed their events due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the cancellations were regional events including Bendigo Pride Festival, Busselton Pride, Rainbows on the Plains, and Wagga Mardi Gras.

Last month, Brisbane Pride also sadly postponed the Queens Ball Awards, the longest running LGBTIQ event in the world.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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