This morning we learned that Pride House, offered as one of the official Olympics Houses specifically for the LGBT communities and set to take place on Clapham Common, will no longer be taking place due to not raising enough sponsorship or attracting artists. The news was leaked by Pride House Director Chad Molleken to Your Local Guardian.
The event promised 2 weeks of a wide ranging programme of music, culture, health clinics and LGBT visibility.
The music stage and events had been contracted to established events company LoveBox and as such we have to question what they have been doing all this time to have not attracted enough interest from artists?
As for not attracting enough sponsorship, this is a real shame and missed opportunity but perhaps the failure could be due to only targetting corporations and the lack of grass roots community involvement in the project and attracting funds. Who did they approach for sponsorship? There has been little transparency and it appears an assumption that the UK would be a similar experience to the Vancouver games was wrong.
A spokesperson for Lambeth Council said:
We're obviously disappointed that the organisers of Pride House feel they cannot stage the event on Clapham Common, but we respect and understand their decision. This is a purely commercial decision, and we are grateful that the organisers have thanked the council for its support with the plans and noted the professionalism of the council's events team throughout.
The initial interest was good, and there were many high profile supporters including Stephen Fry and the Mayor's office, but the momentum since December has been lacking and information missing.
We tried to make contact with Pride House in January before the official launch at City Hall and their introduction at the LGBT History Month event at Oval.
We've barely heard a word from them, despite our interest and attempts to interact. There website was briefly informative and exciting, but was then replaced with a holding page, giving little information if you didn't already know what Pride House was about.
The word was clearly slow to spread and every person who we mentioned Pride House to had never heard of it.
So are we surprised? not really. Disappointed? Of course. If London can't pull this off, there is little hope for the next Olympics in Russia where it would be needed much more. This could have been a great platform to assist in gay rights and visibility.
Had you heard of Pride House? Does the idea of an Olympic House for the LGBT community appeal to you? What opportunities are there for the LGBT community to get together in a safe, fun, organised space during the Olympics now?
We're still hopeful that this event will take place in some format, we're waiting with baited breath...