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Is Canterbury Pride 2021 in jeopardy from the pandemic?

Pride, the LGBTQ+ celebration, has become a divided situation across the UK. Should the event used to celebrate and connect LGBTQ+ members and their history be cancelled for one more year?

As it stands, Pride is not going ahead in a a few cities, such as Hull, Leeds and York. Events in other areas such as Canterbury and Brighton are going ahead as planned, but worries for future cancellations continue.

Local to Kent, Canterbury Pride happens every year in the high streets and surrounding parks, such as the Dane John Gardens. This year’s Canterbury Pride is not cancelled. The event is set to go forward on 11th September 2021. The event is still free, following traditions.

Dane John Gardens in Canterbury.

The Government are aiming to diffuse the coronavirus situation by Summer 2021, but if the plans go bust, Pride could be in grave danger. Pride continues to involve the LGBTQ+ community online with their social media accounts, involving and supporting members.
Pride could take place still, even with restrictions in place – but what would that entail?


Booking spots may be a safe plan for Canterbury Pride to reduce visitors, therefore preventing a wider spread of the virus; however, morally this could be the wrong approach as it could be defying what Pride stands for.

“Pride usually does have booking spots in relation to events being held, for instance concerts at the event”, say James Nunn, LGBTQ+ member, “however, as a whole, you cannot restrict Pride as it is a means of celebrating freedom and expression.”

Policing through the Canterbury high streets and parks would protect people from close-contact involvements and potential anti-social behaviour. Having policing would be a controversial involvement. Police are used to control and monitor civilians, but the Pride festival, as mentioned, is a movement of freedom.

Pride in London has opted for the Metropolitan police to not partake in the event following accusations of perceived institutional prejudice. Canterbury Pride may follow the steps of Pride in London with this idea. The issue raised by Pride in London is widespread across the country.

Hosting an online event would be a much safer option for all people, but would cost money on servers and lose out money for supporting vendors. Performing acts such as musicians, drag queens/kings and actors would have to innovate their talents for a Skype call-like Pride.

After an entire year of social measures, Pride could be the first out of lockdown event in Kent. Hopes to celebrate freedom in freedom.

Ethon Castleton

I am university student at Canterbury Christ Church. I study Multimedia Journalism and am finishing up my third year of university-level education.