THE organisers of one of the South West's biggest lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer plus (LGBTQ+) Pride events have confirmed the cancellation of the 2023 event.
It was due to take place in Exeter and include a march and festival.
In a statement, the Exeter Pride Trustees announced: "We regret to announce that we have had to make the tough decision to cancel Exeter Pride 2023, scheduled for Saturday, May 13, 2023.
"Last year we were really pleased to bring Exeter Pride back after a three year hiatus. This was possible thanks to the hard work of an incredibly small group of people.
"Unfortunately, this year despite repeat advertising we haven’t been able to fill the vital co-ordinator roles necessary to organise an event of this size and scope.
"We also do not have enough stewards signed up to help with the march and festival on the day.
"We know this is incredibly disappointing for all stakeholders, as it is for us as organisers, and not a decision we've been able to make easily, but our main duty is to ensure that we run any and all events safely, which is not feasible with only a handful of staff.
"For anyone who may not already be aware, all Exeter Pride staff are volunteers, who contribute their time to make the annual event possible.
"The current financial climate has also put more pressure on our costs compared to previous years, increasing running costs whilst also making it difficult to secure both grants and sponsorship.
"We will be reaching out to all our existing partners and stakeholders about refunds and next steps moving forward as an organisation.
"The Exeter Pride committee will continue to meet to discuss, where possible, events for this year and beyond.
"These events and Exeter Pride 2024 will only be made possible with support from a growing team.
"If you think you have the skills to help make this happen please look out for more information in the coming weeks and months, especially our AGM (Annual General Meeting) in the Summer.
"To end with positive news, we are able to continue our work on our '15 Years of Exeter Pride: Celebrating Our LGBTQIA+ Heritage' project – details of which we will continue to share on our social media and relevant communications channels. Please consider getting involved with this soon.
"Thank you for your continued support, and continue to support each other."
Last year Exeter Pride made a return after a break due to the Covid pandemic.
The event normally includes a march down Sidwell Street and Exeter High Street to Northernhay Gardens for a festival including performances and other entertainment and advice and information stalls.