WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Tuesday, July 14, the West Hollywood City Council received a letter from Christopher Street West (CSW), organizer of LA Pride, that declared their decision to move the event for 2021 after residing in the city for 40 years. The new location for its annual festivities has not been announced.
CSW stated in their letter, “as our non-profit organization continues to evolve and grow, we want to inform you of our intention to move the LA Pride Parade and Festival out of West Hollywood in 2021.” The reasons for the change include construction in West Hollywood Park and the changing demographics of Greater Los Angeles.
According to the City Council’s regular meeting agenda for Monday, July 20, the future of LGBTQ Pride celebrations in the city would be discussed, along with the initiation of Request for Proposals (RFP) for 2021 Pride events. The subject was initiated by Councilmember John D’Amico, according to a meeting agenda staff report.
It presented the following subject statement:
“The City Council will discuss choosing the future event production model and initiating a public process to determine and select an event production company for the LGBTQ Pride events in West Hollywood, including issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for qualified applicants to submit proposals.”
A short list of subtopics to address include: City Council considering city-produced versus city co-sponsored events for future Pride celebrations, providing direction to staff on the city’s proposed involvement for 2021, initiating a public process for input on the LGBTQ Pride events in West Hollywood, and directing staff to start the RFP process for event production services.
Christopher Street West established LA Pride in 1970 and moved it to West Hollywood in 1979. Since then, they used West Hollywood Park as the festival venue. Construction in the park has been a concern for CSW, as shown in their letter.
The meeting agenda staff report also mentioned, “because of construction impacts in West Hollywood Park, the footprint of the event has changed in the last few years to incorporate the Pacific Design Center’s Plaza and Santa Monica Boulevard between Robertson Boulevard and Hancock Avenue.”
“The City of West Hollywood has supported Pride in many ways over the years, including the provision of direct financial support to the event production partner; in-kind support including access to municipal facilities, permits, parking, etc.; and public safety coverage including Sheriff and emergency services support,” the report added.
One Twitter user said, “I’m glad honestly. It’s time that LA Pride plants its staple somewhere else. West Hollywood will always be a landmark on its own.”
“This is f***ing garbage! You could be killing all these local businesses in West Hollywood who rely on Pride. Now West Hollywood has nothing. It’s so sad to see these straight catering businesses take over WeHo. I’m very worried this move only helps that and will decimate the local LGBT businesses that are already closing.”
This year’s 50th anniversary celebration was held in June as “LA’s first-ever virtual Pride Parade,” according to LA Pride on Facebook. It was broadcasted on ABC7 and done in partnership with iHeartRadio. No recent updates on their social media accounts have been posted since their ABC7 broadcast announcement.
“To The West Hollywood City Council, and other concerned parties:
This year, Christopher Street West and LA Pride celebrate our 50th anniversary of organizing, honoring, and bringing together the LGBTQIA+ community of Greater Los Angeles and beyond. As our non-profit organization continues to evolve and grow, we want to inform you of our intention to move the LA Pride Parade and Festival out of West Hollywood in 2021.
The Board of Directors has decided to take this approach for several reasons. These include construction in West Hollywood Park, the changing demographics of Greater Los Angeles, our commitment to being responsive to the LGBTQIA+ community’s needs, and our allyship and collaboration with other movements for social change.
We are grateful to the City of West Hollywood for our many years of partnership and collaboration in presenting LA Pride. West Hollywood has been a successful home for the parade and festival, providing millions with a unique and incredible experience centered in this city. The community we serve and our organization have grown during our collaborations with West Hollywood, and we have been grateful to support the city and its business community by bringing hundreds of thousands of diverse visitors to the city and highlighting West Hollywood on the world stage.
What began in 1970 as the first legally permitted parade of its kind, LA Pride has become a powerful and globally-recognized symbol of the LGBTQIA+ movement, and we look forward to maintaining positive relationships with the City of West Hollywood as our programming evolves. While the locations of our activities may change, we remain excited to explore opportunities for collaboration in 2021 and beyond, and hope West Hollywood can be part of a more diversified celebration throughout Greater Los Angeles. On behalf of the Board of Directors and the communities we have served for 50 years, we thank you for your support.
Sincerely, Christopher Street West, Board Of Directors,” said West in a letter.