Glasgow – we let many of you down this year and we’re profoundly sorry.
We’re sorry for the ticketing problems which meant a significant number of you were delayed or unable to access the site in very hot conditions. We’re sorry to all those performers, hosts, stallholders, sponsors and guests for whom we didn’t live up to expectations. We’re sorry for the reputational damage done to the LGBT community in Glasgow and the Pride movement in Scotland by our actions.
We’ve been listening, reviewing, reflecting and taking action – we hear your concerns and want to provide an update.
Since 14th July our priority has been on resolving the ticket issues for those of you who experienced problems at Pride. The refund period was open for 30 days and we’ve responded to 664 requests, providing refunds totalling over £6,500 and accepting requests for 278 VIP tickets for 2019.
We also acknowledge the frustration and anger that many of you have expressed about the transparency of Pride Glasgow and have made a number of internal governance changes, staffing changes and have appointed a chartered accountant to help ensure we meet our obligations as a Scottish charity. Our accounts for the last financial year will be available shortly, published on our website and open to public scrutiny.
Our Deputy Chief Executive/Festival Director has now left the organisation and as Trustees, we will not hesitate in taking further action where an employee of Pride Glasgow, or any of its Trustees or volunteers, have acted in a way which is below the standards expected. We acknowledge that our small charity needs to have the very best LGBT activists and skilled people leading the organisation. We will therefore conduct recruitment for new Trustees over the coming months.
Although over 12,000 people took part in the biggest ever Pride march in Glasgow and thousands enjoyed the festival event and bandstand programme at Kelvingrove, we recognise for many it was not a positive Pride experience – we want to change that.
We are working with LGBT organisations in Scotland and other large Pride organisers, supported by the UK Pride Organisers Network, to take your feedback onboard and make changes for 2019. A development group of external advisers has been set-up and will meet for the first time in the next month.
We want a Pride event that Glasgow can be proud of – the biggest and best in Scotland. But most importantly, an event that reflects the ongoing fight for LGBT equality and one which respects the diversity that makes our community so strong. That’s why we’ll be holding a series of new engagement events throughout the year to make sure you have a chance to tell us what Pride means to you. After all, there is no Pride without a community.
Lastly, thank you to everyone who has sent their comments and feedback on the 2018 event and shared ideas on how we can improve for the years ahead. We appreciate your passion and dedication – we promise to do better.
Newly appointed chairperson on behalf of Pride Glasgow Trustees