It is with the heaviest of hearts that Newcastle Pride Inc. have today decided to cancel the 2020 Newcastle Pride Festival, scheduled for August this year, due to matters relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Planning for the 2020 Newcastle Pride Festival has been well underway for the past 7 months, but with the uncertainty surrounding the duration of the pandemic, the Newcastle Pride Committee feel this is the right decision for the wellbeing of the community.

Newcastle Pride President, Lee-Anne McDougall, said: “It is extremely regrettable that we have had to make this decision. The growth shown by the Newcastle Pride Festival between 2018 and 2019 has been phenomenal and beyond our wildest beliefs, however we feel this is the right decision given the uncertain times we’re in. It wouldn’t be fair to our community for the 2020 Festival not to live up to the bold expectations we have set for ourselves within the community. But this isn’t the end of Newcastle Pride, nor the Newcastle Pride Festival – we will be back, bigger, bolder and prouder than ever!”

Newcastle Pride are already planning ways to keep the Newcastle Pride community engaged during this time and are already looking into events that can be held the second the COVID-19 pandemic is finished – whenever that may be. The Newcastle Pride Festival, themed “This Is Me”, will be back in August 2021 with all your favourite events as well as host of exciting new events, so keep your calendar clear!

There are several factors that have contributed to the decision to cancel the 2020 festival, including;
– The Wellbeing of the Community: The wellbeing of our community will always come first to Newcastle Pride. Due to the ever-changing and uncertain factors surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee feels that it is in the best interests of the community that these large-scale events do not take place at this time.
– The Australian Economy: We know that times are hard financially for Australian businesses as well as everyday Australians. Several of Newcastle Pride’s financial supporters are local small businesses who are feeling the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Newcastle Pride Festival 2020 would not be possible without the help of our generous supporters. Equally as important, we know a lot of members of our community are out of work and are under immense financial strain. While the Newcastle Pride Festival 2020 has a number of free events included in the program, we know it would be tough to expect people to purchase tickets to the number of ticketed events.
– The Lead Time Into the 2020 Festival: The Newcastle Pride Festival 2020 was scheduled to take place this August. The Newcastle Pride Committee has been planning the Festival since August 2019; however, a lot of the planning has been put on hold due the uncertainty surrounding the length of the COVID-19 pandemic. Newcastle Pride feels it would be unfair to the community to hold a sub-standard Festival in 2020 after the major success of the 2018 and 2019 Festivals.

Newcastle Pride respectfully acknowledges that our celebrations are held on the traditional Lands of the Awabakal and Worimi peoples. Always was, always will be Aboriginal Land.