Following a meeting of the board of Pride in Brighton and Hove last night, the Trustees have announced that it is to seek proposals from interested parties wishing to operate a dance tent as part of the main park event.

The cabaret tent has also been re-considered as a key area for 2010, along with established community areas.

“It was clear from both our own survey and the feedback from the community and businesses that have loyally supported Pride so long, that they disagreed with our proposals to drop the main dance tent,” said acting Chair Robert Clothier.

“We always said that this was a consultation and that means listening. We have heard the message loud and clear.

“We acknowledge that mistakes have been made, but the time has come to move on and rebuild the strong relationships with both businesses and the local community that are vital to ensure that Pride continues to prosper.”

The Trustees have also taken up a suggestion made at the public meeting and will be seeking an independent person, acceptable to the business community and voluntary sectors to facilitate separate forums to try and find ways that both sectors can work in harmony with Pride.

“Meetings will be arranged as soon as is practical to develop the forums and agree how to deliver a successful and sustainable Pride in 2010 and beyond,” said Robert Clothier.

The board also acknowledged that there are two years are left on the bars contract with Aeon Events and will be looking at ways to enable a similar number of bars on Preston Park in 2010 as there were this year. The board believes that the proposal to place fencing or barriers around the perimeter of the park will significantly help to deter the illegal alcohol sellers coming onto the park that undermine the viability of the bars contract and encourage under-age drinking. The perimeter barriers will also help to encourage more donations as people coming onto the park can be channeled past collection points. Other decisions announced following the meeting are that the members’ area will be moved to the proposed Community Heart of the park.

The Trustees have said any proposals to event manage the park or supply security cannot be considered until the tender process has run its course. “It would be unfair on those companies that responded to the tender invitations and we must allow that process to be concluded. Of course, if our assessment is that none of the tenders are viable, then we will look at other proposals,” concluded Robert Clothier.

Despite the heated debate on the future, the business community is continuing to support Pride with a series of fundraising events over the coming months. See listing below.

The Maydays @ Caroline of Brunswick, Friday 20th November

The Maydays go back to their roots to perform some high-quality, insanely funny, respectfully daft, utterly fascinating, downright charming, beautifully engaging improv fun! See the games you know, and some you don’t, performed to the highest standard. “Any one of these actors could easily hold their own with Merton, Frost or Jupitus” – Chortle. Tickets £7 from WeGotTickets – Your Online Box Office 50% of all ticket sales to Pride. 8.30pm

Drop Your Frock for Pride @ Latest Music Bar, Friday 20th November

Frockabilly, Brighton ’s only queer-run, straight-friendly 1950s-themed club night, is back. Promoter and DJ, Lonesome M, will play classic 1950s rockabilly, rock ‘n’ roll and R&B from 10pm. This month’s Frockabilly will be a fundraiser for Brighton Pride. Lonesome M said: “Frockabilly is a rockin’ night out for any hepcat or kitten, gay or straight, young or old. We’re very happy to support Brighton Pride, and will be asking for donations towards keeping Pride a free annual event. You don’t have to dress up or know how to jive to come to Frockabilly – just come down, enjoy the music, and rock ‘til your frock drops!” 10pm-2am. £5 on the door.

Revenge, Sunday 22nd November

Those nice girls and boys at Revenge will be shaking the buckets and raising money for Pride again.

The PV’s 6th birthday Quiz night @ The PV, Wednesday 25th November

Join the girls and boys as they raise the roof to celebrate six years of PV magic with a special quiz night raising money for Pride.

Christmas Carol Concert, Saturday 5th December

The City of Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus, Juice 107.2 and Pride are joining forces for this very special unique event. For one day only shoppers and visitors to the City Centre will be entertained by the Chorus at a live free concert, featuring a preview of their Christmas show tunes. Juice 107.2 will also be broadcasting live. Exact location and more details to follow.

Pride Christmas Party @ Charles Street, Wednesday 16th December

A one-off opportunity to experience the highlights of this year’s main park event. Hosted by Lady James and Nicky Mitchell and featuring performers from both the Women’s and the Cabaret tent. Enjoy a champagne reception, three course Christmas menu, fabulous auction with celebrity auctioneer Mark Stacey and a full evening of entertainment for just £25 per person (£11.81 from each ticket to Pride). Please contact the Pride office for a booking form on 01273 775939.

Santa Bar Boy Auction @ Vavoom, Saturday 19th December

Christmas Special. For that extra special Xmas Dish buy a Bar Boy tonight… you come with us to a local restaurant. For complimentary meal with your Bar Boy. Supporting PRIDE with fun!

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