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#OurPride2019 comes to a close and looks forward to 2020

2019’s Auckland Pride Festival wrapped up on Sunday 17 February, following a three-week programme that backed community, diversity and inclusion. Over 80 ticketed and free events celebrated LGBTQ+ communities right across the Auckland region; a miraculous achievement given the ‘shorter than short’ lead times for festival activation.

Committing to connecting with and celebrating queer identities within Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland Pride were thrilled to see artists, theatre-makers, musicians, drag performers, poets, writers, sportspeople, hairdressers, speakers and more, return to the Festival programme to share their events with Aucklanders during the 17 days of Pride. Dozens of free and koha events removed barriers to entry. The world-class calibre of shows held in Auckland’s prime performance spaces meant there truly has been something for everyone.

Pride went wide in 2019, recognising the communities living outside of the City Fringe. Greater Auckland came alive when suburban community centres opening their doors with the creation of bespoke Proud Centres, with Auckland Council’s Community Centres Manager, Peter Matvos reflecting that “we asked communities what they’d like to see at their local centres and received positive feedback for more Pride celebrations, which resulted in our Proud Centres.” This programme of free events was hugely supported by locals with twenty events that encompassed sports, a drag pageant, talks, workshops, cinema and visual arts.

Auckland Pride is thrilled to have successfully introduced a brand-new event as part of the Festival programme in 2019 - #ourmarch, on Saturday the 9th of February. Akin to the marches which formed the basis of the Pride celebrations we know, all participants were welcomed with no cost to participate. Moving up through Auckland’s CBD in a colourful display of community and togetherness, the crowd marched peacefully from Albert to Myers Park, chanting, cheering and singing along the way. March coordinator Richard Green estimated the numbers of people involved at 3000. Participants described the march as being ‘authentic’, ‘a joyful celebration’, and a ‘showing of unity’.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joined around 25,000 members from the LGBTQ+ communities and allies to party at the Ending HIV Big Gay Out on Sunday the 10th of February. This landmark rainbow event celebrated its 20-year anniversary in 2019, solidifying its role as one of Aotearoa’s largest and longest-standing Rainbow celebrations.

The Auckland Pride Board, led by chair Cissy Rock, are confident about the continued legacy of the Auckland Pride Festival and its role in making Tāmaki Makaurau a place that supports the diversity and vibrancy of our LGBTQ+ communities and are thrilled to announce the dates for the next Auckland Pride Festival: February 1 – 16, 2020.

The Auckland Pride Board is looking forward to engaging in further consultation with members, communities and stakeholders to build on the success of 2019’s celebrations. 2020 Festival details will be released later in 2019 alongside event registration opening.

© Scoop Media

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