After more than four months apart, a community gala is bringing the LGBTQ+ community together for a day of socially distanced celebration.
Organised by local promoters Bitch, Please! and Bristol Pride, The Community Gala will be a chance for the city’s queer people to safely get together and enjoy a day of entertainment while raising money for three LGBTQ+ charities.
Held in Lakota’s gardens on Saturday, August 8, the gala will feature panels, drag queen bingo, food, drink and music.
Starting at midday, the first three hours will consist of panel discussions with key members of Bristol’s LGBTQ+ community and drag queen bingo. The rest of the night will be full of music from ZenZero, Ellie Stokes and Grrrl Crush, with some bands still to be announced.
“An event like this is important because so many vulnerable people have lost their homes, their lives, and have all had their mental health affected,” says Liam John, events manager at Bitch! Please. “We want to bring people back together (safely) and remind them there is a community at hand to help.”
“The idea came about because the city has lost it’s Pride and many other events, our community has been hit hard during lockdown so we wanted to help give back as much as we can.”
As well as live music and events, Noods radio will at the gala throughout the whole day, and there will be pre-recorded streams from Eli Escobar, Josh Cafe, Violet and Ceri. A merchandise range designed by queer artists will also be available to buy.
The Community Gala will also be streamed to Facebook, Twitch and YouTube, for those who don’t feel comfortable attending an in-person event.
“One thing that has been positive about this lockdown has been people have had the time to stop, listen and hear the world’s voices that need to be heard,” Liam adds.
Money raised through ticket and merchandise sales will be split between Bristol Pride, to ensure the 2021 event can go ahead, akt, who help LGBTQ+ young people at risk of homelessness, and Black Minds Matter, to increase support for Black Lives Matter and queer, trans and intersex people of colour.
“We’ve seen laws change all over the world to help combat racism and discrimination in the BAME community, but at the same time we’ve seen laws go backwards that have hurt our trans community,” says Liam. “The fight is far from over.”
Main image: Lisa Rose Illustration/Bitch, Please!