Days after lockdown came into force, all public events in Bristol were cancelled until the end of July at the earliest.
Bristol Pride, which normally takes place at the beginning of July, postponed festivities until September.
But with increasing uncertainty for public safety as a result of coronavirus, organisers have decided to take the festival online for 2020.
Bristol Pride Online will take place from September 1 to 12, and will include some of the festival’s most popular events including the dog show, film festival and comedy night.
The virtual festival will culminate with a digital Pride Day celebration, with an online parade, performances that would usually be enjoyed on the Downs and a digital after-party to round off festivities.
The decision to move Bristol Pride online was not an easy one; the festival is the largest event in the city’s LGBTQ+ calendar and an important place for queer people to come together and celebrate their identities.
Pride is about overcoming prejudice, reducing isolation, and reminding people in the LGBTQ+ community that they are not alone.
Bristol Pride director, Eve Russell, said: “We’ve closely followed the developments with Covid-19 and carefully considered the impact this will have on our community and our ability to deliver the festival.
“We consider the health and safety of our attendees, staff and city of upmost importance and with a restriction on mass gatherings looking to continue we’re just not able to deliver a physical festival this year.
“But Pride is such a vital part of many people’s lives the show must go on and we’re really excited and energised at the thought of mixing it up and delivering a great show online.”
Over the course of the festival’s normal dates, early July, the organisers will be sharing content and activities, as well as recording footage for the virtual parade on July 11.
At a time when many LGBTQ+ are living in unsupportive situations and are feeling increasingly isolated from their communities, Bristol Pride want to create a place where everyone is not only welcomed, but celebrated.
Find out more at www.bristolpride.co.uk
Main photo: Jack Joseph