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AKL Pride a success, scheduling needs addressing

Mon 29 Feb 2016 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

The Auckland Pride Festival is being branded a “success” by three of the community leaders who hosted events during the festival but scheduling of events is an area which has been highlighted as an area that needs improvement. Peter Wells, the organiser of the first ever writers festival Same Same But Different, says he believes this year’s Pride Festival was a success, with a “splendid range of events on offer”. “Its reach seemed to be extended and the fact that the arts have so many queer practitioners makes for a high quality event,” says Wells. “Samesame but different was an inaugural event. It found an audience who were excited and nourished by it. The feedback has been tremendous. We are looking to the future.” Despite the success of the Auckland Pride Festival, scheduling of events is an area that Wells believes needs to be addressed in the future saying that there were too many scheduling conflicts between events. “There seemed to be no master plan looking at all the events with a view of ensuring that like events did not come up against like events,” he says. “Overall there wasn't enough consultation with people putting on the events so everyone was working to the same master plan.” Wells suggests the need for an easily accessible master plan that everyone can look at day by day seeing what's on. “These are core activities for any Festival and there are people in the queer community who specialise in event production who need to be working for the Pride Festival, ensuring these vital nuts and bolts aspects are worked out well in advance,” he says. “There’s no point having wonderfully creative events if people can't access the vital information of where, when, how. “But having said this, I still think the Pride Festival 2016 showed amazing potential that - so long as practitioners aren't exhausted by the hard haul of putting on events - should only get better year by year. Special thanks to T'ai Patai who tried to keep us in the loop.” Duncan Matthews, General Manager of RainbowYOUTH, also echoes this sentiment and says the overlapping of events meant it was hard to attract volunteers. “So many people are involved with multiple organisations, and overlaying Proud to Play made the demand for volunteers even greater!” says Matthews, “We saw this reflected in not being able to attract volunteer stylists for our Queer Cutz event, despite some quite wide publicity and interest initially.” “What this years festival highlighted to me also is the need for more cohesion between groups ‘leading the charge’ in different areas of the community. I don’t think any one group has the capacity to do this all on there own, but I will be raising it in several forums over the next few months.” The RainbowYOUTH Interfaith panel was well attended with over 30 people from different faiths all coming to the table. “Similarly, the strength of our Pride Float this year was throwing open the doors to all youth organisations,” he says, “Resulting in over 90 people from RainbowYOUTH, ME Family Services, Holding Our Own, Village Collective, EquAsian and Centre for Youth Health marching in solidarity as youth for youth.” High numbers are also something GALS Co-Chair David Reeves is proud of, with this year’s annual concert at the Auckland Art Gallery attracting nearly 300 people, “double the amount we were expecting”, he says. The GALS Choral Festival was a “fantastic four days and their certainly was great attendance with over 200 people”. Reeves says GALS has received amazing feedback from those in attendance, with the Australian singers - who made up two thirds of the festival - raving about the great time they had. GALS were expecting half of those in attendance to march in the parade and were pleasantly surprised when nearly everyone who took part in the festival walked as part of the AIDS remembrance float.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Monday, 29th February 2016 - 2:41pm

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