Michael Deol and Robert Webb, owners of Club Revenge have announced they are not progressing with their plans to organise a two day Pride event on Preston Park in 2013. This leaves the opportunity for a new community grouping headed up by Paul Kemp from Aeon Events Ltd, Dulcie Danger and David Hill from E3 Entertainments Group to create a new week-long Arts Festival and to stage a one day event on Preston Park on Saturday August 4, 2013. Local international superstar recording artist Norman Cook has pledged his support to the new organisers.
David Hill from E3 Entertainments Group has also agreed to sit on a financial scrutiny board along side Tony Chapman owner of Legends and David Calderhead owner of the Amsterdam Hotel.
Following the collapse of Pride Southeast Ltd who organised Pride till 2011 with debts of over £250,000, Michael Deol and Robert Webb created a Community Interest Company (CIC) to payroll and finance Pride 2012. In order to guarantee the event went ahead, both Mr Deol and Mr Webb agreed to personally underwrite the finances of Pride in 2012.
Pride 2012 was considered a huge success and for the first time in 10 years £31,000 was donated by Pride organisers to benefit local LGBT and HIV organisations. These donations were distributed to local LGBT/HIV organisations last month by the Rainbow Fund through their grants program administered by the Sussex Community Foundation.
A further £40,000 has been lodged with the Rainbow Fund as seed funding for next year’s event and who organises it.
Michael Deol, said:
“We had a wonderful time during the last 10 months organising this world class event and I would like to thank everyone who helped us pull Pride 2012 ‘out of the bag’. At Revenge we are immensely proud that our efforts have led to funding over the next year for such LGBT/HIV projects as Allsorts, MindOut, Sussex Beacon, LGBT Switchboard, Lunch Positive and GEMS to name a few. It was a huge responsibility taking the event forward and we wish Pride 2013’s organisers every success in supporting the LGBT voluntary sector.
Pride belongs to the LGBT people of Brighton & Hove and whoever has the privilege to organise it each year carries a huge responsibility and not only the expectations of the 35,000 LGBT people who live in the city but the many thousands who visit us during the event each year and bring millions of pounds into the local economy.”
Paul Kemp, speaking for the new organisers, said:
“Last year’s Pride proved that with everyone working together as a community great things can be achieved. Pride finally turned a corner and was able to raise £31,000 for the Rainbow Fund to distribute to local LGBT/HIV organisations. We must all thank Michael and Robert, the owners of Revenge, for helping to stablise Pride, putting it in a healthier position.
Whoever organises Brighton Pride takes on the expectations of a demanding community who have seen their Pride go through many ups and downs over the last 15 years. Just 12 short months ago, when Brighton Pride was at its lowest ebb, the directors of Revenge took over the reins of Pride and turned a £250,000 loss into a £80,000 surplus in just 12 months. In the process they gave grants of £31,000 to local LGBT/HIV organisations in what was the first year of trading. I want to thank them on behalf of an expectant community for everything they have done for Pride over the last 12 months. Confidence and credibility have returned to the event and they have shown that this model works as an opportunity to raise money for our LGBT/HIV organisations. Pride is presently in the ascendancy and the contributions of the owners and directors of Revenge are responsible for that. Expectation in 2013 will be to top last year’s fantastic achievements.
This will be a hard act to follow.