Bendigo Pride Festival organisers announce 2021 event dates | Bendigo Advertiser

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news, local-news, bendigo, pride, lgbtiq, gay, lesbian, festival event

PRIDE will be returning to Bendigo in 2021, with festival organisers setting a date for the first half of next year. Festival director John Richards confirmed the event would take place on the weekends from March 12 to 28. The 2020 festival was to be the city’s second Pride Festival, an event to celebrate the LGBTIQ community and promote diversity and inclusion. Instead, it was one of the first events to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr Richards said it had been “awful” to call off the festival just days before it was due to start. But he said the committee was excited to start planning the 2021 event. “People need to see each other,” Mr Richards said. Read other news: “There was a lot of virtual gatherings this year but seeing people – even with social distancing – is so important, especially for our queer community where isolation can be a big issue. “We decided on the dates about a month ago and we have some very exciting things in the works but we’re a bit nervous to announce things.” Mr Richards said it was important that people had something to look forward to after a year of lockdown. “I didn’t realise quite how desperate people are for good news and to remember how it was in the old times,” he said. “2020 has been a dumpster fire of a year. If we can provide any joy, then that’s a great thing.” Mr Richards said the 2021 festival would follow all COVID-safe requirements. “We totally understand people may be a bit cautious,” he said. “We will be making sure we can have everyone as safe as we possibly can. “There will also be material presented virtually so even if people are feeling cautious about coming, there are still ways to take part. “We’re talking about 2021 being a smaller, more intimate festival with the hope that in 2022 we can come back with bigger plans.” Mr Richards said people could stay up to date with the latest announcements at facebook.com/bendigopridefestival/ Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser’s daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that’s happening in central Victoria.

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