LA Pride Says It Is Leaving West Hollywood

LA Pride in West Hollywood (City of West Hollywood photo by Jon Viscott)

Christopher Street West, producer of the annual LA Pride parade and festival, is moving the event out of West Hollywood, which has been home to the Pride celebration since 1979.

In a letter today to members of the West Hollywood City Council, CSW’s board of directors said it decided to move the June 2021 event for several reasons.

“These include construction in West Hollywood Park, the changing demographics of Greater Los Angeles, our commitment to being responsive to the LGBTQIA+ community’s needs, and our allyship and collaboration with other movements for social change,” the letter states.

“We are grateful to the City of West Hollywood for our many years of partnership and collaboration in presenting LA Pride. West Hollywood has been a successful home for the parade and festival, providing millions with a unique and incredible experience centered in this city. The community we serve and our organization have grown during our collaborations with West Hollywood, and we have been grateful to support the city and its business community by bringing hundreds of thousands of diverse visitors to the city and highlighting West Hollywood on the world stage.”

The move is likely to have an impact on the city’s economy as well as its promotion of West Hollywood as the gay center of Southern California. Beacon Economics, a consultant hired by CSW, said the 2019 Pride event increased economic output in Los Angeles County by $74.7 million of which $27.7 million was concentrated in West Hollywood and $18.2 million in the City of Los Angeles. Economic output is the value of goods and services provided during the Pride event. Beacon said the event generated $896,100 in sales tax revenue for the City of West Hollywood.

It also increased labor income for workers in Los Angeles County by $33.1 million, including $14.7 million in West Hollywood and $7.4 million in the City of Los Angeles. And Beacon said that the Pride event supported the annual equivalent of 830 jobs in L.A. County, including 397 in West Hollywood and 191 in the City of Los Angeles.

Another consulting firm, RSG, was hired by the city to evaluate the financial performance of CSW and the impact of the Pride events on West Hollywood. Noting the growth in the city’s spending to underwrite the event and provide public safety services, RSG said the positive financial impacts of Pride “are less certain, particularly as the city’s contributions relative to both festival admissions and other fundraising efforts have increased significantly ….”

A report from City Hall staffers in January recommended that the city increase its financial support for the June 2020 LA Pride to $3.05 million, up 46% from the $2.09 million in 2019. Most of that increase ($2.4 million) was meant to cover the cost of public safety measures.

CSW cancelled this year’s Pride events, which were scheduled for the weekend of June 12-14, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year it had to reorganize the festival, which takes place typically in West Hollywood Park, because much of the park was closed for redevelopment. This year’s event would have been the 50th anniversary celebration of Pride, which began with a march in Hollywood in 1970. After announcing the cancellation of this year’s Pride event, CSW said it would stage a march from Hollywood into West Hollywood to protest police violence against Black people. CSW got pushback from Black activists who said they had not been asked to participate in the plan and from City Council members, who also objected that CSW hadn’t engaged the city in the planning of the event. City Councilmember John Duran described the proposed march as “reckless.” CSW then dropped plans for that protest march.

At the June 15 City Council meeting, Council members Duran and John D’Amico suggested the city prepare a request for proposals from other event promoters to stage the annual Pride event.  D’Amico will have an item proposing the city solicit multiple vendors on Monday’s City Council agenda.

“I wish CSW the very best in its future efforts,” said Mayor Lindsey Horvath today in a response to the CSW announcement. “For decades, the City of West Hollywood and CSW have enjoyed an incredible partnership and, on a personal note, I will treasure the memories I have made celebrating Pride with CSW within our city. The City of West Hollywood remains the heart of the region’s LGBTQ community and we take Pride in celebrating each and every day, year-round.”

In his response to the CSW announcement, Councilmember Duran said: “West Hollywood will continue to have its own Pride weekend as we have for the past 49 years. Santa Monica Boulevard and this historic Boystown district will remain the heart and center of Pride month as we always have.“

Councilmember John D’Amico said he believed the Pride celebrations are important to the City of West Hollywood and that it should continue to have them. He said he would be open to the city considering CSW if it were to be one of the applicants to put on the next Pride event. D’Amico said that the City of West Hollywood hasn’t had any control over the programming of the Pride events. That programming has been a source of controversy in the past, with some LGTBQ communities feeling they weren’t represented well enough. And he noted that the city doesn’t benefit from the Pride sponsorships and festival revenue. As co-sponsor, the city had to pay to support the event but didn’t get a share of the revenue it generated.

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JF1
JF1
3 months ago

Bye.

TomSmart
TomSmart
3 months ago

Buh Bye Now.

Jason K.
Jason K.
3 months ago

Good luck CSW on finding a new daddy like the Weho city council was to provide you with millions of dollars of support each year. Let the city run it with the help of promoters as the city was pretty much paying for it anyway.

OneEyedJack
OneEyedJack
3 months ago

West Hollywood sold out to the big developers and Millenials years ago. It only pretends to be the Gay mecca it once was.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
3 months ago

It is too bad that the discourse here, as in much of public discourse, gets lost in memes, tweets, hashtags and soundbites. Most have missed the historical fact that CSW leadership has changed, and for the better. While I personally believe that DTLA is a better spot for what is truly a regional celebration, in large part because those in the provinces can find easy ways to get there on a host of public transport options, it is not because it should be shut out of WeHo due to prior management failings and an inability to listen and respond. I… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Alan Strasburg
Daniel H - N Triangle
Daniel H - N Triangle
3 months ago

Sheesh. Some on here want it moved elsewhere because most people can’t afford to live in West Hollywood and the new party scene is downtown???? Transitory…shallow… and stupid babies really have no idea what went into making this community a stronghold for them to enjoy so freely now. Unbelievable. Next time you walk down smb notice the names on the sidewalk plaques, remember them. There was a time not long ago when going to a GP event meant putting your life in danger, job loss and ostricization from your family. Keep it in West Hollywood and we should ALWAYS have… Read more »

michaelz
michaelz
3 months ago

Get rid of CSW….who needs this creepy complaining organization.
We can still have our own Pride celebration.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
3 months ago

West Hollywood and CSW had a good run but times have changed and a move by CSW is probably warranted given the need to be more inclusive.
I wish them the best. The City can and will do its’ own event, ideally NOT in competition with CSW, and the LGBTQ etc-ect community will be the richer because of it. This gives West Hollywood the ability to be creative.

michael
michael
3 months ago

Can’t say I’ll miss it. In the beginning, CSW was great fun. But, that was back when Weho (SMB to be exact) was Gay and I was much younger. Now, Weho isn’t so much Gay as “mixed”. Not a bad thing. Times change. One more thing, people who complain about the parade need to move. The parade had been a fixture for 40 years. Weho has undergone a transformation to cater to younger more “hip” crowds. As I said, not a bad thing. It’s just boring.

Dr. Dawn
Dr. Dawn
3 months ago

RETURN THE COUNTRY WESTERN STAGE! We miss it and it was a HUGE draw to people sick of the profanity-laced Electronica and Rap stages. And please remember there is so much more to the LGBT+ community than just the 30 and under crowd. Remember, us old folks are the financially stable ones…

John K
John K
3 months ago

The only thing that needs to leave is CSW. How many bone headed moves can one organization make in a year?

Geoffrey Buck
Geoffrey Buck
3 months ago

Hopefully we can bring the Pride Run back to West Hollywood