Given the COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) situation, we, i.e. the Homosexuelle Initiative (HOSI) Wien and its non-profit company Stonewall GmbH, have decided today to cancel Vienna Pride 2020 including all side events, the Pride Village and the Pride Parade.
This decision was not an easy one, especially since we would have celebrated a quarter of a century this year with the 25th Vienna Pride Parade (“Regenbogenparade”). But the health of hundreds of thousands of people and our community has absolute priority. Also, the uncertainty regarding the further development of the pandemic makes it impossible to prepare for June now, even if the situation should relax by then.
We have been in contact with the authorities, other Pride organisers worldwide and especially with the board of the European Pride Organisers Association (EPOA) until the very last moment to be able to assess the national and international development of the COVID-19 outbreak daily. The situation is the same everywhere, more than 120 Pride events worldwide have already been cancelled or postponed indefinitely, from Tokyo to London to Los Angeles.
Vienna Pride was going to take place from 1-14 June 2020, the Pride Parade on 13 June 2020, with up to 600.000 expected visitors at the Pride and up to 400.000 expected participants in the Pride Parade, the largest demonstration in Austria. Dozens of side events and a four-day Pride Village at Vienna’s City Hall Square were planned. A postponement to autumn is out of the question: Pride celebrates the beginning of the modern LGBTIQ movement with the Stonewall Riots, which took place in June 1969, so it would make as much sense to postpone it as to postpone Easter. However, an alternative might still be in sight: We will continue to monitor the situation closely. Should it be feasible, we are considering a demonstration to be held in September.
But there is some good news too: The preparations for Vienna Pride 2020 have progressed to the point where we are able to bring all the programme and co-operations to 2021. Therefore, we continue to work together with the City of Vienna and our partners on all the projects and now focus on Vienna Pride 2021, which will take place from 7 June to 20 June, the 25th Vienna Pride Parade taking place on 19 June 2021.
We are going through difficult times, which have severe consequences for many people and companies in our country and around the world. But we firmly believe that through our strong bond we will also be able to face this challenge and find a way forward.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all, the LGBTIQ community, the City of Vienna, above all Mayor Michael Ludwig and Anti-Discrimination City Councillor Jürgen Czernohorszky, as well as all partners and supporters for their co-operation, understanding and support.
We will be back! We stay colourful!