An annual report of charity-run festival Manchester Pride has shown it lost £2.5m in ticket sales last year after it was postponed due to Covid-19.
The charity’s accounts show an 85% drop in revenue and it saw a 92% drop in donations from £114,000 to £9,000.
The LGBTQ+ event moved online last year for the Alternative Manchester Pride Festival, which hosted 114,000 people, while the annual parade was canceled for the second year running in July. The main festival returned on August Bank Holiday weekend as planned, but more than 1,000 protesters took part in a protest over concerns about the funding of the festival.
The charity had to make redundancies while remaining staff took voluntary pay cuts. It was also reported that Manchester Pride CEO Mark Fletcher volunteered to take a salary cut, details of which will be included in the next annual report.
Manchester Pride’s board of trustees chair Paul Wheeler said, “While it was great to be able to put on a physical pride celebration this year, there can be no doubt Covid has had a significant impact on our charity, just like many other charitable organisations, and this is reflected in our annual accounts for 2020.
“As the majority of the charity’s income comes from the delivery of the annual Manchester Pride festival, the fact we couldn’t deliver a physical festival in 2020 had a deep impact on our organisation, our valued employees and partners.
“But despite these challenges, we are pleased to be able to continue to deliver on our charitable objectives.
“We also created new initiatives to bring the community together, such as the Digital Manchester Pride Conference, and we were able to continue to make grants and other sources of funding available to LGBTQ+ good causes.”