Milwaukee Pride, Inc.
Press Release

Milwaukee Pride Inc. to Postpone PrideFest Milwaukee 2020

 

By - Mar 18th, 2020 07:08 am
2016 PrideFest. Photo by Abe Van Dyke courtesy of PrideFest.

2016 PrideFest. Photo by Abe Van Dyke courtesy of PrideFest.

Milwaukee, WI –Wednesday, March 18, 2020– Milwaukee Pride, Inc. – parent organization of PrideFest, Wisconsin’s largest LGBTQ+ event – announced today that it is officially postponing the 4-day event. The festival was set to take place at the Henry W. Maier Festival Grounds from Thursday, June 4-Sunday, June 7, 2020. This decision comes after a wave of large event cancelations and postponements due to the developing COVID-19 situation. This is the first time PrideFest has been postponed in its history.

“Pridefest is, and has been a safe space for people to celebrate community and the Pride movement since 1987. Due to the current status of COVID-19, the health, safety and protection of our festival patrons is our first priority,” said Wes Shaver, Milwaukee Pride, Inc. President. “We certainly don’t want to cancel, absolutely not. But, moving forward as planned brings too many risks to the forefront; for our attendees and for our organization.”

PrideFest 2020 planning was well underway, with musical acts under contract and marketing and media ready to launch. The increasing wave of event cancellations across the national and global stage has set a precedent of taking all precautions in order to keep people safe, and to err on the side of caution. LGBTQ people are at a greater risk from this pandemic for reasons such as health disparities and barriers to health care access. The safety and well-being of our community is the number one consideration of Milwaukee Pride in this difficult decision.

“It’s unfortunate that we need to hit the pause button, considering the significant work our team has already put forth – as well as the incredible and diverse line up we had planned for our stages,” said PrideFest Producer Luke Olson. “I’m confident that once we have a new plan for this year’s festival we’ll be able to pick things up where we left off. Our hope is to bring Milwaukee a world class event like it’s used to.”

The Milwaukee Pride Board of Directors are working with Summerfest on possible alternate dates. The board is also exploring the possibility of different formats and locations. Milwaukee Pride will continue to engage with the Milwaukee community on other, smaller events this summer to keep the Pride movement strong and present.

“We don’t want people to think there will be no PRIDE this year,” said Shaver. “We simply want to ensure we’re taking the right steps forward. We hope people trust that our intentions are for the safety of the community, and for our ability to ensure the sustained future success of PrideFest Milwaukee.”

For more information, please contact Wes Shaver at wshaver@milwaukeepride.org or call 718-962-5639.

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