London Gay Pride 2008

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Gay Pride London 2008

“Pride London 08 is the biggest pride event ever to have taken place in the UK and puts it in the top 5 attended prides in the world”.

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Saturday 5th July: It was a fantastic sunny day with an estimated attendance of 825,000 people. The parade started at 1pm with floats, drag queens and colourful characters of all sorts parading along London’s Oxford Street, through Piccadilly Circus and finishing in Trafalgar Square. A large rally with several stages throughout the West End of London entertained people for the rest of the afternoon.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson walked at the head of parade to the cheers of the tens of thousands of people lining the route.  He later commented that the event was fantastic and added that he was "...going to make sure we support this event".  The Deputy Mayor gave an uplifting speech on the Main Stage where again the city's commitment to Pride London and the LGBT community was particularly strong. 
Paul Birrell, Chair of Pride London, commented: "I am absolutely delighted to have had quite so many people at our event this year.  This year really was a fun day out full of party and politics for everyone.  We saw Patty Boulaye, Therese and host of stars mixed with the political messages from Sir Ian McKellen, Nick Clegg, Richard Barnes and Harriet Harman to name but a few.  We also promoted our campaign with Health Initiatives to raise £50,000 for a weekend HIV testing and support clinic in central London which people can still contribute to by texting "HI CLINIC" to 84424"

He added: "I am especially proud that such a large and successful event is put on by volunteers.  We have people working all year round to raise the half million pounds the event costs, to publicize the event and to put the event on.  I would like to express my gratitude to all of them and also to our supporters, sponsors and funders who keep Pride London a free event!"

The Main Stage in Trafalgar Square finished with the final episode in the current series of Doctor Who, and over 15,000 revellers stayed to enjoy the show together.

The Metropolitan Police have released the official attendance figures for Pride London 08 and it is believed that 825,000 people attended the event.  The police numbers, which have traditionally are very cautious, have been calculated by specialist analysis of CCTV and aerial photography. The amazing number of people who enjoyed Saturday’s event means that Pride London 08 is the biggest pride event ever to have taken place in the UK and puts it in the top 5 attended prides in the world.

Colm Howard-Lloyd, a Director of Pride London, commented: “We released our initial estimates for those attending earlier in the week.  We are always quite cautious about these figures; my mother taught me you shouldn’t boast.  I fell off my chair a number of times when we were told that nearly twice as many people attended the event than in 2007.”

He added: “I hope this sends a strong message of togetherness not just to LGBT people in the UK but also to those in countries such as the Czech Republic and Bulgaria who have struggled to be allowed to celebrate pride recently.”

 London Gay Pride 2008

Special thanks to: Pride London, Salvation, Matinee & Manworthy.TV