A clash between two of Sydney’s biggest community pride festivals has been narrowly avoided after emergency talks between the Harbour City Bears (HCB) and the Sydney Leather Pride Association (SLPA).

Sydney’s Bear Pride week has been held in the second half of August since its inception. Sydney Leather Pride Week has been hovering between July and early August since it recombined with the Inquisition party in 2010. HCB had scheduled Bear Pride 2012 for August 23 – 26.

However, HCB recently learned that SLPA had already booked Inquisition for August 25 2012, meaning the events would overlap, potentially creating some hard choices for people who wanted to participate in both pride weeks.

Emergency discussions ensued, and both organisations moved to separate the events.

“When SLPA first booked Inquisition we were unaware of date clashes with Bear Pride due to it being held on different weeks over the past two years,” SLPA president Aaron Sinclair told the Star Observer.

“Once we were made aware of the clash, SLPA moved Inquisition to the first weekend in September as this was the only date available during that period.”

HCB president Jon Bastin said the incident had strained relations between the two groups.

“We appreciate SLPA made a mistake, but we are disappointed they didn’t care more about the impact this has on the Harbour City Bears,” Bastin said.

“Having the two festivals clashing or overlapping wasn’t going to work for us, so the HCB planning committee for Bear Pride decided to move our festival to the beginning of August.”

Bear Pride will now run August 1 – 5 2012.

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