A community forum on the future of the Brisbane Pride Festival has been told of the sweeping changes planned for the event this year.

Among the major details announced on Monday night is that the festival will be moved from June to September.

“It’s no secret that Pride was in severe financial difficulty and in order to gain income and be a more productive festival we’ve decided to move it to September,” Pride president Deeje Hancock told the crowd at the Wickham Hotel.

“June is not good for weather and if we want travellers from further and further away to come and take part, we need a better incentive.

“We want to attract and market to our southern brothers and sisters in a hope they’ll want to come up for a good two weeks of the festival.”

Two festival events will remain in June despite the change — the long-running Queen’s Birthday Ball Awards will be held on June 10 and the Pride Stonewall commemoration event on June 30.

Hancock said that given the significance of the dates of those historical events, he could understand community resistance to any change.

The Stonewall event will see seedlings planted in specially donated triangle plant beds at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha, which will be in full bloom by the launch of the September festival. 

Participants will also be able to sign a memorial book at the event.

Other major plans flagged include the return of Pride Fair Day this year — after a hiatus which saw it replaced with the non-Pride Carnivale last year — and the change of the festival political rally to a parade. 

A Pride Fair Day After-Party was also announced, which will take over the street behind the Wickham Hotel, much like Brisbane’s Big Gay Day.

A new cross-promotional relationship with Brisbane Festival — which is also held in September — is also in the works, according to Hancock.

The Pride organising committee is now taking submissions for events to be a part of the 2012 festival.

You can register at www.brisbanepridefestival.com.au

INFO: media@brisbanepride.org.au

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