Sydney WorldPride has responded to ticket price criticism, specifically for the centrepiece Human Rights Conference which goes from March 1 – March 3 at the ICC.
Sydney WorldPride confirmed to Star Observer that they will have a solution to community concerns over ticket prices to the conference, which is set to be the largest LGBTQI human rights conference ever held in the Southern Hemisphere, by August 2022.
Ticket Income Does Not Cover Cost Of Event
In a statement addressing the affordability of tickets, Sydney WorldPride’s chief operating officer Gabriel Pinkstone said, “As a not-for-profit organisation, we feel a great deal of responsibility to deliver for the global rainbow community, and from the outset built in access programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people on concessions or experiencing financial hardship, community organisations and a scholarship program.
“We also intend to make most of the Conference available to watch for free anywhere in the world online.”
Pinkstone went on to say, “The Human Rights Conference ticket income does not cover the cost of staging the event, and we are reliant on government and corporate partners to make the Conference happen. We have heard the community feedback that some of the ticket prices are out of reach for people that want to attend, and will have a solution to address this by August.”
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, those undergoing financial hardship, and those who have either a Carer Card, Health Care Card, Pension Card, or Veterans Affairs Card have access to tickets for $49 per day.
Over 300 Events, Many Free To Attend
In a statement, Sydney WorldPride said, “It is entirely possible to attend Sydney WorldPride completely for free, including major events such as Mardi Gras Parade, Mardi Gras Fair Day, Pride March and Pride Villages including the Oxford Street party.
The statement continued, “The events that have gone on sale this week only represent 11 of the expected 300+ events.
“We will be announcing over 60 WorldPride Arts and over 20 WorldPride Sports events later this year, which will be staged all over Greater Sydney.”
Sydney WorldPride 2023 takes place from February 17 to March 5, 2023, with nearly 1 million people expected to take part in the 17-day celebration. The conference, according to Sydney WorldPride CEO Kate Wickett, will be similar to a South by Southwest or a TEDx conference, and will feature “politicians, activists, community, corporates, all together under the one roof, where we can discuss and debate ideas, all in this in the pursuit of human rights and equality.”
In response to high in-person ticket prices, queer activist group Pride in Protest announced plans to organise an International Queer Liberation Conference that will be free to attend.
WorldPride started in 2000 in Rome. Since then it has been held in London, Toronto, Madrid, New York, and, most recently, Copenhagen.