Queer community question prices for landmark global LGBT+ event

People in Sydney’s queer community have questioned the prices to WorldPride, the global LGBT+ event to be held across the city around the same time as Mardi Gras.

Many different events comprise WorldPride – such as a beach party where tickets start at $179, and an LGBT+ rights conference where tickets come in at nearly $1500.

Some have said the price is too high for queer people from all income brackets to partake in what should be a community-driven and inclusive occasion.

The global LGBT WorldPride event – which is held every two years by a roving host city – is slated to be one of Sydney’s biggest events since the 2000 Olympics.

The NSW government expects 78,000 domestic and international visitors who will spend $100 million. Over 500,000 people are expected to attend the event overall.

Some key moments for WorldPride include the parade itself, 10-day pride villages around Oxford Street, and the Fair Day festival in Victoria Park, which are all free.

Other events include a pool party at the Ivy (from $79), the opening concert in the Domain ($119), the official party at Hordern Pavilion (from $155), Domain dance party (from $129) and First Nations gala concert (from $89).

The event’s three-day human rights conference at the International Convention Centre is copping heat for its fees, charging $1497 for general admission, $1797 for government and corporate tickets, and $747 for attendees associated with a community organisation. Tickets for similar conferences at the ICC cost between $1000 and $1600.

Sydney collective group Pride in Protest said organisers had “completely locked out the LGBTIQ+ community with their insane prices of their human rights conference” and barred working-class people from attending, according the Sydney Morning Herald.

Sydney WorldPride chief operating officer Gabriel Pinkstone said the event was for a wide audience, with tickets through an affordability or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander program available at $49 per day.

“We also have a scholarship program which will facilitate 100 people attending the conference for free … We are working to stream many of the sessions online for free,” Pinkstone said.

A drag Queen in Western Sydney, Beverly Buttercup, said she wanted to attend the conference, but could not afford to.

Only 11 of the expected 300 events had been announced so far, according to Pinkstone, and a further 60 art events and 20 sport events across greater Sydney would be announced later this year.

“We are doing everything we can to make Sydney WorldPride is the global family reunion LGBTQIA+ people deserve, whilst also contributing to re-opening Sydney to the world,” Pinkstone said.

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