Bourne Free Pride Festival

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Bourne Free is Bournemouth's Pride festival.

In October 2004 a Pride event was arranged at short notice, celebrating Oscar Wilde's 150th birthday, but more specifically arranged following news that "a flock of really depressing homophobic street preachers [were] planning to invade Bournemouth that day, preaching gloom and all kinds of nastiness.[1] Members of the local gay communities came together to organise an event in the Lower Gardens to protect the gay communities from the bigots and keep them together for a day of celebration, rather than of hostility. The event included entertainers performing at The Bandstand to support diversity, a balloon release with a 2 minute silence for victims of hate crime and Bournemouth’s first Gay Pride march.[2]

It was decided that the committee would get back together and repeat the event every year, but as an official charity with designated roles. Bourne Free would become an annual celebration in the heart of Bournemouth for everyone to see the diversities in the community and to enjoy a variety of entertainment. In 2006, the title of the event was changed to the Bourne Free Pride Festival.


  1. Bristol Indymedia, 15 October 2004, quoting Michael Halls of the Intercom Trust