LA Pride Festival could expand to Santa Monica Boulevard

LA Pride Festival

Fiascos at last year’s LA Pride Festival, including attendance exceeding capacity, caused festival organizers and city officials to create a plan that would expand the footprint this year to Santa Monica Boulevard. Photo: Q Voice News.

WEST HOLLYWOOD — A plan to expand the footprint of the LA Pride Festival to Santa Monica Boulevard would cost the city about $750,000 in expenses and lost revenue, according to a city analysis.

The proposal, which was created by LA Pride and West Hollywood city officials and is supported by the city’s Economic Development Department, will be discussed at the City Council meeting on Monday at 6:30 p.m.

LA Pride expansion

Under the proposal, West Hollywood Park and San Vicente Boulevard between Melrose and Santa Monica boulevards, the traditional space for the celebration, would still be used for the festival, which will take place from June 8 to 10. The West Hollywood Park space for the festival also will still charge admission. Ticket prices range from $25 to $450 as well as at least two fees.

The expansion proposal follows last year’s festival fiasco when the event was oversold and organizers allowed attendance to exceed capacity. The Los Angeles County Fire Department closed the festival entrance early on Saturday night, which left thousands of people angry. On Sunday afternoon, organizers stopped allowing people into the festival.

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‘Pride in the Blvd.’

The most significant change in the suggested expansion would be “Pride in the Blvd.,” a three day, free festival on Santa Monica Boulevard between Robertson and San Vicente boulevards that would feature vendors, non-profit organizations, and a local artist showcase.

The new footprint would also include the closure of Santa Monica Boulevard between Doheny Drive and La Cienega Boulevard.

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Expenses, lost revenue

The proposal projects expenses and lost revenue in several areas:

  • $104,000 in waived street closure fees
  • $43,644 in lost parking meter revenue
  • $140,000 in previously allocated city funds for the festival
  • $418,000 in public safety personnel costs

Festival organizers and the city want to relocate the ticketing area to trailers on Santa Monica Boulevard between Park and Hancock avenues. That move would relieve congestion from the main gates at the festival, according to the proposal.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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