Elton John gay festival cancelled after the cast of Priscilla desert
26 April 2012
A festival to combat homophobia that was to be headlined by Elton John during the Olympics has been scrapped.
Pride House will no longer be taking place at Clapham Common after its backers pulled out over issues with sponsorship and securing other big names acts.
The headline act that withdrew from negotiations was the cast of the musical Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, although show producer Garry McQuinn insisted they had never committed to performing.
He said: “We were in discussions and had several meetings, but we felt that they would have needed significant ticket sales to cover the cost of the event, which rendered it uneconomical for us. We were at the table with them but we never completed on the deal as it was too risky.”
The festival had a number of high-profile ambassadors including Sir Elton, his partner David Furnish and Stephen Fry. But now its future is uncertain after festival organiser PAPA Projects withdrew as it felt the idea was “no longer commercially viable”.
It said: “While the Olympics presents many great opportunities for event organisers, there have been numerous complexities surrounding the availability of talent, sponsors and resources.
“With the unexpected cancellation of a headline artist only three days before the event’s launch date, the project suffered knock-on effects that have proved insurmountable.”
John and Furnish are believed to still be in favour of the concept, which would involve concerts, exhibitions, comedy, fashion shows and film screenings to raise awareness of homophobia in sport. The Pride House Foundation is now trying to find another venue in time for the Games.