About

Hi! We’re Yeovil Does Pride 😊

In recent times, many of the more established Prides have aligned themselves to the format of a music festival, with many stages, big name performers – and crowds to boot!

These kinds of Prides certainly live up to the “loud and proud” mantra. We think that’s great, and certainly something for everyone to enjoy, but Yeovil already has two big annual events like this – Yeovil Celebrates and Home Farm Festival. Home Farm Festival, a charity fundraiser in Chilthorne Domer, even takes place in Pride month each year. Yeovil Celebrates is run by Yeovil Town Council and usually takes place in May. At both these events the charity that organises Yeovil Does Pride is a vibrant and visible queer presence, holding space and engaging with the wider community whilst providing support to our own.

With these things in mind, we have set out thinking what Yeovil Does Pride should be and come up with some basic principles about ‘How We Do Things’ and therefore what you can expect from us.

OUR PRIDE WILL BE FREE

Big names demand big bucks. So does security, staging, lighting… It’s no wonder that many of the big Prides charge a fee, for entry or for wristbands to access certain things. And we’re not against that – especially when the money is going back to support and pay LGBT+ artists. But for us, our Pride needs to be open to anyone who wants to attend without finances being a barrier. We want to provide our Pride without pressuring the community with the threat of cancellation to crowdfund for us. A Pride like ours does cost money, and we do accept donations, but we’ll never use that fact to make unfair demands of the people we’re working for the benefit of.

Furthermore, we will continue to offer free fruit and cake to make sure that everyone is able to participate in our community picnic regardless of their personal circumstances. We also carry free period products as it’s something else that everyone who needs them should have access to. We hope to provide even more free essentials to those who need it as we continue to grow and move forwards.

OUR PRIDE WILL BE ACCESSIBLE

Yeovil town centre was built on a hill. There’s not much we can do about the topography of where we live, but we can still do our best to make everything we do as accessible as we can. This includes having a main route and a shorter, flatter alternative that joins in with the main route where possible. At every stage of planning, we think about accessibility and inclusivity, and have the invaluable support of volunteers with lived-experience to help us with this.

We create a Pride Accessibility Guide, letting people know as much information as we can to make sure that they are well-informed. Every person has different access needs, so this allows individuals to assess the appropriateness of their own level of participation, or that of someone they care for.  

Being a quieter (but no less proud) Pride also allows us to be more inclusive towards people who might find loud, sustained or more intense music situations harder to tolerate. If you want to hear the performances, you have to get close! This also makes it a much more intimate and personal experience, as well as being mindful of the local wildlife and neighbours. If you want a quieter space, it’s easy to move away without having to leave the area – although of course, you’re free to! This also means that conversations can still be had without shouting at the top of your lungs.

OUR PRIDE WILL BE COMMUNITY-FOCUSED

Yeovil Does Pride is down to earth – figuratively and literally – and that’s part of our identity we don’t want to lose. While we hope to develop and grow, we don’t have aspirations of being the biggest and brightest in the UK, or even the South West. While we welcome people from anywhere, our Pride is primarily for the benefit and celebration of our local LGBT+ population. We’re not here for profit or a pat on the back; we’re here to facilitate, collaborate and connect.

We lead with year-round visibility. We’re consistent with our commitment. We ask, listen and act. We don’t have all the answers, but we have a wonderful, strong community that we serve and are a part of and we’ll always do our best to make you proud.