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Changes to LA Pride festival divide West Hollywood community




Terri Nunn and Berlin perform at the Los Angeles Pride Festival on June 14, 2009 in West Hollywood, California.
Terri Nunn and Berlin perform at the Los Angeles Pride Festival on June 14, 2009 in West Hollywood, California.
Angela Weiss/Getty Images

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It's National Pride Month, and the LA Pride festival is this weekend in West Hollywood.

But the festival, organized by local non-profit Christopher Street West, has drawn some less-than-positive community reaction this year. The festival was rebranded this year as a music festival, ticket prices are higher, and a couple of events were canceled.

Some community members were not pleased with the changes. They approached the West Hollywood City Council in the spring with concerns. Christopher Street West did make changes to this year’s festival after community feedback. And earlier this week, the council decided to hold two community meetings this summer to collect input and explore further changes to the festival.

“I brought the item to the city council because the community members had come to council and were not happy about what Pride was looking like, and we decided to have these forums come summer so that we would have more time to evaluate what Pride should look like in the future,” said West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister.

Henry Scott, publisher of Wehoville.com, joined us for more.

Take Two reached out to Christopher Street West but representatives did not respond before airtime. They did get in touch after the show and they sent this statement:

"LA PRIDE continues to focus on creating an experience for the entire LGBTQ community, to honor our past and to celebrate our future through our three-day Festival and signature Sunday Parade. Our events celebrate the LGBTQ community through music, arts, culture and programming from free events to ticketed experiences. While there has been some controversy surrounding changes made to this year, Christopher Street West’s (CSW) goal has always been to foster a sense of community, to educate the community on current social issues and to entertain all. 

Despite Mr. Scott’s inaccurate comments on the organization’s tax records and Board Membership information being public, CSW has in fact made public its tax returns from previous years up through 2014 as well as providing a list of all current Board Members. We also regularly engage both City Council as well as community leaders and organizations in planning out each year’s events and encourage the public to continue to be involved in this planning process. Our Board is made up of a diverse collection of Volunteers who reflect our diverse community and work tirelessly on creating the best Pride experience each year.  We look forward to having you join us in celebrating this diversity from June 10th-June 12th."