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Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Saving of Pride 2007

posted by on March 3 at 11:45 AM

Yesterday I spoke with Weston Sprigg, the spokesperson for Seattle Out and Proud (SOAP), who gave me the lowdown on the heartening new developments concerning Seattle’s 2007 Pride celebration.

As I mentioned a week ago, SOAP was facing a crisis over unpaid bills from last year’s revelatory Pride festivities at Seattle Center, placing the 2007 Pride festivities in jeopardy.

Now things are back on track, thanks primarily to Independent Event Solutions, the production company run by Marcus Charles (former owner of Neumo’s, current owner of Spitfire) and Dave Meinert (former owner of the Mirabeau Room and evergreen civic activist par excellence). IES has worked wonders with the Capitol Hill Block Party, and now they’ll turn their attentions to making Seattle Pride the civic extravaganza that Seattle queers and those who love them deserve.

“We have negotiated a contract with Seattle Center, and a commitment has been made,” says Sprigg. “Pride is happening June 24 at the Seattle Center, and we want to blow it out and give Seattle the best Pride they’ve ever seen. Seattle Pride should be inclusive, and having our straight allies in IES involved shows what Pride is really about—the whole city coming together to celebrate.”

More specifics as they become available. For now, a thousand hurrahs.

RSS icon Comments


This is the best news!! SOAP saved Pride!!! I knew they could do it.

Posted by Pride Diva | March 2, 2007 5:18 PM

This is the best news!! SOAP saved Pride!!! I knew they could do it.

Posted by Pride Diva | March 2, 2007 5:18 PM

This is the best news!! SOAP saved Pride!!! I knew they could do it.

Posted by Pride Diva | March 2, 2007 5:18 PM

I kinda like the idea of straights throwing the gays a parade instead of gays throwing themselves down the street.

Posted by monkey | March 2, 2007 5:24 PM


I certainly have nothing against SOAP, am happy there will be a party, but I wish we could drive a stake through the heart of the myth of a "gay community."

SOAP and it's supporters, promoters, no more speak for me and my friends than I do for them. It's a very big tent out there.

(And, yes, I am a proud and out gay man.)

Posted by Laurence Ballard | March 2, 2007 5:44 PM

I'm wondering why no one is addressing SOAP's complete avoidance of dealing with their creditors. How can they expect to have any sort of relationship with the necessary vendors and the like? It kinds looks bad when you've got a $100k in outstanding debt and no repayment plan.

Posted by GeeBee | March 2, 2007 5:49 PM

This is a welcome development, so long as Meinert doesn't insist on naming Jim Street as Pride parade Grand Marshal.

Posted by Trey | March 2, 2007 5:50 PM

"I kinda like the idea of straights throwing the gays a parade instead of gays throwing themselves down the street."

I mentioned more or less the same thing
back in May:

Nice to see it's sorted least
the next crisis.


Posted by Jensen Interceptor | March 2, 2007 5:53 PM

Wow - I wonder what this group could do if the GLBT Community supported them. Sounds like they stood alone and brought this deal to the table with little to no help from "our community"
Who is this group? they ROCK!

Posted by ProudMary | March 2, 2007 5:55 PM

GeeBee, don't believe everything you read in the SGN.

GeeBee, Do you not know how to read? SOAP has reached an agreement with Seattle Center to repay the debt. Reread the story...very slowly.

Posted by gay pimp | March 2, 2007 5:58 PM

Hey they pulled $50,000 together in a week - when the community didn't even "pony" up $130 last year- Where do I send them my check?

Posted by LargeMarge | March 2, 2007 5:58 PM

Good news for Sunday - hope there is a bit more than fountain dancing.

Now, I hope the C. Hill folks do something nice for Sat.

Fat Marge/Gay Pimp, you sound like braying asses. I did not know they owed money until SGN wrote about it and then I sent them my 50.00. What did you do besides bray and bellow? You kind destroys the community and, yes it is there.

Posted by Eric | March 2, 2007 6:14 PM

I empathize with Lawrence: I am an out and proud gardener who loves roses, but the Pasadena Rose Parade IN NO WAY speaks for me.

Posted by here queenie queenie queenie.... | March 2, 2007 6:20 PM

Eric - nice thoughts- the "C.Hill" should shoot for more then one day of nice things for the "community"

Posted by ProudMary | March 2, 2007 6:30 PM

Woo Hoo Eric -
Yes my FAT ASS will be on a BIKE -
FAT ASS DYKE ON A BIKE - riding donw down broadway - is that Nice Enough For you??

Posted by Large Marge | March 2, 2007 6:36 PM

Large Marge - confused. The parade is on 4th Ave on there more?

Sat. festival at Cal Anderson, music at V. Park.... parade on the hill, I don't see that.....but then if somebody can fund it??? Too much pride, no way.

And the Dyke march of course.

The promoters who just bought Sunday Pride (bet the production company put up the money in this new partnership/arrangement) will do music and pay for music. Might be OK, but I think I will see where else to go that weekend.

Posted by Eric | March 2, 2007 6:51 PM

Eric, don't be an ass.

Posted by what? | March 2, 2007 7:39 PM

Eric... have fun by yourself. Me and all my friends are going to be at Seattle Center dancing in the fountain. That was so much fun last year. Like Madonna says... "Music, makes the people, come together!!!"

It is still a free event

Seattle Pride is now downtown on Sunday.!!! Festival at Seattle Center! there may be other pride related events on the hill, who knows!

Does it matter who put up the money?

Posted by pride diva | March 2, 2007 7:56 PM

goodfgg ideas

Posted by marysolis | March 2, 2007 11:48 PM

This is great news!

I do hope that we can return the Saturday Dyke March to the dykes instead of having it hijacked into a Cap Hill protest parade.

Posted by genevieve | March 3, 2007 1:29 PM

20 - ABOVE

I agree, but need the men and women to assemble at one spot and then march away in opposite directions.

Nice image, a moment of truth.

Posted by John | March 3, 2007 2:03 PM

Great news! I was so afraid Seattle Pride was going to die. I heard rumors that the LGBT Community Center wanted to take Pride over. Come on... seriously? What makes them think that they could do any better than SOAP?

I was on their website today. It looks awesome! Whoever re-did it did a great job. I see they hold monthly meetings. I am going to make sure that me and my friends go, so that we can help out and give them info and suggestions on how we think Seattle Pride better.

Production Meeting:The 3rd Sunday of the month. These meetings are open to the public and all are invited to attend.

Lifelong AIDS Alliance Conference Room, 1002 E. Seneca St. in Seattle

Posted by homo SEX ual | March 3, 2007 3:49 PM

SOaP's complete press release:

Friday, March 02, 2007


Seattle – Seattle Out and Proud (SOaP), organizers of Seattle Pride, is proud to announce that the 33rd Annual Pride parade & festival will be held on Sunday, June 24th 2007.

“SOaP was able to negotiate a plan with Seattle Center that will take care of our past bill with them and move Seattle Pride into the future with the Center as a long-term home,” said Seattle Out and Proud President Eric Albert-Gauthier. As part of that plan, SOaP has brought in Independent Event Solutions (IES), a local special event promoter / organizer to help us produce the event at Seattle Center . SOaP and its board will maintain full control of the programming and vision of the festival, but will have professionals to help execute these in a top rate, financially stable fashion.

The parade will take place downtown on Fourth Avenue ending at Seattle Center with the festival. The date has been secured, and the event will happen at Seattle Center this year and into the future.

Aside from professional production, SOaP has also brought in a professional sponsorship firm, Baccetti Consulting, who will dramatically increase the sponsorship income.

SOaP's board will now be working hard to unite the whole community around Seattle Pride '07. We need the community to support the event and the event to support the community. With the burden of the event production lifted from us, we will be able to devote more time and resources to making the parade more exciting, raising funds for the parade and the Pride celebration at the Center, building community partnerships, and thinking of new ways to celebrate Seattle 's LGBT community over the whole month of June.

“We apologize for the hard road we have had to go down with the whole community to get to this point. We have made some mistakes, but have done so with the best intentions. We have worked hard, struggled, fought, cried, and have learned a lot in the process,” said Seattle Out and Proud Vice President Weston Sprigg. We'd like to thank Seattle Center and the LGBT community for their 'tough love' and for helping us move into the future with a better plan. We expect to be held to a high standard and believe the community has every right to expect SOaP to represent you in the best possible light. As always with a struggle, we are coming out stronger, wiser, and more capable of doing great things.

We already have a lot to celebrate in 2007 with the Washington State Senate passing the Domestic Partnership bill. We hope this will lead to full equal rights for the LGBT community. SOaP believes that Seattle Pride will not only be a great celebration of progress towards this goal, but will also play an important role in it.

Please visit for more information, updates, and to join us in making 2007 the best Pride Celebration the Northwest has ever seen. Seattle Pride 2007 - Come Together!

Posted by Tran | March 3, 2007 5:01 PM

Weston Sprig, good job last year. Good rookie year.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | March 3, 2007 6:36 PM

And to your alter ego Westin, as well.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | March 3, 2007 6:39 PM

22- ????

If SOAP had just collapsed, no Event Center contract, forced bankrupy, I think the fact that the Community Center was putting out the vibes that they would help do PRIDE this year is a good thing.

Better no Pride?

None of the women I know like the big party pride thing, so maybe the SOAP folks can get some hot music, naked men, charge 50.00 and get out of debt.

Posted by all knowing Mary | March 3, 2007 8:18 PM

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Posted by yvkn zulmvdj | March 4, 2007 4:05 AM

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Posted by yvkn zulmvdj | March 4, 2007 4:06 AM

This is great, back to our roots of a march and rally. Remember folks, those port-a-potties you stand in line to use are NOT donated, they are not free of charge to SOaP. Maybe the mythical community won't pay to enter the festival, but I bet a few would pay to enter the out-house. Keep both the festival and the out-houses free, donate.

Posted by Sargon_bighorn | March 4, 2007 5:27 PM

If Budweiser and Microsoft can figure out that the real way to support the community is to sponsor the downtown parade, everything will be fine.

Posted by Gitai | March 4, 2007 7:07 PM

29 - What? Sorry to break into the dream, but this is a parade and festival. You alone are calling it a march and rally.

Marches and rallies do not cost $300,000. to produce.

30- Even if both come back, they, SOAP, still owe over $100,000, lawsuits under way, - if you have been paying close attention, SOAP admitted they had more bills than just the Seattle Center, about $40,000.

Apparently never discussed anywhere, is they stiffed all the booths their deposits. How much they owe for that is anyone's guess. They are holding $200.00 from my little group. Offered us free space this year when we complained.

Budweiser will sit it out - and Microsoft pulled their money based on employee feedback. Based on the stories that broke the past weeks - why would the Microsoft folks get immediately excited?

Bad decisions, keeping it secret, bad accounting, deep in debt - oh yeah, throw money at them, no where any better in the non profit world. Huh???

I will send my 20.00 - but they have a very long ways to go to get out of the woods..... and regain some credibility.

And at least my group gets a free both, if they live up to the promise.

Posted by Marty | March 4, 2007 7:32 PM

Hey Bumbershoot LOST $300,000 and took in $3 Million in Ticket sales ALONE - (Not counting sponsorship money) $25 bucks a ticket. Our Pride is FREE People - I'm surprised they did so well- Easy for you to say they "rolled over your $200 If it weren't for groups like this - we wouldn't have the chance to put up just $200 for booth - Come on give em a chance.

Posted by I Pride | March 4, 2007 11:05 PM

Check out the P.I. Saturday article - looks like the Seattle Center finally admitted that other festivals do and have owed money. No wonder at $20,000 a day for labor costs. Look we finally took our place at Seattle Center and we deserve to be there - THANK YOU to the folks who got us there - and THANKS to the deal that's going to pay off the debt. I'll be there and I'll DONATE this year for sure.

Posted by C@L Reporter | March 4, 2007 11:10 PM

31 - I had a booth there also, I was asked if I wanted my deposit back or credit it towards 2007. I did not ask for mine back. I attend several other festival also - and MANY of them have the same policy - ROLL OVER the Deposit not that unusual and it gaurantees you a spot from year to year. Sometimes it locks in your pricing too!!
I'm glad they started doing it -shows they're taking advice from other festivals.

Posted by Booth Matron | March 4, 2007 11:17 PM

As a business women I am impressed with this group how they've moved some dead weight from their board and added some folks that can get things done. Deals like the one they brokered don't happen unless some sharp - skilled people put them together. Yes they have some debt but they seem to be open to sharing their shortcomings and asking for the help they need. This is a no-brainer - I have sat on the sidelines for a while but I am going to step up and offer my experience and my financial support to sustain this effort. As importantly - several of my business associates are doing the same. This is about SEATLLE PRIDE and We will back this group and help them make this work.

Posted by Lady Banker | March 4, 2007 11:30 PM

Lady B. you promised to stay off here until everone decided how much money and who was going public you better not spill the beans or Condo Queen is gonna get you!

Posted by Car Gal | March 4, 2007 11:37 PM

Oops am I bad - Well I did say that "I was going to step up" I am still allowed to speak for myself - DOLL!.
I'd never take Condo Queens thunder - she knows too many people and can do a better job anyhow.

Posted by Lady Banker | March 4, 2007 11:42 PM

You better call her before she finds out you're rallying the troops on here. Hey did you see the note the L.J. was kicking in and she had commitments from not only several other "jerseys" but the "coats" as well! I'm sure they agreed - I have photos of them with Tracy Young after the game last year - it was so much fun. You know they wanna "partee" right next door if they can!

Posted by Car Gal | March 4, 2007 11:49 PM

Whats a girl gotta do to join this "all ladies group Car Gal and Banker Lady?
Is this the "real" NETworking group or Champaign Charleys? Can I come to the next gathering?

Posted by Booth Matron | March 4, 2007 11:56 PM

Whats a girl gotta do to join this "all ladies" group Car Gal and Banker Lady?
Is this the "real" NETworking group or Champaign Charleys? Can I come to the next gathering?

Posted by Booth Matron | March 4, 2007 11:56 PM

Marty (#31). I am not sure what group you are with. Please contact me to discuss. Refunds last year were cashed in error. We offered people to roll their deposit for a booth in '07 or to get a refund. Thanks! -Eric Thanks!

Posted by Eric A-G | March 5, 2007 1:26 AM

hmmm, SOAP cashed refunds in error? Stiffed all the booths?
According to newspapers SOAP admits to oweing over $40,000 to other creditors?

Where is SOAP going to get all this money for this year's event when you don't even have public confidence?
And your not a tax-deductable non-profit?

Fool me once, but not twice.

Posted by Marshal | March 6, 2007 2:43 AM

Item 41 - don't you worry about #42
The ladies-group has agreed to get the rest of that bill paid off - We spend more then $40,000 on one of our Spa days anyhow. We'd much rather SUPPORT PRIDE - at Seattle Center so we can finally invite all those Beotches from
SF and LA and show them we now how and where to have a partee.......

Posted by Ladies BBall | March 6, 2007 10:58 AM

I was asked if I wanted my deposit back or if I wanted to "roll" it over to guarantee a spot for 2007. I rolled it to secure my spot. (News flash it's a bargain - compared to the Bite, Bumbershoot, Folklife, Seafair)!

Posted by Booth Booty | March 6, 2007 11:05 AM

You go - Lady BBall - I just heard that the "Jerseys" are gonna do a Center Court fund drive is that your idea?
Did you also hear that S.B. already committed the first $2500. to get the ball rolling? LOL

Posted by Car Gal | March 6, 2007 11:10 AM

I'll match whatever - S.B. does - lets show these mamsy pamsies how its done. Lady Banker - you in? We all know that you have more money then god! Its a drop in the bucket for you and just how much did you spend on that tummy tuck?

Posted by Princess Pat | March 6, 2007 11:17 AM

Pat - Oh No you didn't.
I heard it was Lypo not a tuck, or was it a lap-band.

Posted by Ladies BBall | March 6, 2007 11:24 AM

Hey how about you have to donate by the pound - I'd get out cheap - but you know who would drop a bundle - she's the one flapping her jaw about "we should do this....." so let her, that would be worth the money for sure.

Posted by Car Gal | March 6, 2007 11:29 AM

Don't any of you work for a living? I have to stay on here to see what dew dew you're talking about me. Don't forget I'm hosting tonight. I'd watch what you say - I'll use it against you to get more money.

Posted by Lady Banker | March 6, 2007 11:34 AM

Oh and Princess PATRICIA.
You can kiss that credit line at prime rate goodbye - the "tummy tuck" comment will cost you about 2 points.
To set the record right - I called "Jenny". You're all just jealous because I look so good! And you can take that the the bank - My bank!

Posted by Lady Banker | March 6, 2007 11:53 AM

I'd like to see SOAP's financials before the cheering starts. So, SOAP, when can we see statements about last year's expenditures?

Posted by Maryanne | March 6, 2007 12:32 PM

Yes good to see where they've come from.
But I saw something about Seattle Center having managment over the budget - So it's going to be tight and run right. I'm cheering because the controls have been put in place.

Posted by ProudMary | March 6, 2007 1:32 PM

I didn't donate any money last year- but would have paid $50 for the fun I had. This year I'll put $100 in the kitty. Can't wait.

Posted by Juicy | March 6, 2007 1:38 PM

Seattle Pride I just emailed your office offering my services as an accountant. I'll volunteer my time to get you going - you've go to start somewhere.

Posted by Math Wiz | March 6, 2007 1:44 PM

Gal pals are going to do a free-pour night and pass the hat to help out. last time we raised $7,900.
I think we can beat that - I'll get some stuff we can auction off too.

Posted by SBrd | March 6, 2007 1:52 PM

Are you crazy - my kids and I had a blast last year. The park was great and the fountain was so much fun. I had no idea that the City didn't cover the costs of the park. I thought if there was no gate charge then it must be subsidized - silly me. I'll pay my kids still talk about it.

Posted by Mommy's and Me | March 6, 2007 1:56 PM

Hey is Tracy Young coming back this year - she makes me crazy. Since she played last year maybe she'd come back again - They donate their time right?

Posted by Juicy | March 6, 2007 2:00 PM

Juicy - what are you drinking girl.
NO Tracy Young doesn't donate her services. I think she gets like $5,000 a night - not a bad job huh.

Posted by ProudMary | March 6, 2007 2:05 PM

What - $5 grand - don't they make a ton of money off us already? Why don't they give some time back. REALLY Five Thousand as a D.J. Darn - Not that she's not worth looking at but 5-thousand....dollars

Posted by Juicy | March 6, 2007 2:07 PM

Seattle Center running things right? hmmm
Lets see, they knowingly contracted and ripped away a beloved event from the heart of Seattle's gay community last year, bought all the grand claims by SOAP with only a $3,000 deposit and now without any review of accounting (despite their previous requests) is again contracting to a group that is projecting a $312,000,000 budget for 2007 on their website?

Please save the bands, lawyers, production companies and beer gardens, I'll trade all of that just to see a rainbow flag fly proudly on the spaceneedle.

Posted by Marshal | March 7, 2007 2:00 AM

I was well impressed with your site, keep up the hard work!

Posted by Jenna | March 16, 2007 7:41 PM

Really amazing! Keep working.

Posted by Ultram | March 17, 2007 11:25 AM

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