Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Today the Stranger Suggests | USDA Admits Posting Social Sec... »

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Little Bad News: Seattle Center OUT as Location for Pride Festival, Independent Producers OUT, Route of Parade and Location of Festival Uncertain

posted by on April 22 at 12:21 PM

We just got this press release…

Seattle - In 2006, the Seattle Pride March and Festival moved from Capitol Hill to Downtown Seattle and the Seattle Center. Event attendees, organizers and city officials all hailed the events as great successes. Unfortunately, the increased scale of both the March and Festival produced poor financial results including the well publicized and still unpaid debts. Simply put, the income from both events was not adequate to cover the costs of the March and Festival.

In 2007 Pride organizers Seattle Out and Proud (SOaP) voted in new leadership. SOaP’s primary concern was to produce a financially sound March and Festival in 2007. In order to accomplish that end, Seattle Center encouraged SOaP’s new Board of Directors to bring in professional event management. After meeting with several event management companies, SOaP decided to explore partnering with the professional event producers IES. SOaP also hired Baccetti Inc. to solicit and manage corporate sponsorship opportunities.

This week, after a month and half of additional intense research and negotiation by IES, the new SOaP Board of Directors and the Seattle Center, it has been concluded by all that producing a similarly scaled Pride Event at Seattle Center is not financially prudent. While most people believe that the 2006 March and Festival in Downtown Seattle showcased the LGBT Community extremely well, a fiscally responsible 2007 March and Festival, no matter their physical location, is the most important goal. As such, new discussions are taking place about where both the march and festival make the most sense this year.

We appreciate the work of John Merner and Robert Nellams at the Seattle Center during this transitional time, as well as the guidance of IES and Baccetti Inc., both of whom will continue to advise SOaP in this process. Details of the event modifications are expected early next week. One thing is certain; there will be a great and financially responsible Seattle Pride this year.

For questions on anything press related please contact Eric Albert-Gauthier at

RSS icon Comments


What the hell??

Posted by David Schmader | April 22, 2007 1:29 PM

So...back on the hill for the parade with twinks dry-humping in the back of pick-up trucks?

Posted by Bauhaus | April 22, 2007 1:32 PM

I can't help but laugh.

Posted by jameth | April 22, 2007 2:44 PM

Maybe it would be a better commercial opportunity if they changed it to a Straight Pride march.

Posted by A Nony Mouse | April 22, 2007 2:57 PM

Oh that sucks. I just moved to an apartment on 4th Avenue, and was looking forward to the parade traveling right under my living room window.

Posted by Tiffany | April 22, 2007 3:20 PM

I'd call it more than a "little" bad news. That just bites.

Posted by genevieve | April 22, 2007 4:03 PM

The Seattle Gay News reported something similiar on their blog on Friday.

Posted by Scott | April 22, 2007 4:24 PM

If SGN posts a blog but no one reads it does it actually exist? Funny they have to come here to promote themselves.

Posted by Frank | April 22, 2007 4:36 PM

Why? What happened? I did not want it to move in the first place... but once I saw what SOaP could accomplish with moving the parade downtown and to Seattle Center... WOW! It would be a pity to move it back up to the Hill. It has such an impact on so many people's lives. Is there anything we can do to keep it downtown?

Posted by disappointed | April 22, 2007 4:57 PM

At seems at least they are trying not to repeat the same mistakes again this year. The parade and festival will be great no matter where they end up. Keep us in the loop about the new location. There was so much great news about the 2007 event on the website, just this week. What can we do to help?

Posted by what's next? | April 22, 2007 5:36 PM

How bout downtown and ending at the new SAM sculpture park and Myrtle Edwards?

Posted by el ganador | April 22, 2007 6:51 PM

erm...not too toot my own horn or anything, but that idea could work...

parade on 4th (same as last year), turn west for 1 block on Denny, then westier onto Broad for 4.5 blocks. Floats turn south onto Alaskan or Elliott to un-float, and people turn north into SAMOSP and Myrtle Edwards.

SAMOSP and Myrtle Edwards are about 12.5-13 acres combined, which is less than Seattle Center (28 acres) or Vollie park (48 acres) but we never used the whole area of either of those, anyways.

SAMOSP gets tons of foot traffic and visibility. ME is a city park, and "free" the same way Vollie Park is for a "protest march".

The long nature of ME makes it great for vendors to set up along, plus the path is kid/dog/elderly/disabled friendly. There's a new little beach area that we could do Wet Twink Dance Party 07 in.

That could actually work.....

Posted by el ganador | April 22, 2007 7:07 PM

If Hempfest can thrive at Myrtle Edwards, why not Pride? Sounds like a good plan to me.

Posted by thalia | April 22, 2007 7:14 PM

Since roughly February, several community folks have been working on "Plan B Pride" since SOAP looked iffy, morphed to work with the LGBT Center on a Saturday Capitol Hill event, and in light of the SOAP debacle, morphing back to ensuring there is a 2007 Pride in Seattle.

The group is in no way, shape, or fashion affiliated with, in negotiation with, or associated with Seattle Out and Proud - and strong opposition exists to any change in that complete lack of association with SOAP, based on a wide variety of very practical considerations. With FDC folk, activists, and business persons Plan B is open to virtually all members of the community.

A website will go live in a few days with substantial details, and a Sunday June 24 Pride March on Broadway stepping off at 11am from Broadway and Pike, with a Rally similar to 2004 and before with entertainment, speakers, food, beverages, and a movie night in Volunteer Park looks likely...

For the moment, contact the Seattle Gay News or the LGBT Center for further details, sponsorship and volunteer opportunities.

Posted by heynonny | April 22, 2007 10:48 PM

Why can't we just be an angry bunch of marching homosexuals again? Remember the good olde days.

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | April 22, 2007 10:52 PM

If only I were shocked. Something tells me the name should be changed from Pride Parade to Ego Parade.

Posted by monkey | April 23, 2007 7:04 AM

FDC Folks? I thought they were dead....

Let's face it: There are those in the "community" who are quite intent on returning the parade to the same old rut on Broadway. It looks like they are going to get their way.

Posted by puddle poodle | April 23, 2007 8:28 AM

This is unreal.

I for one thought that the event last year knocked it out of the park (no pun intended) on many levels. The first is that the festival really became a civic event 2007. It was great to have the parade in the middle of the city! We were out and we were seen. We were with new neighbors, straight and gay. We were with tourists that happen to stumble upon us. The second thing is because we took over the city the parade became a political tool again. It was great to get out of our comfort zone and have a true march and a true rally. Seattle is on the verge of a city and the reality is that the community “hub” of Capitol Hill is not what it once was. We are all over this city now in great neighborhoods with great neighbors.

It’s sad to see a community that is so divided. Maybe its not the community, but a select few? There were those that complained about the parade moving from the hill from the beginning. Earlier in this blog it looks as though someone’s been scheming to do it on the hill for months.

It is time that this parade and festival step up and out of its comfort zone. The community is growing and will continue to grow.

I for one will not be going if it’s up on Capitol Hill. I can’t handle the parking and if we’re not able to make a statement and just invite people up to our little parade – I’m not interested.

P.S. – I will miss the fountain with all the wet people dancing, ya never saw that in the park.

Posted by Irritated | April 23, 2007 9:10 AM

I for one, am making my plans to go to San Francisco Pride this year. A real Pride Event. Last year was so amazing but it looks like it's back to the ghetto for Seattle...

Posted by DSEEGER | April 23, 2007 9:26 AM

I see on here that a lot of people are asking, "What happened?!?!?"

The answer is pretty simple: jaded Seattle (and jaded LGBT Seattle in particular) don't support anything that isn't 'cool'....

Everyone bitches about how lame Pride is every year but very, very few people try to do anything about it...

If you care about Pride, then get off your asses and VOLUNTEER your time, talent and money to make it a success....It's fucking pathetic that the second gayest city in America with an enormous wealth of money and creativity can't pull off a successful, fun and interesting gay pride...

And I have to say, "Good riddance to SOAP"...I've lived here since 2000 and I've always been embarrased by the pride festival and march...lame and boring and about on a par with what you would expect from a gay pride celebration in a small city like DesMoines or Birmingham....hopefully, a new group will arise from the ashes to put on a kickass pride for the future...

but it won't happen unless people make it I suggest you all get out your checkbooks and even more importantly, your calendars and schedule some time to volunteer your services to make sure we have a badass pride...oh, and wouldn't hurt most of you to continue that ALL YEAR ROUND!!! The Community Center and most other LGBT groups in town desperately need some new blood to stir some shit up...


ps and kudos to the Stranger for putting up the bucks for prizes for the parade...i hope the offer still stands...

Posted by michael strangeways | April 23, 2007 9:32 AM

looks like the small group of self-interested businesses on the hill will work together again to make Pride an event about making money selling beer to small group of nightclub going boys. Very sad.

FDC? Freaking nuts. They are the group that produced a horrible march and kept this event down for years. Old school and small thinking. Welcome back beer trucks, lines of undecorated cars and flatbed trucks with bar staff as 'parade floats'. SGN all the way. As many people care about and FDC event as read SGN. What is that, 2?

Where are the gay businesses and politicians when it comes time to promote this event at The Center? The government finds money to underwrite Folkife, Bumbershoot, McCaw Hall and Seafair, but it can't pony up $100,000 for Pride?

Posted by community? | April 23, 2007 9:37 AM

To Michael Strangeways... Good riddance to SOAP? SOAP was the organization that saw beyond Capitol Hill. Seattle Pridefest and Freedom Day Committee were the ones who produced the 'lame event' you speak about. SOAP's problem was people not supporting the event financially as you spoke about. I quite agree with what you said about the city underwriting every other festival in town though...

Posted by Disappointed | April 23, 2007 10:13 AM

@20: the group you want gone is FDC, the self-righteous fuckers who have kept the parade second-class for years. SOaP is the crew who made it better last year.

@21: I couldn't agree more...

@14: If it's back on the Hill this year, I'm with @19 and making my plans to go to any city that has a better parade than the one you FDC types have tried to foist on us for the last decade...

Posted by el ganador | April 23, 2007 10:15 AM

I stand corrected: Good riddance to EVERYONE responsible for 6 years of shitty parades and festivals....(I cap it at 6 years 'cause I've only lived here that long...I'm sure the shittiness has been going on a lot longer than that....)

I was glad the Parade/festival moved downtown, but the quality was lacking...which is more the fault of the PARTICIPANTS in the Parade for not coming up with a decent entry...(hint for y'all: check out the Fremont Solstice Parade...they put on a brilliantly funny and artistic show every year with very little money actually spent on the floats).


it's that fucking simple....

Posted by michael strangeways | April 23, 2007 10:34 AM

I know, I have a radical idea ...

Hold it on the Hill.

And, for my second radical idea ...

End it at Volunteer Park - or at least the SAM Sculpture Park.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 23, 2007 10:35 AM

@24: Michael, are completely correct that in a normal world volunteering would make things better, but I tried that years ago (remember that good time, Dan?) and let me tell you the phreaks involved with the FDC are a special kind of crazy. I'd rather study engineering at VT (what?......too soon?) than deal with those nutjobs.

Posted by el ganador | April 23, 2007 10:44 AM

This town has no vision. I realize that a Pride event does not raise money to fight AIDS, it does not help young people come out in a safe environment and it does not provide housing to elderly people, etc.; BUT... it does allow us to celebrate all of our acheivements of which there are many and enjoy being with 'our family'. I've actually always seen it as a giant gay family reunion of sorts anyway. The event should be in downtown Seattle...not hidden up on Capitol Hill, which, in case any of you haven't noticed is becoming less and less relevant to the Seattle gay community. Sugar couldn't even sustain as a 'gay' club on the Hill. I am proud to be gay but that tired 'Broadway Parade' and Volunteer Park event never made me feel proud to be from Seattle. Talk about a community not living up to it's full potential. Also, as a side note... what is with these SGN/Community Center/FDC people always speaking 'on behalf of the entire community'?????

Posted by Lame Ass Pride Festival | April 23, 2007 10:44 AM

Why don't they charge an admission to the event. I enjoy it being free but I would pay $5 to get in. If everyone paid something, it could be a bigger and better event and they could solve their debt problems. It's nice that it's free and all but come on. Nothing in life is free anymore.

Posted by Pride (In the name of Love) | April 23, 2007 10:50 AM

If you're unhappy with how things are run then I suggest getting together with like minded folks and make your voices heard and go to meetings and get on the Boards of organizations you're frustrated with or form your own ain't rocket science...if you think the parade sucks, then MAKE A FLOAT; it ain't that hard; we're GAY...we're supposed to be creative...20 fags and dykes with hot glue guns and paper mache should be able to pull together a funky entry in 7 weeks...if you don't belong to an organization then volunteer your services to one...i'm the co-chair of QArts and would LOVE some help...and does it really matter WHERE it takes place? It's going to have to take place on the 'Hill this year whether y'all like it or not...hopefully, next year it can move back downtown...

Posted by michael strangeways | April 23, 2007 11:01 AM


Condescending, sanctimonious tools like you are exactly the reason people don't 'get involved.' They can't stand being around, let alone working with walking attitude problems like you.

As for the parade, they'll probably end up marching back and forth across Volunteer Park or something.

Posted by Gomez | April 23, 2007 2:02 PM

Hellooo, is anyone out there? all of you can argue about what politics and who's idea of "what's cool" killed the parade. Or made the previous parades crappy... But the real reason there will be no pride parade ending at Seattle Center this year is ONLY about the non-existent financial statements for SOAP over the last few years. NO ONE IS ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS. Why is the person who signed the contracts last year that suddenly left a $100,000 hole in the budget, suddenly just gone from the SOAP web page? No one is asking Dale K., the person behind taking Pride off of Broadway why the contracts that HE signed left a $100,000 shortfall that 'surprised' people like Eric Albert-Gauthier and Weston Sprigg. Why aren't they asking? Well probably because he's hard to find. Anyone advertise in the GLBT Yellow Pages last year? Did your yellow pages get published? Why is a printer filing a lawsuit against GLBT Yellow pages for non payment last year? Did you know that Mr. K. owns/runs the GLBT Yellow Pages? Did you know that the GSBA is NOT the same as the GLBT Yellow Pages? Did you know that if you go to the courthouse and look up good mister Dale K. you will find an interesting laundry list of lawsuits and judgments against the man who, according to what the rest of SOAP has to say, was the only person who knew just how much last years Pride Parade and Seattle Center event was really going to cost. SOAP promises a clean and honest accounting for this years parade. What about last years? Personally I will keep stirring the pot till the real shit floats to the top. The press release says this: For questions on anything press related please contact Eric Albert-Gauthier at . I would love to see Mr. Albert-Gauthier's mailbox filled with all of your e-mails regarding the questions mentioned above. maybe he will put out a press release with a whole bunch-o-truth in it.

But don't hold your breath.

Posted by Truth Monger | April 23, 2007 2:15 PM
32 'attitude' consists of wanting a good pride event and fed up with whiners and posers who don't do anything but whine and pose...a typical Seattle attitude......

also, please elaborate on the sanctimonious allegation...WHY am i sanctimonious? Do you KNOW me?

Are you gay? And if you are, (not that it matters)what have YOU done for the community lately? If you aren't gay, what have you done for ANY commnunity lately except post shit on SLOG all day?

But you are (amazingly) right about one WILL probably end up being a march across Volunteer Park and back 'cause no one cares and no one can be bothered to try and make a would take too much time away from our busy lives of coffee drinking, blog posting and general hipster posing....

Posted by michael strangeways | April 23, 2007 2:17 PM

hmmm...truth monger raises some intereting issues....I hope the Stranger really covers this needs to be told...there's some fishy shit going on....

Posted by michael strangeways | April 23, 2007 2:20 PM



New Sonics and Storm owner declares that if Seattle's queer community and the State Legislature can't get their respective acts together, Seattle Pride will be HELD IN OKLAHOMA CITY IN 2009!!!

Posted by el ganador | April 23, 2007 3:13 PM


that's pretty funny, el ganador....

it's actually not a bad idea; ok city might be in a red state but our Southern Queer brethern know how to par-tay....

Posted by michael strangeways | April 23, 2007 3:45 PM

As of Wed. SOAP is back in.

Out, In, its back in...
Sounds like they are milking the media to me!

Gee, past Pres. Dale K. skipped town, they are talking to bankruptcy lawyers, over a $100,000 in debt while still making plans for a $200,000 2007 event and making all these "last minute" exhausting meetings with dramatic press statements.
Do you think these clowns could have found the time over the last two years to have had ONE responsible meeting on their budget? Duh!
Surely their current VP Weston Spriggs who was the past Treasurer should have known the budget!

SOAP, please do everyone in the LGBT community a favor and burst your own bubble.

Posted by PhadTai | April 25, 2007 1:36 AM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).