L.A. Gay Pride Organizers Postpone June Festival Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

People participate in the annual LA Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California, on June 9, 2019 - Getty - H 2020
DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed another major event: L.A. Gay Pride. 

The Twitter account for the festival, @LAPride, posted the announcement Thursday afternoon in what marks one of the first major events postponed months from now. Many of the latest postponements and cancellations — from NCAA's March Madness and SXSW to the Tribeca Film Festival and CinemaCon — have been for major events in March and April, while word is still out for some May events. Gay Pride was scheduled to run June 12-14 in what was to be a commemorative event celebrating its 50th anniversary. More than 200,000 typically turn out over the course of the weekend for street fairs, celebrities, performances and a colorful parade.

"Due to the concerns of COVID-19, [event organizer Christopher Street West] will postpone all events related to the 50th Anniversary of LA Pride that were scheduled for June 2020," read the tweet. "Organizers are assessing the situation. More information to be provided around the postponement as details become available."

It's unclear when the organization will settle on a new date. June is typically the biggest month for gay pride as it was chosen to mark the historic Stonewall riots, which happened at the end of June 1969. The event's website only teases "new dates coming soon" for the Verizon-presented festival. 

Within hours of the tweet, a spokesperson for the City of West Hollywood issued a release outlining a series of actions to "follow the lead of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to respond to coronavirus" that remain in place through June 30. The statement explains that all non-essential events and meetings — including city-sponsored events, city co-sponsored events, city-funded events and any events or filming that require a permit — will be postponed or cancelled.

Furthermore, the city is encouraging the same be done for events or private gatherings that are unable to accommodate space for social distancing of at least six feet per person. All public meetings, like advisory board and commission meetings, will be canceled unless it is determined that those meetings are required for essential business.

Other cancellations include the Helen Albert Certified Farmers’ Market, as well as the postponement of CSW's L.A. Pride. “Public safety is job number one and the City of West Hollywood is taking great care to assist our partners in public health to the fullest extent possible,” West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico said in a statement. “Right now, our focus is doing our part to flatten the curve of the disease progression by focusing on essential City business functions and cancelling events under the City’s purview. Social distancing has been proven effective in other regions and we are following best practices to slow down the spread of this virus so our healthcare system does not become overwhelmed at this time."