Bristol Pride has announced that a billboard advertising this year’s celebrations was set on fire less than a day after being put up.
Organisers said they can only assume it was the result of “targeted action against our LGBT+ community”.
“Considered acts of hatred like this are the reason why Pride remains a protest, as well as a celebration of visibility,” said a statement released by Bristol Pride.
“It only gives evidence as to why we need Pride and to show up supporting each other.
“More than ever, we need allyship, we need to call out hate and prejudice, and remember that our freedoms must be protected, rather than taken complacently.
“This cowardly act follows a recent incident of homophobia in Bedminster, in which rainbow doormats were targeted and vandalised.”
Everyone at Bristol Pride is upset to announce that after fewer than 24 hours, our 2023 billboard was set alight. pic.twitter.com/w6lNIOaaX1
— Bristol Pride (@BristolPride) June 19, 2023
This year’s Bristol Pride takes place from 24 June to 9 July, with Pride Day (8 July) featuring performances from Jake Shears and Natalie Imbruglia.
Approximately 40,000 people went to The Downs for last year’s festival, while 20,000 people took part in the Parade March.
Bristol Pride asked those who wish to help to “get a supporter wristband if you can” and urged the LGBTQ+ community to show up at this year’s event.
Anyone with information about the billboard has been asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.