One month after the conclusion of Pride 2011, Stockholm Pride, the non-profit association that arranges the annual festival celebrating Sweden’s gay, homosexual, bisexual and transgendered community, is facing a mountain of unpaid bills.
Despite “record attendance”, the organistasion “is now in a situation where we can’t pay our bills”, Stockholm Pride said in a statement on its website.
“Nor did revenue meet expectations, something which stems from the late change in conditions for establishing the festival area in Kungsträdgården.”
“We’ve primarily had problems due to costs being too high. Certain individuals have incurred costs that are way over the budget we set,” Pär Wiktorsson, chair of Stockholm pride, told the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.
While Wiktorsson refused to divulge exactly how much money Stockholm Pride lost in putting on the 2011 festival, gay lifestyle magazine QX has reported that the organisation has hired a lawfirm to help it negotiate with creditors.
This year’s festival also featured a different business model which relied less on income from ticket sales and instead looked to sponsorships and vendor sales to help raise funds.
While the change meant that events were free for festival attendees, the associated shift in income sources has proven a difficult formula to perfect.
Wiktorsson regretted that costs for Pride 2011 went over budget
“We’re very sorry that this could happen and want to apologise to our members, visitors, and suppliers,” he told SvD.
He promised that the organisation would bring in outside help in reviewing its procedures to avoid future budget woes, but refused to directly answer questions about whether next year’s festival may be in jeopardy, saying only that “planning for 2012 is underway”.
Since the start in 1998, Stockholm Pride has grown into one of Stockholm’s largest and annual festivals and the largest Pride celebration in the Nordic region.