With a decision on Piedmont Park’s availability to host Atlanta Pride and other large-scale festivals not due until the fall, the Atlanta Pride Committee is scrutinizing any venue with room enough to host the estimated 300,000 people who attend over a three-day weekend.
Pride organizers said they will create a short list of possible locations in late September or early October. The Pride Committee will announce the new venue on or before Oct. 11, National Coming Out Day.
After being barred from its traditional home in Piedmont Park in January because of drought concerns, Pride lost more than $160,000 in 2008 in the scramble to find a new venue and line up sponsors on short notice. Organizers credit the late timing, rather than its location at the Atlanta Civic Center over July 4th weekend, for the losses. But they are opening the floor for new venues.
Pride Board Chair Deirdre Heffernan and former festival director Jennifer Sheffield, who is a member of the venue selection committee, said they are looking at every location in the Atlanta metro area with the capacity to host 300,000 people over three days.
“One of the things we have to look at is that we bring a significant number of people from outside the metro area to our event, and there has to be access to hotels, there has to be access to the airport, it has to be within reason,” Sheffield said.
Possibilities could include 10th Street at Grady High School, the Atlanta Civic Center, Atlantic Station, Centennial Olympic Park, Jim R. Miller Park in Cobb County, the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, the Georgia World Congress Center, the Georgia International Convention Center, Stone Mountain and Piedmont Park.
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