BOSSES at Glasgow’s beleaguered Pride Festival have insisted the event will go ahead – despite losing their venue after failing to keep up with a debt repayment plan they’d agreed with the council.

Tickets for this year’s festival, due to be held on August 17 and 18 at the Riverside Museum, have been on sale for just over two weeks.

But the use of the local authority-owned building was dependent on organisers paying the venue hire upfront, and settling a debt with the council worth of tens of thousands of pounds. They were due to pay 50% of the cost of the Riverside hire by this week.

A spokesman for the council told The National that this had not happened.

He said: “The conditions agreed with organisers have not been met and we have now informed them that permission to use the venue will be withdrawn.”

Christopher Lang, the chair of Pride Glasgow said they were upset by the council’s “cut-throat” approach and that they were making plans to find a new venue.

“This afternoon we have been advised that Glasgow City Council will not allow us to use the Riverside Museum as a venue. It seemed to have been made public before we received confirmation.

“The withdrawal is due to the fact that Pride Glasgow has not been able to make the first instalment of the agreed repayment, plus 50% of the venue hire within the agreed timescale.

“Our Board this year has been left with debts from the former Board and the 2018 event, which of course is taking time to resolve. We’re trying to do the right thing, but it doesn’t feel like we’re being given a fair shot. 

“Despite the fact that we have sponsorship contracts and income from ticket sales, with proof of good cashflow for the event, the cut-throat way we feel we have been treated, is upsetting.”

He insisted the event would go ahead in a different “non-council owned” venue “no matter who or what gets in our way.”

Last year’s event ended in chaos, with around 600 festival-goers being turned away from the annual celebration after too many tickets were sold.

Hundreds of people were refused entrance into the festival site at Kelvingrove Park, including those who paid for premium VIP tickets.

The outrage resulted in a major shake up of Pride Glasgow with a restructuring of the board and leadership.

It also encouraged to a group of activists to organise their own rival, free Pride event, dubbed Mardi Gla.

It’s due to run in the city next month.

According to Pride Glasgow’s latest accounts, the festival spent £52,233 more than they raised in the financial year ending September 2018.

Launching the new event last month, Lang said they wanted to put last year’s shambles behind them: “Actions speak louder than words, and the only way we can demonstrate that we are a more professional, ethical and trustworthy organisation, is to manage the 2019 event with the highest level of professionalism.”