This years’ Pride Festival will not only be bigger than ever, it will also mark the launch of the new Drinks On The Go program which will allow festival-goers to consume alcohol while continuing to explore the licensed area. While licensing a festival area has been legal since 2011, 2018 will be the first year Pride Toronto is implementing this change.
“We are putting parameters around the consumption of alcohol in the street during the festival,” says Pride Toronto Festival Director Collin Joseph. “We hope this will improve the festival and are working with the AGCO and using the LCBO’s Under 25 program to make sure this is done as safely as possible.”
This program is a partnership between Pride Toronto and the Church-Wellesley Village BIA. There are many businesses along Church Street and festival organizers hope the Drinks On The Go program will allow more patrons to visit these businesses over the weekend. Increased security presence will help ensure the festival remains safe for all attendees.
For sober and underage attendees, Pride Toronto is also expanding our sober or “dry” areas. The newly expanded area south of Carlton, which includes the Wellness Zone, will be unlicensed. In addition, the programming by our Clean, Sober and Proud group will continue at the Paul Kane House Parkette. Other dry areas will include: Family Pride (Church Street Public School), all parkettes, Allan Gardens, and the Loblaws Canteen. The entire festival will continue to be all-ages as participation in Drinks On The Go is voluntary, and all stages will have all-ages areas.
Interested attendees can purchase a wristband online from June 6th until June 18th. They can also be purchased at the Drinks on the Go kiosks along Church Street, as well as the Bud Light stage – Wellesley Stage and Beverage Garden and the OLG – Central Stage. For online orders, attendees can pick up their wristband at any of the stations mentioned above where you will have your ID and bag checked. To receive your wristband you must have your ID and bag checked, and all participants will be required to sign a form consenting to these checks.
Drinks On The Go hours will be from on Friday, June 22 from 7:00 p.m.-1:30 a.m., Saturday, June 23 from 12:00 p.m.-1:30 a.m., and Sunday, June 24 from 12:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
Drinks on the Go programming
- Pride Toronto has announced that festival-goers will be able to purchase and consume drinks in the area extending down Church Street from Isabella Street to Carlton St.
- There will be 2 ID checkpoints where festival-goers can purchase a wristband for $10 a day or $25 (plus applicable taxes and fees) for the weekend, with identification required for purchase
- Wristbands can also be purchased online in advance and picked up at these checkpoints
- Festival-goers can still have their ID requested by security at any time to prevent underage attendees from using another person’s wristband
- All participants will sign a form agreeing to be ID’d and have their bags checked
- VIP and Sponsor passes will act in lieu of these wristbands
- There will be increased security presence in this area
- Additional security personnel will be positioned in the Drinks on the Go area
- Clearly marked volunteers will be monitoring for safety and neighborhood security
- There will be additional washroom facilities available as well as signage to encourage respect and consideration for local neighbors
- Recycling facilities and cleaning will also be increased
- Sober and all-ages events and stages will continue to be part the festival
- The expanded festival area south of Carlton St. will to be unlicensed
- Participation in Drinks on the Go is voluntary and everyone can explore the festival without being ID’d or purchasing a wristband
- Pride Toronto discourages excessive drinking and encourages attendees to drink responsibly
- Festival-goers cannot consume alcohol purchased from retailers outside the Drinks on the Go area
- EMS services will continue to be available on most side streets
- Pride Toronto is partnering with several businesses as well as the local BIA to support Church Wellesley area businesses
- Partnering local businesses will be highlighted with signage so festival attendees can find Drinks on the Go partners along the street
- Partner businesses will continue to manage their own security and ID patrons
- Patio areas are not included in the Drinks on the Go area and are the responsibility of the business itself to monitor
- The LCBO Under 25 ID program will be utilized to deter underage drinking
- Pride Toronto team members will meet with the security team each night to assess the program and determine if any changes are required
- The Drinks on the Go area can be reduced or cancelled if significant issues arise
Tickets can be purchased from: www.universe.com/pridedrinksonthego