Pride was worth the pretty penny, City Hall says

West Hollywood has deemed its first Pride festival a resounding success, even though it came with a heftier price tag than was predicted.

At their meeting on Monday night, City Council will likely initiate a multi-year agreement with Jeff Consoletti and his company, JJLA, to continue producing on a yearly basis the WEHO Pride event they created this past June. The proposal they will consider also includes an interim $25,000 contract for Consoletti so that he can start soliciting corporate sponsors for the 2023 festivities.

WEHO Pride 2022 was budgeted at slightly more than $1.9 million — but the actual total cost topped $2.75 million, a difference of about $850,000. 

Public safety — which included security for the parade and festival plus law enforcement services provided by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department — was the largest expense at $1.5 million. 

The event services provided by JJLA were allocated $1.006 million but ended up costing $1.18 million. JJLA’s services contract including contingency rose from $546,000 to $677,000, and funds allocated for their parade contract were nearly $100,000 short of the actual cost. The city’s float alone cost $25,000.

JJLA was able to secure 22 corporate sponsors in only four months ahead of the festival, raising a total of $431,000, $234,000 of which was returned to the city. Nissan was the largest donor with a $65,000 presenting sponsorship. The list also included companies such as AHF, Anheuser Busch, Citibank, Jet Blue and Kaiser Permanente.

Perhaps the biggest winner was OUTLOUD, JJLA’s annual music festival which was incorporated into WEHO Pride as a live concert series. The three-day event headlined by Lil Kim and Jessie J drew almost 23,000 ticketed attendees and was streamed to 750,000 viewers worldwide.

Despite the price hikes, city staff’s review of WEHO Pride is rosy all around.

The review’s “key takeaways” make only minor suggestions such as streamlining the application process for the Community Street Fair and changing times and dates of the Women’s Freedom Festival and Dyke March to accommodate more attendees.

If approved, Consoletti and JJLA will be able to plan the city’s future WEHO Pride events without the time constraints they faced this year — and overcame in spectacular fashion.

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About Brandon Garcia
Brandon Garcia is editor of WEHOville. He oversees the website's editorial direction and creates original content such as news reports, photo and video features, digital art work and advertisements. A native of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, he now lives in WeHo and is a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community. @brandoninthebubble on Instagram

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Drinking, partying, parades
Drinking, partying, parades
1 month ago

Drinking, partying, parades, endless festivals, drinking, partying. parades, endless festivals…………………………….the motto of West Hollywood no credence to the essentials of living healthy lives in the 21st century with its tricky environment.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
1 month ago

Are we gonna have the Halloween Carnival this year?

Curtis
Curtis
1 month ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

No…..it was cancelled

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
1 month ago
Reply to  Curtis

I know it was cancelled but I thought maybe they had changed their minds. There were those who suggested it might still happen.

Mourning Joe
Mourning Joe
1 month ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

No, the middle-aged and old political hacks on West Hollywood City Council didn’t want it. Basically because they’re so out of touch with anything r that is not about woke and equity and block by block and pedophile friendly toilets turning West Hollywood from boys Town into SHE town.

JF1
JF1
1 month ago
Reply to  Mourning Joe

The majority of the council is not old by any stretch.

:dpb
:dpb
1 month ago

West Hollywood Pride 2022 was AWESOME. I have not been a fan of the previous LA Prides produced by Christopher Street West.
The one thing I would change is, children and teens should get free admission to the festival.

Same Producer
Same Producer
1 month ago
Reply to  :dpb

Interesting that you liked this pride but not CSW’s, Jeff Consoletti produced both.

Michael G Labarbera
Michael G Labarbera
1 month ago

As a senior and long-time resident of West Hollywood I thought OUR Pride celebration was great. Not too long, not too big and featured businesses who have been active supporters of the LGBTQ community rather than those corporations looking for publicity/dollars. Considering the short amount of time allotted to put it together I thought it was wonderful. It’s high time something in OUR CITY felt like OURS.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 month ago

It would be interesting to see what the hotel occupancy levels were this Pride weekend compared to weekends prior and after. Also what were the revenues generated by the tickets for the musical festival. While Pride was never about just about bottom lines, there are a number of different markers upon which we can measure success.

Randy
Randy
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

We are thinking exactly the same way. This isn’t just about how much the city spent, it is also about the revenue. I did not go this year, so I have no opinion on how the event went, or if I would’ve liked it. One thing I do not like: is the concept of an expensive music festival. I’m not sure what that has to do with pride. Perhaps I’m just getting too old. I just remember the “good old days,” when it was the same price for almost everyone, and the entertainment was included. Now we give the major… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Randy
WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
1 month ago
Reply to  Randy

I think this new version of Pride is confusing as well. I remember the excitement of marching in a parade and then celebrating with friends. That was all I needed and I felt grateful and privileged to participate. Now it’s all complicated and expensive, but that’s the way a lot of gays are now, as if they’re in some race to prove that they’re rich.

Out of Proportion
Out of Proportion
1 month ago

Way overdone and too expensive. 🙄
In a city like West Hollywood the focus should be using funds for issues that noticeably help people rather than fanning egos. Out of proportion!

SeeMe
SeeMe
1 month ago

The actual intention of the Pride parade/festival is to help bring visibility to a specific (LGBTQ+) population and to decrease stigma. I know its existence was of great help and importance to me as I was coming out. Is my ego out of proportion for being grateful for this?

Out of Proportion
Out of Proportion
1 month ago
Reply to  SeeMe

Glad to hear you are grateful. Creating an extravaganza does not appear to be along that line, it brings on out of proportion behavior and appears to be focused on commerciality and spectacle.

Maga Mourning Joe
Maga Mourning Joe
1 month ago

Two million for what any small city would call just a little festival. To satisfy the egos of these dreadful people on that city council. Especially the SHE. They’re waving at a parade the long past them by. But, how much money in kickback are these political hacks getting? We know someone is getting a big commission or kick back on block by block. Does the dollar sign shine on Shyne or Erickson?

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
1 month ago

1.) I was going to comment that $2.75 million could permanently house a lot of people, but housing is so expensive in WeHo, that isn’t true. 2.) Everyone needs to encourage the City to take out the budget for the Sheriff completely. I think it would an interesting experiment. Especially after all of that complaining we had to hear about scary deputies, paywalls and Ms. Italy looking for her phone at the City Council meeting. 3.) Will Jackie Steele come out of hiding to make some rapid fire comments at the next meeting? Or, will she call in? If she… Read more »

Michael Yanak
Michael Yanak
1 month ago
Reply to  WeHo Mary!

2.75 million may not house many in WEHO But it sure as hell would have purchased alot of groceries for WEHO residents who stuggke with high rent costs. Take a walk on our side streets at night and acutally notice how many people are living in there cars. WEHO PRIDE and its parade lost its way a long time ago. Cancel it permanently

Roy Oldenkamp
Roy Oldenkamp
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Yanak

Our city reserves are in the many millions. Perhaps they could be tapped to help out the citizens? We need PRIDE more than ever before, with right wing “Christian” bigotry on the rise.

Tom Smart
Tom Smart
1 month ago

How does that work with AHF (AIDS Healthcare Foundation) being a sponsor? They are a non-profit charity who receives funding/donations from a wide variety of sources and they turn around and Sponsor a pride event by giving a big sum of money for that opportunity? Crazy

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom Smart

I’ve been asking all of these questions for years, but I think, in this case, it’s considered community outreach. I’m sure they tested a bunch of people, threw condoms around, and handed out pamphlets about PrEP.

WeHo conscience
WeHo conscience
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom Smart

AHF also sponsors an expensive fully decked out float in the Annual Rose Parade. Quite the extravagance.

Joe Bologna
Joe Bologna
1 month ago

I’m so (gloriously) old that I can remember when we actually had a great gay pride festival in L.A. I’m still confused by what went on the last couple years.

Last edited 1 month ago by Joe Bologna
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