Queenstown Winter Pride will go ahead even if borders are closed, organisers confirm

They've done it before, and they'll do it again if they have to.
They've done it before, and they'll do it again if they have to. Photo credit: Getty Images

With the Tasman travel bubble on hold for the time being, there’s a bit of uncertainty from some travellers as to whether future international events will even take place.

One event that has attracted hundreds of Australians to New Zealand every year is Winter Pride in Queenstown, and the organisers say the event is going ahead at the end of August, regardless of whether there is a bubble or not.

"We are very optimistic about the borders being open again by then, if not with all states, then the majority of them. It’s still two months away and runs for ten days so we are confident," Martin King, the event organiser told Newshub.

In 2020 the event ran successfully under level two with an entirely domestic audience.

"Winter Pride planning is proceeding full steam ahead to deliver the festival, including ensuring all our COVID plans are in place and with support of the relevant authorities," King said.

"It will be as per 2020, we will go ahead with all the relevant Covid-19 measures in place locally with support from relevant authorities." 

Booking numbers suggest Australians were keen to penetrate the New Zealand bubble as soon as it was possible, with 98 percent of ticketed events selling out weeks ago.

Much like in 2019, this year’s event looks set to be a trans-Tasman affair, with a 50/50 split in ticket sales between New Zealand and Australia. In 2019, numbers were slightly less, with 10 percent of visitors coming from further afield - as far away as the United Kingdom.

King says the event appeals to Australians because it's not like any other on this side of the world. Unlike every other pride festival, this one takes place in the coldness of winter.

"Aussies love the culture and dynamic of the festival, with members of the community coming from all over and meeting in Queenstown.

"They also love the mix and diversity of events, such as WOOF! The Dog Show.  The events are a bit more boutique and bespoke, much different to larger events like Mardi Gras. 

"Then, of course, the incredible scenery and wonderful activities that Queenstown has to offer - all with some rainbow added during the festival," King said.

Winter Pride takes place from August 27 to September 5.