Utah Pride Center makes changes to reinvigorate festival after tumult of 2023

May 30, 2024, 6:00 AM

A participant walks in the Utah Pride Parade in Salt Lake City on June 4, 2023. Utah Pride Center r...

A participant walks in the Utah Pride Parade in Salt Lake City on June 4, 2023. Utah Pride Center reduced entry fees and reached out to other LGBTQ advocacy groups to bolster interest in this year's Pride festival, scheduled for this weekend. (Ryan Sun, Deseret News)

(Ryan Sun, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Expect a lower entry fee to the Utah Pride Festival this weekend as officials with the LGBTQ advocacy group aim to draw a larger crowd and reinvigorate the event.

After a period of uncertainty brought on by money issues, Utah Pride Center officials have scaled back the budget of the premier Pride event in the state and lowered ticket prices. General admission is $20 per day of the festival, down from $30 last year, and there was also an “early bird” price of $15 for those who bought tickets early.

“We want to make sure we’re as accessible as possible,” said Chad Call, the center’s executive director. “A $30 price tag is a pretty steep price if you’re a family of four. I’d like to see an even more accessible price in the future.”

Around 56,000 people attended the two days of the festival in 2022, falling to around 25,000 last year, Call said. He’s hoping for attendance of around 50,000 for this year’s festival, set for Saturday and Sunday and to be held in Washington Square Park surrounding the Salt Lake City-County Building in downtown Salt Lake City.

In the name of fostering unity, Utah Pride officials are also making a conscious and concerted effort to reach out to other Utah LGBTQ advocacy groups for this year’s installment.

For the first time, other Pride organizations can install booths at no cost at the festival in a section dubbed Rainbow Alley. “As Utah’s premier Pride organization, we really are tasked with serving the state as a whole,” Call said.

How much will it cost? 

Utah Pride Center finances came under intense scrutiny last year after the majority of the organization’s staffers were laid off due to a spike in spending for the 2023 festival that left the organization mired in debt.

The sale this year of the organization’s old location covered the debt. Call said the center, while now a much smaller organization, has since achieved a measure of stability. Call took over as leader of the Utah Pride Center following the departure last March of Ryan Newcomb, who held the post for around six months.

Still, details of the spending issues that led to last year’s layoffs have not been publicly disclosed as what Call called a “forensic audit” of the 2023 budget continues.

The 2022 installment of the festival cost just under $1 million, Call said, before spiking to a level that has not yet been publicly revealed.

This year’s scaled-back festival budget is based on the spending plan of 2022 and will cost just over $1 million.

Read the full story at

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Arts + Entertainment

Music and the Spoken word getting new voice...

Adam Small

Iconic voice of ‘Music and the Spoken Word’ to present his final program

Lloyd Newell who has presented "Music and the Spoken Word" for 35 years will be stepping down from his position.

6 hours ago

tuesday movie poster next to ksl movie show host steve salles...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Tuesday’ is a movie you need to experience for yourself

In this KSL Movie Show review, we explore "Tuesday," which personifies death as a talking macaw.

9 hours ago

ksl movie show host steve salles stands next to inside out 2 movie poster...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Inside Out 2’ is almost as good as the original

Is the long-anticipated movie "Inside Out 2" as good as the original? KSL Movie Show host Steve Salles says no, but it’s pretty darn close!

10 hours ago

Arraignment for driver, Kent Cody Barlow today...

Heather Peterson, Diana Jones

Arraignment for driver accused of killing two boys in Eagle Mountain on Wednesday

The accused, Kent Cody Barlow, was reportedly driving over 100 mph when he crashed into Cedar Valley Stables.

2 days ago

LA Clippers executive board member Jerry West attends a game between the Orlando Magic and the Hous...

Devin Oldroyd

Inspiration behind NBA logo, Jerry West dies at 86

The inspiration for the NBA's logo and famed former basketball player Jerry West has died. West was 86-years-old. 

3 days ago

A rendering of a proposed "sports, entertainment, culture and convention center" surrounding Delta ...

Carter Williams,

Delta Center renovations could begin next year. Here’s what some of Smith’s plans look like

Construction to remodel the Delta Center could begin as early as April 2025, Smith Entertainment Group officials said Tuesday.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Utah Pride Center makes changes to reinvigorate festival after tumult of 2023