Although the Utah Pride Center is still counting numbers, the 2008 Utah Pride Festival appears to have been more widely attended than last year’s.
“It felt so much bigger this year than it felt in years past,” said Yana Walton, Director of Communications at the Utah Pride Center – the organization that puts on the Utah Pride Festival each year.
“We had about 150 exhibitors this year, we had a little over a hundred last year, so that was a dramatic increase in just community participation,” she said. “And almost all our sponsors came back and increased their levels of sponsorship.” The festival also got new corporate sponsors, she added, including Hilton Hotels.
“Our numbers for Saturday were 2,700 for the Meshell Ndegeocello concert and I think it was 1,700 for the Saturday concert last year,” she said.
Although Walton said the Center had “a hard time tracking bodies” because volunteers and vendors did not have tickets, they estimate so far that they had 15,000 paying attendees on Sunday.
“We definitely think it’s much, much more than that, but that’s the best we can do at the moment,” she said, adding that the Center estimates that the number is closer to “at least 20,000.”
The problem in getting more definite numbers, said Walton, comes from the ticket system itself. Without being able to scan each individual attendee into a database, Walton said that estimates have to be used. Eventually, she said the Center hopes to switch to a scanning system to keep a better count of how many people attend.
Walton also said the Utah Pride Center will release the financial information about the festival, including how much it made, later this summer.