The annual Fireman’s Ball party will not take place during Johannesburg’s Pride season this year, in part because of the dissent and confusion that has surrounded multiple Prides.
The event, which has been held as an unofficial Joburg Pride after-party for the last six years, has traditionally been the gay community’s biggest bash in the city – attracting up to 3,000 revellers.
It had been scheduled to take place on Saturday 28 September, after that day’s Johannesburg Pride event.
On Friday, Fireman’s Ball promoter Pieter Rossouw told Mambaonline that he’s decided to move the event to November instead.
“We with all the drama around Pride and no clear leader emerging to unite everybody we thought it’s best to move it,” he said.
Rossouw added that “We believe that the event can stand on its own”. He admitted that plans for at least one of the city’s Prides to hold its own after-party, also played a role in the decision.
Rossouw commented that the move might actually benefit his party: “I’ve also thought that a good Pride day event actually hurts us in the night. People spend the day in the sun and do they have the energy to go out at night?”
This year’s Fireman’s Ball will now take place on 30 November at the Tiger Tiger nightclub and the Fourways Mall Entertainment Zone.
Rossouw revealed that the party will undergo a name change to The Firefighter’s Ball “to be inclusive of boys and girls”.
Johannesburg Pride on 28 September will host its own after-party into the early hours of the morning at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown.
Johannesburg’s People’s Pride on 5 October will, however, not hold an after-party. “Because we are all for inclusivity and support of any/all LGBTI-owned businesses, we shall NOT be having an official JHBPP after-party,” said the organisers on Facebook. “Instead, private organisers will put together their lovely plans for parties on the day then we shall give everyone those options.”