It’s Bournemouth’s pride festival this weekend but police have warned party-goers they may be arrest if they carry realistic toy guns.
Bourne Free has a “Wild West” theme this year with the festival starting on Thursday. It will see people wearing cowboy and indian outfits. Dorset Police said anyone carrying a gun that is too realistic needs a firearms licence and the event organisers are urgently spreading the warning.
Jonathan Spencer from Bourne Free, has said, “We gave the police our proposals in February, but we were only told about this last week. I’ve had to phone round all the fancy dress shops.”
A police spokesman commented “We have not objected to the use or display of guns which are obviously toys. The safety of the public is our primary concern and we have a duty to ensure people are not alarmed or distressed. If any replica firearm is displayed in public that looks like the real thing then the legal requirement is that a firearms licence is obtained.”
Karina Gregory, the event press officer, said the schedule had been extended for three days to four days and that wristband sales were up. She said: “It’s certainly got local people interested. It’s difficult to compare with events in Brighton or Manchester because they are cities and we are a town. But this will be one of the most important events along the south coast.”
This year’s Wild West themed Bourne Free festival starts on Thursday with a hog roast and drag DJs from 5pm to 10pm in The Triangle (free event).
For the next three days, you need a £10 wristband to get into events. On Friday, there is another hog roast from 5pm to 10pm with entertainment including a Lady Gaga tribute act. On Saturday the festival parade starts at 1pm at Monkey Island car park on the East Cliff. It goes along the Overcliff, past the Royal Bath, along Westover Road, Yelverton Road, St Stephen’s Road, and into The Square, arriving at The Triangle for 2pm.
Find out more: www.bournefree.co.uk