Various Voices is a pan-European gay choral festival that takes places every four years with cities competing for the honour of hosting the event. Various Voices London 2009 is the 12th festival, originally known as The European Festival of Song. The host city for the event is chosen by Legato, the European umbrella organisation for lesbian and gay choirs. The last Various Voices, in 2005, was held in Paris.
London’s bid for Various Voices 2009 was spearheaded by London’s three host choirs: The London Gay Men’s Chorus, The Pink Singers and Diversity.
Team London, the organising committee of Various Voices London 2009, are all volunteers. It is the first time that a consortium of UK amateur organisations has collaborated on a large scale with a major international cultural organisation – London’s Southbank Centre. A project development team led by Emma Dunton has been engaged to work alongside the hundreds of volunteers to deliver the festival.
Executive Chair Martin Brophy says “it has been an exciting challenge to lead this festival since its inception and to work with Southbank Centre to realise our vision to create a fun, interesting, artistically diverse festival that is welcoming to everyone”.