For our upcoming Advocate Issue, we spoke with Philip Howell-Williams, the director of Pink Season for the third year in a row, about running Asia’s largest LGBT+ festival. Planning 6 weeks of events and getting them funded is no simple task. It takes months of planning, lots of late nights, and more than a few therapy beers. We wanted to know, is he a sucker for punishment or one of Hong Kong’s many busy advocates?
What is Pink Season advocating for this year?
The theme for 2018 is supporting and giving back to the community. Over the last few years, we’ve built upon a solid foundation of educational seminars. We have great relationships with other NGO’s. A lot of the education is there to help people in various situations, whether it be in their career or dealing with depression and how to find help. We are also reaching out to minority groups within the community this year through events like the CultureFest art weekend.
What’s new for Pink Season 2018?
First of all, you probably noticed we got a gorgeous rebranding facelift to update our logo. We brought back a lot of the old favourites, like the Variety Show, Sports Day and Out in the Open, but they are bigger and better this year! Added a lot of new events, like an amazing series of drag queen workshops where people can learn this wonderful art form for free. Have expanded the range of the educational seminars. We have revived the family day at Disneyland. The Art Tuesday events from last year have been condensed into CultureFest, an incredible weekend supporting local LGBT+ artists and charities. We’ve even introduced an event about computer gaming for everyone to enjoy.
You probably can’t pick a favourite event, but what are you really excited about this year?
I’m really excited about the whole season. There are so many great events! I’m really looking forward to the drag workshops and the art weekend. I always love Out in the Open, not just because it means all of the hard work is out of the way, but because we have some amazing surprises in store and a new format for this headlining event.
Congratulations on winning the Community Business Impact Award last year! Other than awards, what keeps you coming back for more year after year?
I’ve loved watching Pink Season grow and develop over the years. Although it’s a massive amount of work that not everyone is cut out for, being able to guide that development has been really enjoyable. I have made great friends while working on all of the events and it’s been really fun, believe it or not!
Full events calendar: www.pinkseason.hk