As more and more countries start to celebrate equality and diversity of all kinds – more and more Pride events are beginning to spring up all over the world. Gay Pride festivals are a brilliant reason to travel to a new destination or to time your trip to coincide with the party. Pride events are usually a long affair, with parties lasting from two days to a week. Often they are celebrated in conjuncture with wider fringe festivals that include film events, live music, theater, marches and family-friendly events which can keep you entertained and educated for a couple of weeks. Pride Festivals are important cultural landmarks for many reasons; they do a lot to raise funds and awareness for marginalized communities and health programs, and they give people a safe space to celebrate who they are in all their wonderful differences. They are also some of the best and biggest parties you will ever attend in your life – so be sure to be armed with your best party shirt and some dancing stamina when you pick any of the following Mardi Gras in 2016!
Berlin, Germany – May 28th-June 26th
Berliners are known for their partying stamina and their anything-goes attitude. A city that seems to have a natural acceptance of all things diverse sees the wider pride fringe running for almost a month; but the big day is June 25th when everybody gathers at the Brandenburg Gate for the parade and party.
San Francisco, USA – June 25th and 26th
One of the most famous pride celebrations of all time, San Fran pride is absolutely huge. The location of the parade, City Hall, is famous for being where Harvey Milk addressed activists over 30 years ago when he was in office.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands – 31st July – 2nd August
Amsterdam is known for many things, its coffee shops and parties being world renowned. The pride festival however, stands out for its cultural events and focus on a strong programme of sports – with tennis, volleyball, running and soccer all on the agenda.
Brighton, UK – 5th -7th August
Brighton is definitely the gayest place in all of the UK. Nobody really knows why this is, but the people of Brighton seem to be really proud of how gay friendly their city is, and this creates a really welcoming atmosphere for the Pride celebration in summer. The whole town gets involved, gay or straight, and people are partying on the beach well into the morning.
Cape Town, South Africa – 24th Feb – 4th March
The only really big Pride celebration in Africa, Cape Town Pride Festival stands out as a beacon of acceptance in a country with a lot of issues surrounding diversity of all kinds. The week launches with a huge cocktail party which is pretty fabulous.
Sydney, Australia – 19th February – 6th March
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival brings together a diverse array of events from sports, theatre and performance to visual arts, talks and forums, a massive picnic in the park and of course a huge party in the harbour. Look out for Kylie Minogue.