Europride is officially here, kicking off in Stockholm last Friday with the huge opening gala, before moving on to Sweden’s second, but equally gay city, Gothenburg.
This is the third time Europride has been held in Sweden – every decade since 1998 in fact – and its 15-day schedule is jam-packed with an astounding 800 individual programmes; everything from international artists to thought-provoking seminars and workshops across the Europride Houses in both cities.
The grand finale happens in Gothenburg on Sunday 19 August.
Stockholm and Gothenburg team up for Europride 2018
Sweden is one of the most liberal countries in the world. They decriminalized homosexuality back in 1944, so next year as the world celebrates 50 years since the Stonewall Riots, Sweden will have had 75 years of gay liberation, not to mention 10 years of equal marriage.
So, beyond Europride itself, this makes Sweden a fantastic destination for LGBTI travelers at any time of year. Stockholm claims to be the gay capital of Scandinavia and Gothenburg’s youthful, laid-back and open-minded vibe is definitely a draw for the community.
Both cities (and the country, in fact) has been proactively promoting to and welcoming LGBTI travelers for nearly a decade, but most won’t need to use that as an excuse to visit. It’s a country with a stunning culture and sense of community and is in touch with its natural beauty – both in its environment and its people. But dig deeper and you’ll find a truly innovative food scene and unparalleled approach to design.
But in the coming weeks, both cities will enjoy being both under and over the rainbow in the eyes of LGBT+ Europe and the rest of the world. Stockholm’s opening gala (the largest Pride festival in Scandinavia) will showcase Eurovision stars Eleni Fourerira and Conchita as well as much-loved, renowned Swedish music acts.
Music and Pride go hand-in-hand
There are too many to name – after all Sweden is the world’s third largest exporter of popular music. And that’s just what’s on the official line-up. The city’s local community and businesses are going to throw some outstanding parties – including a live PA with the latest Eurovision champion Netta and a residency by global superclub phenomenon Matinee.
Stockholm Pride’s Human Rights Conference is also being amplified this year, with a fascinating schedule of leading international speakers, debates and discussions.
Gothenburg also promises an attention-grabbing celebration. The city’s West Pride organization are proud to present Bananarama, Boy George and Culture Club, and Ru Paul’s Drag Race winner Jinkx Monsoon. At the same time, Gothenburg also plays host to the Goteborgs Kulturkalas, Scandinavia’s mammoth free culture festival, offering up art, music, performances, theatre and film. That’s two celebrations in one – double the bang for your buck.
And just in time for these celebrations, VisitSweden is proud to launch its new global, online platform to inspire LGBT+ travelers to visit the country at www.visitsweden.lgbt. The microsite, running under the campaign banner “Open to everyone” aims to demonstrate the country’s approach to LGBT+ diversity and inclusion when welcoming travelers from all around the world, through interesting stories from a series of world-class writers and content creators.
The site launches in English and German and aims to grow to more regions in the future. Scandi-philes can follow the conversation on Facebook at @VisitSwedenLGBT www.facebook.com/visitswedenlgbt and #VisitSwedenLGBT #OpenToEveryone
Visit Sweden LGBT is a partner of Gay Star News.