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The Rise of the LGBTQ+ Music Festival.

Andy Robertson

Since the emergence of Gay Pride events in the late 70s in many of the world's largest cities their popularity has spawned some great new music festivals. From LGBTQ+ friendly festivals a new genre of music festival has emerged in recent years targeted specifically at the LGBTQ+ community.


The early Prides included iconic events like the Orgullo Gay de Madrid (MADO) that started in 1978 to become one of the biggest pride parades in the world, staying with a European theme the CSD Berlin (Christopher Street Day) has been taking place since June 1979. Other notable pride parades include the Rio de Janeiro Gay Pride Parade which first took place in 1995. This is just an example of the longest running pride parades but they do take place in most cities around the world, usually in June, which is LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

As the popularity of pride events increased over the years more LGBTQ+ specific festivals have emerged and built a considerable following. The following is just a small sample of the many festivals that take place around the world every year (2020 excepted). Despite targeting the LGBTQ+ community these events of course are open to all and everyone is welcome.

The Outing, Ireland.
A three-day festival with a focus on matchmaking and queer arts activities along with nightly parties and the usual array of kitsch acts and for 2021 will take place over Valentines weekend.

Circuit, Barcelona, Spain (Pattaya, Thailand).
The self-confessed biggest International Gay Festival is scheduled to go ahead in August 2021 and straddles three weekends. Providing an array of music, parties and water park fun there is something for everyone. For those prepared to travel further Circuit are now also holding Circuit Asia that will take place in Pattaya, Thailand, in June 2021.

Milkshake, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
One of the must attend LGBTQ+ festivals Milkshake is a two-day dance music festival that is the result of collaboration between two of the city’s biggest clubs, Paradiso and AIR. The 2021 event is scheduled for the end of July.

Gaytimes, Victoria, Australia.
Gaytimes last took place in early 2020 and their next festival is now scheduled for 2022 giving 2021 a miss. Gaytimes features performers, visual arts, yoga, talks, workshops, camping, glamping, cocktail bars, speciality coffee, food trucks and much more. 

Queerfest, Russia.
This annual event has previously been targeted by attacks or demonstrations from those in Russia who still hold a prohibitive attitude towards homosexuality. The festival is mostly free to attend plus some exclusive night parties that require tickets. 

TropOut, Phuket Thailand.
For those looking for a bit of fun in the sun
TropOut will be taking place on Thailand's Phuket Island in 2021 with a mixture of beach parties, music and other tourist activities common in Thailand like yoga, massage and touring.

For festival organisers planning their events for 2021 using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need to plan every aspect of their event. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, vendors, volunteers, sponsors guestlists and ticketing.

Image by Markus Spiske via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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