Madrid started off the city’s first WorldPride festival yesterday at the Plaza de Pedro Zerolo. The festival, which runs through until Sunday, is set to bring over two million people to the area, with many of the cities hotels selling out.
Madrid square was packed with people celebrating lesbian, gay and transgender rights showing the success of the launch.
Across the next few days there will be a whole host of events, including open-air concerts, a “drag race” with men in high heels as well as a Mr. Gay Spain competition.
The 2014 Eurovision song contest winner, Conchita Wurst, the bearded drag queen is amongst those acts set to perform. On Saturday, the festival will host a huge parade down the Paseo del Prado.
You can expect theatre events, food trucks, workshops, as well as some activities tailored especially for kids; from Lego-building to face painting.
Madrid city council showed their support for the LGBT community with a giant rainbow flag made with more than 100,000 ribbons tied by citizens, which hung over the façade of the city hall.
The city has also installed nearly 300 traffic lights on pedestrian crossings that depict same or different-sex couples holding hands, either crossing the street or standing. This comes as part of an initiative by the administration of left-wing mayor Manuela Carmena.
Although Gay Pride is held each summer in Madrid, this is the first year it has hosted the World Pride celebrations and it is expected to be bigger than ever.
If you’re looking for a party, then the best place to head to is Chueca, known for being Madrid’s main gay neighbourhood, which has a huge nightlife scene and will play host to street pride celebrations.
The closing party will take place this Sunday, the 2nd of July, where the baton will officially be passed on to New York, who will host the WorldPride celebrations in 2019.