Europride 2018 in Sweden kicked off to a grand start last Friday in Stockholm, with a wide array of events and activities scheduled throughout the week – including an amped up Human Rights conference showcasing leading international speakers and thought leadership programs.
True to its theme, the official entertainment program offers up a Eurocentric lineup of live performances by beloved Eurovision Song Contest stars Eleni Fourerira and Conchita, as well as some world-renowned Swedish music acts. It’s a surprise to some, but Sweden is the third biggest exporter of popular music on the planet.
Stockholm’s local community and businesses promise to throw a dizzying series of parties this week – including a live performance with the latest Eurovision champion, Netta and a residency by Spanish superclub Matinee. The week culminates in a colorful parade across the city over the weekend — now expected to exceed previous attendance figures of a Pride that is already the biggest in all Scandinavia.
And that’s not all. Running concurrently with the celebrations, the country’s tourism authority, VisitSweden will be launching its new global online platform to inspire LGBT+ travelers to visit the country at www.visitsweden.lgbt.
Under a campaign banner that reads “Open to Everyone,” their microsite 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.
Stockholm has been the nexus of Europride for three decades running (the city served as host for the landmark event in both 1998 and 2008), but this year, the city shares Pride with Sweden’s companion city Gothenburg. The two city’s programs combined translates to 15 consecutive days of 800 individual programs and events where revelers can expect everything from international artists to important seminar and workshops across all the Europride Houses in both cities.
The celebration in Gothenburg promises to reach out across Europe and span the globe. The artists on hand to perform include Bananarama, Boy George and Culture Club, Ru Paul’s Drag Race winner Jinkx Monsoon and international art collective Rainbow Riots. At the same time, Gothenburg also plays host to the Goteborgs Kulturkalas, Scandinavia’s biggest free culture festival, offering up opera, art, music, carnival, theater and film. The dual events are being called two “celebrations in one – double the bang for your buck.”
Sweden (www.visitsweden.lgbt) is widely reputed to be among the most open-minded countries in the world. It’s a warm and welcoming diverse environment where homosexuality was decriminalized nearly 75 years ago. In fact, it’s often said Sweden has “been gay since 1944.” Beyond the weeks of Europride itself, this makes Sweden a destination of choice for gay travelers all year round, particularly in Stockholm and Gothenburg, who have for many years been proactively welcoming LGBT+ visitors to experience the stunning culture and their sense of community, not to mention a thriving avant-garde food scene and innovative approaches to design.
If you’re planning on being in NYC for WorldPride 2019, check out our WorldPride Guide.
Last modified: November 16, 2018