Madrid is one of the hippest gay cities in the world — and to prove it, this year the Spanish captital will be hosting WorldPride, the largest LGBTQ event in the world. WorldPride Madrid will be celebrated from June 23 to July 2 — 10 full days! And as the city’s slogan says, “Whomever you love, Madrid loves you.”
There’s a lot planned for WorldPride Madrid, including an International Human Rights Conference with activists from around the globe. There will be artists from several countries performing onstage, not to mention parties all over Madrid’s famed gayborhood, Chueca, with sexy artists and hunky athletes all around. And, of course, there’s going to be a huge parade.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first LGBTQ pride marches in Spain. Ever since, the local queer community has been working to make Madrid a beacon of equality. It’s working, too. In 2005, Spain became the third country in the world to recognize same-sex marriage.
To get to the heart of WorldPride Madrid 2017, we sat down with Miguel Sanz, Madrid’s Director of Tourism, and Juan Carlos Alonso, Madrid Pride Organizer, for an exclusive interview.
WorldPride will bring many people to Madrid — what do you hope first-time visitors learn about Spain’s culture?
Miguel Sanz: The way we coexist, how we respect each other and love our culture and diversity. Everyone is different, but that’s what we have in common. One other thing, I want them to learn the difference between sangria and calimocho!
Juan Carlos Alonso: We in Madrid say, “When you come to Madrid, you are from Madrid.” We welcome you —you are one of us! This motto is in our DNA. So when you are here, you’ll celebrate as a true Spaniard.
How will WorldPride in Madrid be different than Pride celebrations held elsewhere in the world?
Alonso: Being the hosts of WorldPride, we are committed to making our guests feel like they’re home. Every single Pride celebration in the world is important, but this year Madrid has to demonstrate its voice and its strength.
Sanz: Millions of people from 68 different countries will be here. All those cultures mixing together will enrich us all. There will be something for everyone.
What are you most looking forward to during this year’s WorldPride?
Sanz: The number of people from all over the world — and how the locals will welcome all these people. That’s why this year’s tagline is “Whomever you love, Madrid loves you.”
Alonso: We’re looking forward to everyone having a good time. The people are the most important thing — the community. We’re expecting around 3 million people this year.
Here’s the Schedule for WorldPride Madrid 2017:
June 23 — Opening Ceremony
June 26 — Human Rights Conference at the Autonomous University of Madrid
June 28 — WorldPride Park opens to the public. It will host vendors, organizations and a number of activities for all ages.
June 28 — Pride Proclamation, the kick-off to all the pride parties!
July 1 — WorldPride Parade
July 2 — Closing Ceremony
If you can’t make it to this year’s WorldPride, be sure to book a flight to New York City, host of WorldPride 2019.