Prague Pride Festival returns with focus on 'coming out' but no parade this year

There will be concerts, sports, dance, picnics, and other public events – but due to crowd restrictions the parade is canceled again this year.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 04.06.2021 15:10 (updated on 04.06.2021)

The Prague Pride Festival is back, and will run from Aug. 2 through 8. While there will be many events including parties and concerts, there unfortunately won’t be a parade due to crowd restrictions.

The parade, usually of of the highlights of the summer, also had to be canceled in 2020. the last one was held in 2019.

“We are doing everything we can to organize an event that provides a safe and happy place, where anyone can be themselves,” festival director Tom Bílý said.

More events this year are outdoors, as that environment is safest from the spread of coronavirus.

The Pride Village at Střelecký Ostrov will offer drag performers, concerts, picnics and more. People can look forward to an opening concert on Aug. 2 and Drag Queen Night on Aug. 3. Throughout the rest of the week there will be sport activities, DJs, stand-up comedy, and dance performances. The festival is open to anyone, and most events have free entry.

Pride flag in Wenceslas Square in 2018. (Photo: Raymond Johnston)
Pride flag in Wenceslas Square in 2018. (Photo: Raymond Johnston)

More of the program is still being determined, but there will be spaces for music, dance, and theater performances as well as art exhibitions.

Since not everyone would be able to attend in person, there is also an online program on Facebook and YouTube. The Saturday Pride Live Stream will feature notable hosts, online debates, and workshops. Aside from the Pride Village, the other definite venues will be Pride House at Kasárna Karlín and Pride Life at Život 90 in Karoliny Světlé 18.

Debates and discussions will cover current issues and the influence of queer history. Politicians will share their views on equal marriage related topics. Workshops will address hate crime, hate speech, and domestic violence.

“We will also focus on the specifics of coming out for people from a variety of backgrounds, while also highlighting the specifics of non-binary, transgender, and all other queer people. Those events will take place at both the Pride House and Pride Life venues.” organizers said.

The festival goal is to support and create a safe environment for LGBT+ people. A study by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) shows only 18 percent of Czech LGBT+ people are open about their identity along with 9 percent in Slovakia and 7 percent in Poland in comparison to 43 percent in the Netherlands, 32 percent in Germany, and 32 percent in the UK.

Pride flag at City Hall in 2019. (Photo: Raymond Johnston)
Pride flag at City Hall in 2019. (Photo: Raymond Johnston)

“We aim to bring people together from our neighboring countries and provide them with strength and support, while also attracting LGBT+ visitors and their allies from the rest of the EU,” the organizers said.

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The Prague Pride festival has taken place every year in August since 2011. Nowadays, it is one of the biggest cultural events in the Czech Republic. The festival lasts a week and regularly presents over 100 cultural and social activities, public discussions, debates, sports events, and spiritual encounters.

It has welcomed significant foreign guests such as LGBT activist Omar Sharif Jr., the singer Conchita Wurst, the former Icelandic PM Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, the chairperson of the Dutch police group “Pink in Blue”, Ellie Lust, and the first transgender person ever elected in a parliament in Europe, Italian politician Vladimir Luxuria. In 2019, the Mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hřib officially hung the rainbow flag on City Hall for the first time.  

More information will be available of the festival website and Facebook page.

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