Amsterdam Pride 2015
A week of parties and events leads up to a blowout weekend of festivities including the world-famous canal parade on the second Saturday of the event. Amsterdam's famous liberal-mindedness over the years has encouraged a welcoming and safe environment for gays, lesbians and transgenders to both visit and live in. The city's gay rights history, from early-day tolerance to modern Mayoral celebrants has meant Amsterdam has always been at the world forefront in striving for equality for the gay community.
We are proud
Amsterdam Gay Pride remains one of the biggest and best celebrations of its kind around the globe. It traditionally takes place around the first weekend of August every year, drawing more than 350,000 gay and straight participants and visitors to stay and play in Amsterdam. The city is a rainbow of events in gay and straight venues alike, from dance parties to film festivals, sporting events, culture and more.
Amsterdam Gay Pride parties & events
During Gay Pride, Amsterdam is bursting with special parties, events and activities. We'll publish our tips below in due course and check out the Amsterdam Gay Pride website for the complete low-down on what's happening across the city.
Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade
The canal parade is the festival's centrepiece, where lavishly decorated barges give the term 'float' a literal meaning. On the second Saturday of the festival, participants on 80 vessels soak up the Dutch sun and put on a show with their onboard DJs, show-stopping themes and plenty of smiles, pleasing all spectators on the banks of the Prinsengracht and Amstel River. Smaller boats line the canal walls and at the mouths of adjoining canals, enjoying the party by shimmying up to each other, forming a huge flotilla of fun.
Check out some Amsterdam Gay Pride 2013 highlights in the below video for an idea of what's in store:
Alternative Amsterdam Gay Pride events
An annual spectacle is the Drag Queen Olympics with events like the Stiletto Sprint, Handbag Discus and the 'Tug of Love'. Like a dressage competition, looks are as important as sporting prowess. All kings and queens are welcome on this rearranged yet even playing field, taking place at the Homomonument.
As always, Amsterdam Gay Pride is open to all, be they male or female, and ladies are invited to gather at any time at the L-Meeting Point at Saarein, which is the base for LesBian Pride. Special events are traditionally also hosted at IHLIA, the city's gay archive and library, and also on the sixth floor of the Amsterdam Public Library (OBA).
Events are essentially for all ages, but the festival's Grey Pride programme provides debates and performances that are geared towards a more mature audience.