Five years after the first rainbow flags waved over the cobbled streets of our golden city, proud feet will once again march on Prague’s pavements. The annual Prague Pride parade and festival (August 10-16) is back to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender culture.
June of this year saw a huge win for the LGBT community with the legalization of same-sex marriage across the entire United States when the US Supreme Court ruled that state-level bans on same-sex marriages were unconstitutional.
Despite this victory, dark clouds loom. Here in Prague the archbishop issued a statement criticising Pride events held at St. Salvatore church. In Turkey, police fired water cannons and rubber pellets at parade participants. In Russia, the back lash from new laws against, “non-traditional sexual practices” has brought anti-gay protestors, blood, and violence to several parades.
Mads Nissen’s photo exhibition, “Homophobia in Russia”, on display in Wenceslas Square throughout the festival, shows the faces of those being affected by this new wave of extreme homophobia.
Nissen’s photos are only one of more than 100 events being featured in the week-long festival. There are also exhibitions, debates, concerts, cultural events, and a musical line-up as diverse as the parading crowds. Just a few of the highlights, below:
Opening night concert, August 10
The festival officially kicks off with 2014’s Eurovision song contest winner, Austrian performer Conchita Wurst, who is the featured artist of the Prague Pride 2015 Opening Concert. The singer has become popular for her music, her work for tolerance and equality as well as her well-groomed beard. The event will open the Pride Village on Strelecky Island in the center of Prague.
Located on the beautiful Strelecky Island on the Vltava River next to the Charles Bridge, the village will act as a central meeting point for festival activities. You can get general information about the festival, watch LGBT movies, play sports, and participate in lectures and discussion groups. You can also relax and enjoy various musical and stage performances.
Roger Hiorns extended for Prague Pride
Prague Pride visitors are getting an extra week to view works by contemporary British artist, Roger Hiorns, at the Rudolfinum gallery. The exhibition, open from August 11, focuses on the gap between what can be seen on the surface and what really lies beneath. Visitors can experience sculpture-like installations which combine industrial objects with elements of fire and young nudes in various poses.
The London Gay Men’s Chorus, August 14
The London Gay Men’s Chorus is Europe’s largest male-voice choir. Acting as a worldwide voice for the LGBT community, the choir has been entertaining audiences with their musical stylings since 1991. This one night only performance on August 14 at Nová scéna will showcase a wide range of music from pop to show tunes and will be opened by the Doodles, Prague’s own gay men’s chorus.
Dogtown Premiere, August 14
Israeli choreographer, Nadar Rosano, will premiere her new production, Dogtown, on August 14 at Pride Village. The dance project tells the stories of three men living behind walls who are looking for love. When they develop the ability to understand themselves they are able to break through their own walls and reach out.
The Parade, August 15
Reminiscent of Brazil’s carnival, the parade is a festival favorite. People will begin gathering on August 15 at 12:00 with the march starting at 13:00. This year’s parade will go from the top of Wenceslas Square and wind its way through the streets to Letná park where two DJ stages will be waiting to play you into the night. And, if that’s not enough, there is an afterparty at Roxy and NoD. Costumes, colors, and extravagance are encouraged so come and make some noise!
Each night of the festival has a themed party located in various venues around the city with an international collection of DJs to move your feet. Come dressed in military gear to the party battlefield, show your interest and availability at the traffic light night, or get free shots for sporting your sexiest shorts at the summer party at Radlická Kulturní Sportovna. And don’t forget the Dirty Dirty Dancing party or the official After Party on Saturday the August 15 at club Roxy.
If the club scene isn’t for you, there are several quieter events for the less party focused guests. Poetry readings, city tours, communal picnics, lectures, debates, film screenings, and sporting events will take place at Pride Village. And if you are the family type there is a family day for those with children.
The motto of this year’s Prague Pride is: We all have a rainbow inside! If you are participating in any of the Pride events it feels more like you are inside a rainbow. If you disagree with discrimination then join the festivities and help to send the message that there is no place for homophobia in our contemporary society.
For a full program and ticketing info visit: