Madrid Pride (MADO) is the largest Pride festival in Spain. It kicks off every year towards the end of June and continues for a whole week, offering an extensive and exciting programme of events culminating with the official parade on the first Saturday in July. Health situation permitting, the full calendar of activities is expected to take place in 2022 (1 to 10 July). The programme may include new additions each year, but the following leisure, sports, cultural events, and their notable spirit of protest, are regular presences.
International Pride Day is celebrated in many different places all over the world, as streets overflow with colour, festivity and acceptance. A number of these cities are in Spain: Sitges, Ibiza, Benidorm, etc. What’s more, every year, the country’s capital welcomes tens of thousands of people who come to celebrate Pride in the best way possible, as Madrid has positioned itself as one of the leading destinations for everything LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and other gender identities and sexual orientations).
MADO usually kicks off with an opening address in the Plaza de Pedro Zerolo, a symbolic location during these festivities. Up on the stage, someone with a connection to the LGBTQIA+ community announces the start of the celebrations. From this point on, the Chueca district and its iconic bars celebrate the week with sporting contests, cultural workshops, concerts and many other events. Although much of the festivity is concentrated here, events are held to celebrate Pride all over Madrid, including tourist hotspots like Puerta de Alcalá and the Puerta del Sol.During the first few days, Calle Pelayo usually plays host to the classic 'High-Heels Race'. You’ll need to leave your trainers behind for this race, because you can only compete in heels! Dare to have a go in the very highest?
Pride Week also grants special importance to the Madrid Summit International Conference on Human Rights. This is an opportunity for dialogue and discussion on LGBTQIA+ rights, where professionals and celebrities with links to the subject shed light on the problems people face every single day as members of the community. Mr Gay Pride Spain is a beauty pageant with gay participants from all over Spain. The competition’s finale is held during Pride Week; with the 2022 edition planned for 8 July at Puerta del Sol. Here, judges decide who will represent Spain at the international ceremony.
On top of all this, the first Saturday in July sees the arrival of the eagerly-awaited official Pride parade, where buses and floats of all colours roll down the Paseo del Prado from Atocha to Plaza de Colón, in an expression of the community’s struggle for their rights.The cosmopolitan and open nature of the city of Madrid makes it a great choice for LGBTQIA+ tourism. It’s a city with an alluring air of freedom that advocates for equality and for everyone’s right to love whoever they want, without obstacles.