Amsterdam Queer & Pride to last two weeks, be more inclusive

The Pride festival in Amsterdam, which kicks off on Saturday, will look different this year than in previous editions. The party now has a new name, Queer & Pride, and it will last for two weeks instead of the usual nine days, with different parties each organizing their ‘own’ week. The changes stem from the desire to make the LGBTQIA+ event more inclusive and less commercial.

In recent years, part of the rainbow community has criticized Pride. They wanted it to be more inclusive, more “for and by the entire LGBTQIA+ community,” and for the boat parade to be less commercial. The municipality developed a new policy, including earlier end times for the street parties and a smaller and less commercial boat parade, which was supposed to start this year. However, the deadline to get that done was too tight, so the new rules will take effect next year.

After lengthy discussions, during which there was quite a bit of disagreement about who should organize the event and how, it was decided that the different parties would each organize one of two weeks. The new organization Queer Amsterdam is responsible for the first week, and the Pride Amsterdam Foundation and the Andreas Cultuurfonds Foundation are responsible for the second week.

The first week, which is dedicated to “promoting equality and combating inequality of opportunity,” starts on Saturday with the Pride Walk. Sports activities, queer movie nights, conferences, and parties are on the program until Friday, July 28. According to Naomie Pieter, chairman of Queer Amsterdam, Queer & Pride is “a means to contribute to a more inclusive Amsterdam, where everyone can be themselves.”

Week two, which is about emancipation, culture, debate, celebration, and meeting, starts on August 1 and ends with the Canal Parade on August 5 and the closing party on Dam Square on August 6. This year’s theme is #YouAreIncluded. “With this, we show the world how unique Amsterdam is, that everyone matters, and that we fight together for a safe future.”

Pride celebration started 28 years ago as a citizens’ initiative and gift to the people of Amsterdam. Over the years, the event has grown into a world-famous multi-day festival with hundreds of thousands of attendees. It is not yet known who will organize Pride in the coming years.

Reporting by ANP

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