The much-anticipated 13th annual Prague Pride festival, dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ individuals, commenced on Monday, August 7. This remarkable event, which runs until Saturday, will feature a host of activities focused on empowering lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other minority communities. Besides the customary grand parade through the city center, the festival promises to offer a diverse array of 190 events, hosted at numerous venues across the metropolis.
The week-long celebration officially began at 6 p.m. with an opening ceremony on Shooter’s Island, known as the “Pride Village,” the heart of the festival for its entire duration. Attendees witnessed the Irish musician Ailbhe Reddy headlining the opening night, followed by Norwegian DJ iDJa, showcasing the Sami musical tradition intertwined with disco house rhythms. Adding more flair to the festivities, Buenos Aires musician Juana Rozas treated the audience to a fusion of hyperpop, gabber, house, and Argentine folklore from her latest album Vladi. The evening was kicked off by the renowned Czech DJ and promoter, Henriette.
As a focal point of this year’s festival, the organizers decided to emphasize the theme of “tradition” throughout the program. They emphasized that LGBTQ+ people have always been an integral part of society’s fabric and history, challenging the notion that traditions should exclude them. To explore this idea further, a series of events were curated to delve into the topic of tradition from various angles. For example, a discussion titled “Inventing Traditions: the notion of tradition through the lens of social science” on August 10, led by Zora Hesova from the Faculty of Arts, will delve into social norms and their evolution within society. Another lecture titled “Trans* Identity as Tradition” on August 11 will take the audience on a captivating journey through time and space, exploring the historical roots of trans* identities.
Prague Pride is much more than a parade; it offers a plethora of accompanying events catering to various interests. Among them are thought-provoking exhibitions at Hollar, shedding light on criminalized homosexuality worldwide, and “We Were Here,” a project by Ukrainian artist and photographer Anthon Shebetko, which addresses the experiences of queer soldiers in the Ukrainian army.
This year’s festival also boasts an engaging lineup of Pride Cinema screenings at Edison Filmhub, featuring films such as “At the End of the World,” “Far Away,” “At Seventeen,” and “The Maid.”
Sporting events, workshops, support groups, and discussions addressing LGBTQ+ rights, fostering and adoption, partner violence, and more are also part of the Prague Pride program. Additionally, cabaret events, drag performances, travesti, and burlesque shows are bound to entertain festival-goers throughout the week.
The much-anticipated Rainbow Parade, which serves as the pinnacle of the festival, will take place on Saturday, August 12. It will feature DJs stationed on “sky stags” on forklifts along the parade route, while Letná Plain will be transformed into Pride Park, featuring six music stalls on different stages offering diverse musical performances.
Prague Pride has garnered considerable support from both local and multinational sources, with ambassadors Jan and Marsell Bendig collaborating with the Coca-Cola brand for this year’s event.
Despite some initial reservations from Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda, who granted patronage to the festival, support from other political figures, including Interior Minister Vít Rakušan, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský, and several Prague city officials, has ensured that the event continues its mission to foster inclusivity and equality for the LGBTQ+ community.