Rotterdam is getting ready for its very first Pride! During the last weekend of September Rotterdam Pride will be celebrated in the city center of this port town. Rotterdam Pride is organized in cooperation with the Rotterdam municipality, Rotterdam Festivals, the Rotterdam gay catering industry and queer organizations.
As co-initiator the very successful Keerweer Parade will become part of this first Rotterdam Pride. Apart from the well-known Dutch sing along party, there’s also room for culture, discussion and a substantial visibility campaign. As the second city in The Netherlands Rotterdam is often less visible than comparable cities in its supply of GLBT facilities.
However, looking at the number of bars, active organizations, specialized businesses and other places (of entertainment) Rotterdam is every bit as good as other cities. With Rotterdam Pride the city wants to show everyone what it has to offer. This has resulted in a program that ranges from an outdoor exhibition and a breakfast for the elderly to two street parties.
In the weeks preceding this last weekend of September several pop-up locations will open their doors, including exhibitions (“Red Hot” and “Es Geht Auch Ohne”), outdoor shows (“Pride Photo”) and a temporary Hang-Out for youth (Foundation Rainbow City).
On Thursday, September 25, Rotterdam Pride will be officially launched with a sneak preview in the new Lantaren Venster. Afterwards there are several “after parties” elsewhere in the city.
On Friday, September 26, all participating organizations and locations will be open during the day. Furthermore, on this Friday the first city tours will take place, bike tours which introduce the participants “deeper” into Rotterdam. Because Rotterdam is a city one must learn to know! In tours past organizations, shops, catering establishments, and exciting locations, the cyclists can choose from several routes where they want to go.
On Friday it’s traditionally Songfestival Night at the Keerweer Parade and this means Marga Bult, Justine Pelmelay and Glennis Grace will shine on stage! And one doesn’t have to pay anything, because the Keerweer Parade is free of charge.
On Saturday, September 27, Rotterdam will go into raptures! This Saturday all locations will be open, and all participating organizations and businesses organize their own parties. Think of a Pink Breakfast at COC Rotterdam, a discussion meeting hosted by Rotterdam Open Mind and Rainbow City’s children’s theater performance “Arwin en haar papa’s” (Arwin and Her Daddies). During the day there are two street parties, the Keerweer Parade and the Oldenbarneveltstraat Party.
The Keerweer Parade starts in the afternoon with the iconic “Drag Idols,” a drag competition which always attracts lots of attention. And there is really something to win for the ladies, because the winner receives, apart from the Golden Heel, also a nice amount of money. On stage Kate Ryan, the Vengaboys and others will perform!
The Oldenbarneveltstraat Party is hosted by Totally, known for their stages at Club NYX and the HIM Festival. With well-known DJs, live performances, and modern dancers.
Both street parties are free of charge and go on until 23:00; subsequently there will be closing parties in Cultuurpodium WORM, club Factory 010, and other locations. For this first edition Rotterdam Pride has been able to secure the party “Papa World Tour.” So, after Tel Aviv, Madrid, New York, Montreal and Paris, Rotterdam is now also included in the cities hosting the “Papa World Tour.” Tickets for this and other events can be obtained through the Rotterdam Pride website.
On Sunday the organizers expect a beautiful and exciting closing day. Most locations and exhibitions will be open this Sunday.
In the Oldenbarneveltstraat the dance stage has made way for tens of stalls with food and drinks: Rotterdam Tastes! This event is also free of charge and offers a deliciously relaxed Sunday afternoon atmosphere.
With varied fashion shows by the various fashion shops in this pink street.
The Keerweer Parade closes with upcoming artists Yari and Andrew Dean and established singer Danny de Munk. Later in the night the urban “YMCGay” in WORM will really close the Rotterdam Pride weekend.
More information about Rotterdam Pride, the festival locations, special hotel offers and tickets can be found on www.rotterdampride.com.