I can’t believe how long it has taken me to write this, however “recently” World Pride took place in Madrid, a week long celebration of events culminating in a huge parade and concerts taking place through out the city.
Word Pride doesn’t happen every year
Each year Madrid hosts its own pride festival, but this year was special, it was World Pride. An event that moves from city to city and finds a different home each time. The last world pride took place in 2014 in Toronto and the next World Pride event will be 2019 in New York. If Madrid was anything to go by, it will be amazing.
Throughout the week, over three million people were visiting Madrid, Spain’s Capital, almost doubling the population. As you can imagine it was busy, very busy.
Living in Madrid, I had to check it out
Personally, I’m not one for large crowds, I’d much rather seek out a quiet corner, peace upon a hill top, but with something this big is happening in my back yard, I had to check it out.
I headed into the city for the parade and man was it busy. I had decided to base myself by the iconic Cebales fountain to take some snaps, and apparently, so did everyone else.
As I walked down Gran Via, from the Metro, I was swept away in a river of rainbows as thousands made their way to the parade route.
The Cebales fountain acted as an estuary, filtering the river into many directions before spitting me out into a sea of humanity, and boy, what a colourful sea it was.
Everyone was getting into the Pride 2017 atmosphere
There were people covered from head to toe in Rainbows while others lapped up the sunshine covered in . . . well . . . not a lot. My main concern was if they had all applied their sunscreen as if not, there would be some very hard to explain tan lines in the morning.
The parade was due to pass at about 7 pm, being Spain, that translated to 9 pm. While waiting, it was a lot of fun just getting pictures of some of the costumes as the anticipation built.
Finally, the parade arrived. and stopped. And got going again. Then stopped. There were police interspersed about every 200 metres to clear the road of over enthusiastic partiers blocking the way.
Over 3 million people visited Madrid for Pride 2017
Each time they passed you could feel the crush, lines and lines of people being pushed back, squeezed together. My nose spent a lot of time in various armpits. It’s always when in crowds I curse that my body stopped growing upwards and decided to take the outwards route at 5 foot 8 (about 172 cms).
After about 2 hours and only seeing the people holding banners go past, I started to get a little restless and retreated from the parade to explore further.
I wandered up to Sol to find a huge stage, live music and a drag queen with people queuing for photos. I’m not sure who she was, but she seemed popular.
I liked the new take on the iconic Madrid ‘Bear and Tree’ symbol.
Even the toilets were getting the rainbow treatment.
I headed a bit further and ventured into Plaza Mayor where there was another stage, but nothing happening.
By now my crowd patience was running out and I decided to retreat home and relax.
I’m happy I did head out and see the festivities. It’s unlike anything else I have really been to. The atmosphere was electric, almost everyone more than happy to talk to you, even happier to pose for a picture.
The only thing missing was this tagline – World Pride 2017, putting the Mad in Madrid.
World Pride 2017, Madrid in photos:
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