Belfast, Hull, Malta and Rotterdam are in the running to host EuroPride 2023

Belfast, Hull, Malta and Rotterdam are in the running to host EuroPride 2023

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Rotterdam Pride

Four Prides are in the running to host EuroPride 2023 – Belfast Pride, Hull Pride, Malta Pride and Rotterdam Pride.

The announcement comes at a uniquely tough time for the Pride movement worldwide. Coronavirus has forced the cancellation or postponement of at least 190 Prides around the world.

Indeed, EuroPride this year was due to take place in Thessaloniki, the cultural capital of Greece, from 20 to 28 June. However, Pride bosses in the city have postponed the event and are trying to fix another date.

Meanwhile the European Pride Organisers’ Association, EPOA, is looking to the future. EPOA has also been instrumental in helping Prides around the world respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now it has announced the shortlist for host cities for EuroPride 2023.

The UK has two cities in the shortlist. Belfast Pride in Northern Ireland and Pride in Hull in East Yorkshire, England. Pride in Hull previously hosted UK Pride in 2017, coinciding with Hull’s status as UK City of Culture that year. Hull is one of the Prides to cancel its 2020 event.

They are up against two port cities, Rotterdam Pride in the Netherlands and Malta Pride which is held in the Maltese capital, Valletta. Both have active LGBT+ scenes and, like the UK, have some of the most advanced LGBT+ laws in the world.

The winning city will follow on from Belgrade, Serbia which is hosting EuroPride in 2022.

Meanwhile, there will be no EuroPride in 2021, as the event takes a break when a European city is hosting World Pride. And Copenhagen in Denmark has the honor of holding World Pride next year.

Rotterdam Pride parade in 2019
Will Rotterdam be the winning city for EuroPride 2023? Rotterdamn Pride
Pride in Malta
Proud to be LGBT+ in Malta: Valletta hosts Malta Pride each year. Malta Pride
Pride in Hull
Hull Pride: The city has previously hosted UK Pride. Hull Pride
Ireland - Belfast pride
Waving the rainbow pride flag during last year’s Belfast Pride. Belfast Pride

Ambitious plans

The bidding window for Prides to apply to host EuroPride closed today. The next step is for the shortlisted cities to send more details to EPOA by August.

They then expect to announce the winner on 3 October.

Stein Runar Østigaard, EuroPride coordinator for the European Pride Organisers Association, said:

‘The ambition of the teams in Belfast, Hull, Malta and Rotterdam is admirable and I look forward to seeing their bids when they are delivered to us in August.

‘I am excited to see how they will take the history of EuroPride forward and I wish all four organisations the very best of luck.’

Meanwhile Kristine Garina, president of EPOA, added:

‘We are of course all aware of the impact of the COVID19 pandemic on Pride organisers around the world but we must stay focused and united.

‘It’s great to see Belfast Pride, Pride in Hull, Malta Pride and Rotterdam Pride looking beyond the current situation and all bidding to deliver an outstanding EuroPride in 2023.

‘I look forward to seeing the bids from all four Prides. I am sure we will see human rights and the fight for LGBTI equality at the heart of each bid. We are living in troubling times and Pride is a vital opportunity for us to come together and stand as one.’

All four bids will be presented at the AGM of the European Pride Organisers Association in Oslo in October. Then each European Pride member will have one vote.

EuroPride has been hosted in a different European city every year since 1992, and has featured diverse cities including Warsaw, Paris, Rome, Riga, London and Amsterdam.

Update: Bergen Pride also in running

UPDATE: After GSN published this report, EPOA updated to say a fifth Pride has been added to the shortlist. So Bergen in Norway is also in the running to host EuroPride 2023.

The city is a UNESCO World Heritage site and Bergen Pride is the second largest LGBT+ celebration in Norway.

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Author: Tris Reid-Smith