Travel review: EuroPride 2018 – Stockholm & Gothenburg

Drew Wilby

Having a pride festival in a town or city is one thing and it’s always great, but when a pride festival expands to a whole continent and is held in multiple cities over a couple of weeks, it really does become phenomenal!

This year EuroPride was held in two cities in Sweden – Stockholm and Gothenburg – and the turnout for each city was incredible. Over 20,000 people attended on the main day of the event in Gothenburg, whether that was taking part in the four-mile parade or attending the bustling main stages in the EuroPride area based in the centre of the city. This area was surrounded in rainbow flags which flew high in the gentle wind, symbolising a large safe space for everyone to enjoy.

The main area in Kungstorget was a proud show of music and colour, boasting food and drinks from all nationalities and flavour. There were also stalls from private and public organisations, offering support and advice, and a great range of goodies and services. This was clearly an event for all ages. There were tents dedicated to a range of fun-filled family activities, such as face paint, glitter decorations and flag-making.

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The parade wound its way around the city and towards the main square of Götaplatsen, where the main stage was located next to the Museum of Art. Everyone came out to see the parade and cheer as Sweden is such an open-minded and relaxed country. It was a genuinely welcoming and inclusive atmosphere.

As it was the biggest pride in 12 years, the parade lasted around two hours from beginning to end. And, as always, there was an array of people from across the LGBT+ community – each sporting different eye-catching colours and the flags with which they represent themselves.

The headline act for this years EuroPride was none other than the fabulous Boy George, joined by the rest of Culture Club.

Any hardcore fan would be running to the front of the stage the second they appeared on stage – and that is what many people actually did. The concert went on for roughly an hour and a half, with the performers covering all their favourite songs and pleasing the enormous crowd so much even the slight rain couldn’t put a downer on things.

After the concert finished, the music played on and the crowd disappeared into the bars and clubs to continue their night. It was then that we got to experience the local clubbing scene, but I would especially recommend BeeBar and Club Gretas.

BeeBar is described as a ‘straight friendly’ bar which serves colourful cocktails to match its fun atmosphere. Being next to the EuroPride arena in the centre of the city this bar was constantly busy at all times and was a great place to eat decent food at an affordable price and watch the activities by go from the outside seating area.

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BeeBar, Kungstorget 13

For people who want to dance the night away, Gretas Bar & Nightclub is the main place to go. With two floors to go between and different genres of music in various rooms, Gretas will cater to everyone.

Club Gretas, Drottninggatan 35

2018 was the biggest pride event that has happened in 12 years in Gothenburg, and I’m sure it can only get bigger from now on.

For more information, see, the West Sweden website and Visit Sweden’s LGBT micro-site.

Holiday Extras

Before flying out from London Heathrow we stayed in the Hilton T5 and used the Aspire Lounge. These pre-holiday extras were organised by Holiday Extras, where you can also book insurance, car hire, transfers and airport parking.

Operating for 32 years, Holiday Extras has unrivalled experience in offering vital add-ons for your holiday, with over four million bookings last year alone. Holiday Extras promises its prices will never be beaten, but in the unlikely event you find the same product for less somewhere else, they will match the price, guaranteed.

About Drew Wilby

Drew Wilby is a photographer and graphic designer living in Manchester.