Madrid Pride, or MADO, is a series of street celebrations that take place during the city´s LGTB (lesbian, gay, transsexual and bisexual) Pride Week. The Statewide Demonstration is the central event of this very eventful week and is Europe´s largest. Outdoor concerts -on six different stages-, parties, expositions, culture and sports (all of which are celebrated around the Chueca neighborhood in downtown Madrid) make up the whole of MADO.
We shouldn’t forget Madrid’s unbeatable year-round LGTB scene in general, a characteristic that has turned Madrid into a model for other big cities around the world.
There are about 500 businesses aimed towards the LGTB community (bars, cafés, restaurants, night clubs, book stores, travel agencies, gyms, hotels, boutiques, etc.) in Madrid, along with many other LGTB-friendly commerce.
Year after year, MADO presents itself as a celebration that is open to the whole world and this gives it a wide multiethnic, multicultural character. That is how MADO turns Madrid into a Gateway to Diversity.
In 2007 Madrid celebrated Europride (the Official European Pride Festival). That year, the president of the EPOA (European Pride Organizers Association) stated that Madrid had provided the “best Europride in history”. Ever since, MADO has acquired more and more international prestige and relevance. Along with this, MADO has been prized two years in a row as the “Best Annual Gay Destination Event” in MTV's Tripout Gay Travel Awards.
In its aim of becoming one of the world´s most important Pride festivals, MADO has taken on new challenges, such as presenting its candidacy for 2017´s Worldpride (the Official Worldwide Pride Festival) headquarters, selected by Interpride (the International Association of Pride Organizers), an organization of which AEGAL –a MADO organizer- is a full member. The candidacy will launch during Interpride´s General Assembly this next October in Brussels.
The organizers of MADO, FELGTB (Spain´s Statewide Lesbian, Gay, Transsexual and Bisexual Federation), COGAM (Madrid´s LGTB Group), and AEGAL (Madrid´s Gay and Lesbian-aimed Business Owners Organization) are currently finishing preparing the upcoming Madrid Pride 2013. Just like every year, the city will summon hundreds of thousands of people in Chueca´s neighborhood festival and the Statewide Demonstration.
MADO´2013 will take place between July 3rd and July 7th. The opening speech and inauguration of the festivities will take place on Wednesday, June 3rd at nine o´clock at the Chueca Square.
The Statewide Parade on Saturday, July 6th will begin at Atocha at 6:00 P.M., making it's way trough Paseo del Prado and finishing at Puerta de Alcalá. For ten years now Madrid Pride and the LGTB Pride Parade have both had a statewide nature, meaning that in Spain´s capital, all of the country´s LGTB Groups and Organizations unite to celebrate and protest together.
This year various spaces and stages in Chueca and along the Gran Vía will provide diverse activities from Wednesday July 3rd to Sunday July 7th. The stages will include one at Plaza de Chueca, one at Puerta de Alcalá -where the end-of-parade acts will take place- another at Plaza de Callao and one at Plaza del Rey - known as the “cultural stage” and central point of MADO´S Cultural Festival “MUESTRAT-T”-. Other cultural activities include the FELGTB´s “La Culta” festival at Plaza de Vázquez de Mella.
LGTB Pride is a multiethnic and multicultural celebration open to everybody (children, teens, the elderly, neighbors and visitors from all over the world), transforming Madrid into an open Gateway to Diversity. This is the spirit in which “Orgullo, ejemplo de convivencia” (“Pride, example of coexistence”) was created, an initiative that looks to spread awareness and involvement amongst groups, businesses, organisms and organizers about the importance of MADO and it´s aim to expand respect and peaceful coexistence.
In the past few years Madrid Pride celebrations have congregated more than two million participants. The traditional multicolor Statewide Parade running through the capital serves as the perfect climax to a week full of festivities. Madrid's Gay Pride has become, by its own right, the most popular celebration in Spain. Madrid Pride has gone from being a small protest in the 80´s to the enormous event it is today, a moment in which we all come together to celebrate equality and diversity in a festive and fun way, without ever forgetting the LGTB community´s pursue for rights.