Last week was the Press conference of Antwerp Pride, which will celebrate their tenth anniversary in the city of Antwerp together with the LGBTI community from Thursday the 10th till Sunday the 13th of August 2017. Together with the well-known traditions and recurring activities, there will be some surprises. This year there will be no special theme, but a look back at TEN years Antwerp Pride history, measuring the temperature of the LGBTI community today and a look forward in the future. Besides that Antwerp Pride wants to cross bridges within the city of Antwerp and the LGBTI community more than ever.
Together with the “Pink House” (Roze Huis) Antwerp Pride organizes at Friday the 11th of August a symposium with the theme “From Strangers to Allies”. A title that says all about the evolution within the LGBTI themes from the last ten years combined. How we can become from strangers to allies for each other. In the Felix Archive we dive into the past of Antwerp Pride, thanks to the archive material of the newspaper “Gazet Van Antwerpen” and the Suzan Daniel Funds. We look back at how it all begun and what has happened within the ten years of Antwerp Pride.
Of course there will be on Saturday a big Parade going through the streets of Antwerp with more than 35 active delegations and for the first time there will be professional top sports clubs walking along in the Parade. They will show that it’s important that you can be yourself too in sports. It is for the first time that so many professional sports clubs will stand behind the Rainbow Flag. About the participation of these sports clubs will be another press conference be held on Friday the fourth of August.
This year will at Steenplein “Wave” be replaced by the big “Love United Festival” which will also be extended to the Cruiseterminal in Antwerp. When “Wave” was mainly a festival for lovers of dance, this “Love United Festival” will be for a more diverse audience. Divided between two stages different LGBTI party organizers like: Beloved, Extravaganza, H.I.M., Le Zoo, Padam, Pannekoek & Drama, Red&Blue, Random and Woodpop work together for the first time to make this an amazing party!!!l Hostess Bang Bang La Desh brings also her Drag Queens United to entertain the audience. Next to party beats there has been taken care also about the inner body, who needs food. Thanks to Melis Events there will be several Foodtrucks present and Top Chef Olivier De Vinck from toprestaurant Kommilfoo will cook live at the Festival.
This year will not only “LOVE” be united, but also the night-scene! Because at Saturday night the 12th of August will the clubs “De Shop”, “Club Vaag” and the “Velvet Lounge” join together with different party concepts to give everybody a reason to the party under the name “PRIDENIGHT”. “Extravaganza” brings for the third time another Pride edition where everybody is welcome, “Café DeLove” organizes a party for the ladies and Red & Blue brings there party concept “Propaganda” to the Shop and in the late hours they party further with their fetish-concept “Obscura”.
Because it is Ten years Antwerp Pride the Closing Festival at the Big Market on Sunday the 13th will extend for an hour longer. This year the line-up will contains of course Ten Years pride. That is why Lilianne St.Pierre is definitely on the list next to stand-up comedian Sven Ratzke, Bang Bang La Desh and her gurlzz, Belle Perez, Sarah Bettens and Army of Lovers. Later on there will be also announced a big surprise act, but they keep their lips tight together to not reveal anything yet.
The Antwerp Queer Arts Festival starts this year on the 5th of August with for the first time under artistic guidance of Dez Mona-frontman and performer Gregory Frateur. This year also for the first time with their own music theathre production called “Het Kanaal” with music of composer Annelies Van Parys. Together with all partners this jubilee edition will be a big party with more than 60 events. From small to big, from family-friendly till naughty, from Midsummerparty till yoga-session. Also this year are most official events free or with a low entrance fee. The opening reception will take place this year not at Cityhall (renovations), but at Momu, where you can also see all the costumes of the great Nicole and Hugo.
Especially for the tenth birthday of Antwerp Pride will the CityHall enlightened by the rainbow colors. The shops at the Meir and all other partners will offer rainbow ribbons this year. There will be a “High heel Race” at the Meir and even the fountain at the Wapper will color Pink on Saturday the 12th. During the pride there will be also rainbow sidewalks shown in the city. Antwerp will be more colorful than ever and there be also an information point in the “Stadsfeestzaal” for Antwerp Pride, where visitors can come with their questions.
What started as a party for the LGBTI community is grown in ten year’s out as a summer Festival, where our community asks the rest of the city to party and celebrate with us. Because everybody has a right to be themselves. Find more information on www.antwerppride.com and make sure you download the app Antwerp Pride and follow them as well us on twitter, instagram and Facebook. Because Pink In Our Lives will with some other bloggers and vloggers report everything about the pride for you all. Don’t miss it!!!
Fill out your email address at www.pinkinourlives.com for more updates, news, stories, parties and more!!! DON’T SAY IT, BUT SPRAY IT!!! Thanks also to photographer Emmanuel de Prijckere.
Lesley Middleton, owner of PINK IN OUR LIVES