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By Jack Wright
If summer has begun – and it officially began last 27 June – then MADO (Madrid Orgullo or Gay Pride) cannot be not on. It’s one of the most awaited celebrations of the year.
But you don’t have to be too “official” about the beginning of summer. You know the season has burst on you when you see Rainbow banners streaming across streets and balconies and the stores in Chueca are decked out in suggestive decorations, hallmarks of the LGTB Pride celebrations, proudly showcasing the openness, cosmopolitanism and diversity of this vibrant city that’s called Madrid. The irrepressible take-off came on 19 June.
MADO 2016 culminates with all the exuberance of the Pride Parade on 2 July.
What are on offer to absolutely everyone who won’t be deprived of their share of the excitement are open air concerts, 7 stages for a total of 25 different parties, 154 concerts, 106 cultural activities for all ages, sport events and a gastronomic festival .
Varied and great fun, huh? Well, MADO isn’t one of the world’s most important festivals for nothing! Welcoming diversity with open arms, it attracts 2 million visitors (of whom 350.000 are foreign guests).
The 2016 edition of MADO brings, among others, artists like Ruth Lorenzo, Baccara, Ana Obregon and Chenoa. This year’s program kicks off on Friday the 23rd of June with MuestraT, the artistic and cultural MADO festival (plastic arts, flamenco, dance, movies, books), La Culta (FELGTB) and La Oculta (COGAM).
The festival also features guided tours of the Chueca neighborhood, beloved spiritual home to MADO (visitchueca.com) and Chueca Kids, a “Kids and Family Pride” affair organized by Kideoo in collaboration with AEGAL (Asociación de Empresas y Profesionales para Gays y Lesbianas de Madrid y su Comunidad/Association of Businesses and Professionals for Gays and Lesbians of Madrid).
This year’s MADO honors the victims (MADO’s brethren) of the Orlando, Florida terrorist attack.
Last Wednesday, 29 June, the Plaza de Chueca rang with the opening speech, marking the official beginning of the Pride celebrations, which will bring on what has now become a yearly tradition, the High Heels Race on Pelayo Street (Thursday the 30th), the final gala of the Mr. Gay Spain contest in Puerta del Sol, and the handing of the WorldPride 2017 baton over to Madrid on the WorldPride stage, Friday the 1st of July. WorldPride Madrid 2017 will proudly underscore the fact that Spain has one of the world ́s most advanced legislations in regard to the rights of the LGTB community.
The stellar moment of the celebrations is the parade on Saturday July 2nd. Madrid Gay Parade, the largest in Europe, will bring an endless stream of colorful and ebullient floats. Starting at 18:00h from the Atocha Railway Station, it will bounce and swing down Paseo del Prado to head for Plaza de Colon where great music awaits with an (ear-splitting?) sensurround welcome.
A large concert will preview WorldPride 2017. Madrid will have the honor to host this five-yearly event!
Bringing down the curtain on the vigorously unforgettable 2016 celebrations will be a huge closing party at the Plaza del Rey on Sunday the 3rd of July.
For the complete MADO program, check out http://www.madridorgullo.com/
Featured image, Fair use
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