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July
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2021

The Best Gay Events in Europe for 2021
July 12 2021
by Lachlan

The Best Gay Events in Europe for 2021

Unfortunately due to an increase of Covid-19 infections across Europe, many events have either been postponed or canceled this year. See below for details on your faves.

After a year of travel restrictions, lockdowns, and limited festivities, we’re sure you’re about as eager as us to experience your pride out and about and make new friends. With vaccine rollouts transpiring across the globe, and summer in full swing throughout many parts of the world, loads of our beloved LGBTQ events and parties are coming back to life for 2021, and we couldn’t be more excited. From eclectic festivals in Amsterdam to full-scale beach parties in the south of Spain, here’s our curated list of top gay events in Europe for 2021. 

Milkshake Festival - Amsterdam  

POSTPONED TO 2022

July 31 - August 1

©FB/Milkshake Festival

Milkshake brings all the queers to the yard in Amsterdam each year, and we’re so excited about its return in 2021. Taking place in Westerpark, Amsterdam from July 31 to August 1, the iconic festival will be celebrating its ten year anniversary for 2021 and will be the perfect way to experience your pride this summer. Since its inception, Milkshake Festival has followed the mantra that “nothing should be a must, anything is possible” and with its diverse line-up of entertainment and welcome-to-all attitude, this could not be any more true. While face coverings will not be mandatory at Milkshake, proof of a negative PCR test or vaccination will be required to attend the event.     

 
  Book Accommodation in Amsterdam  

  

Antwerp Queer Arts Festival - Antwerp

August 1 - 29

©FB/Antwerp Queer Arts Festival

Want to brush up on some LGBTQ culture this summer? If so, get yourself to Antwerp for the city’s annual Queer Arts Festival. Taking place at De Studio from August 1 to 29, the festival will feature live performances, short films, and visual art, all with the aim of questioning sexual and gender identities. The Antwerp Queer Arts Festival has been running for eight years now, and aims to bring together local performers and international talent, combining art with activism and academia. Through art, Antwerp Queer Arts Festival hopes to create a space where LGBTQ people can express themselves and meet other likeminded people. See the official website for full details on the program. 

 
  Book Accommodation in Antwerp  

 

Mad.Bear Beach Festival - Torremolinos

August 6 - 16

©FB/Mad.Bear Festival

Like the idea of celebrating summer in the south of Spain for 2021? How about booking your ticket for Mad.Bear? As the name would suggest, Mad.Bear is a bears festival which hits the shores of Torremolinos each year. 2021 will be the event’s 15th edition, and as per usual, you can expect a host of fun, summer-inspired events. Think everything from a Beach Party at Eden Beach, to a boat party, and a pool party at the Hotel Ritual. Along with this, there will be many different nightlife events, which will be taking place in some of Torremolinos’ best clubs. While Mad.Bear is yet to be confirmed due to certain Covid-19 restrictions, organizers are optimistic that the event will go ahead, so stay tuned.    

 
  Book Accommodation in Torremolinos  

 

XLSIOR Festival - Mykonos

CANCELED

August 18 - 25

©FB/XLSIOR Festival

Mykonos is no stranger to fun, and when XLSIOR hits the island each year, things reach new levels. Lauded as one of the most exclusive international summer gay festivals in the world, XLSIOR brings together old friends, new friends, and loved ones, all over the universal language of music. Taking place from August 18 to 25, XLSIOR Festival 2021 will be plating up an incredible program, featuring the likes of Aron, Charly, Dani Brasil, and more. Offering multiple open-air venues all set within gorgeous locations, XLSIOR is the perfect way to celebrate summer 2021 in none other than beautiful Mykonos. In keeping with Covid-19 health and safety restrictions, you will either need to have a vaccination certificate or proof of a negative PCR test in order to collect your All Access Pass for the festival. 

 
  Book Accommodation in Mykonos  

 

Italy Gay Summer Party - Gallipoli, Puglia

September 3 - 5

 

While Milan may be considered Italy’s gay capital, things are heating up down south this summer. Italy Gay Summer Party will be returning to the idyllic shores of Gallipoli, Puglia, from September 3 to 5 and it promises to be bigger, better and even more fun than before. For three days, enjoy everything from a sunset aperitif, a beach party, and an incredible boat party which will sail around the beautiful port of Gallipoli. Italy Gay Summer Party’s main event will be the Official Party, which will take place at Picador Village Saturday evening. Dance to a mix of Italian 80s pop along with DJ beats, and enjoy a free drink upon entry. If you’ve already done Milan, and you’re looking to experience a different LGBTQ side to Italy, book your ticket for Italy Gay Summer Party now.  

 
  Book Accommodation in Gallipoli  

 

Bears Week - Sitges

September 3 - 11

©FB/Gay Sitges Guide

Every September, the bears come out to play in Sitges for Europe’s biggest bear event in Europe. Running from September 3 to 11 for 2021, this year’s installment of Bears Week will welcome more than 5,000 bears, cubs, musclebears, chasers and admirers to charming Sitges for a fun-filled week of entertainment. Most of the action will be taking place at Bears Village: a purpose-built village, including an al fresco bar, stage, and DJ. Every evening between 7pm and 3am, enjoy diverse entertainment and dancing by the beach. Sitges is also home to more than 30 different gay bars and clubs, so outside of Bears Village, there will be many different clubbing events taking place over the course of Bears Week.  

 
  Book Accommodation in Sitges  

 

Folsom Europe Street Fair - Berlin

September 8 - 12

©FB/Folsom Europe

Berlin is no stranger to LGBTQ culture and events, and one of its most iconic is arguably Folsom Europe Street Fair. A BDSM and leather street fair, Folsom Europe first started in 2003 and has since grown into Europe’s largest gay fetish event. Taking place in Berlin’s gayborhood, Schöneberg from September 8 to 12, Folsom Europe will welcome all forms of kink to the German capital, along with loads of naughty entertainment, music, and live performances. At this stage it is unconfirmed whether or not Folsom Europe will take place for 2021, but event organizers are optimistic, so stay tuned for updates.

 
  Book Accommodation in Berlin  

 

Lesbian and Gay City Festival - Berlin

October 2 - 3

©FB/Lesbian and Gay City Festival

Lesbian And Gay City Festival is exactly what it says it is, a lively LGBTQ street party which is held in Berlin each year. The festival started way back in 1993, and is always held in Berlin’s original gayborhood, Schöneberg. For 2021, Berlin’s Lesbian and Gay City Festival will take place over the weekend of October 2-3, and adopt the apt slogan: “Equal Rights for the Unequal.” Look forward to live entertainment across five different stages, with everything from techno and electronic music to live performances from lesbian and gay entertainers. For something a little different, be sure to tune into the live celebrity talk show "Das wilde Sofa" hosted by Gerhard Hoffman. If an LGBTQ street party is your jam, Lesbian and Gay City Festival is certainly not worth missing.    

 
  Book Accommodation in Berlin  

 

Delice Dream - Torremolinos

CANCELED

October 8 - 13

©FB/Delice Dream

In terms of top LGBTQ destinations in Europe, Torremolinos has moved in leaps and bounds over the past few years, experiencing a bit of a “gay renaissance.” With dreamy weather and a great local LGBTQ scene, Torremolinos as a destination alone is already appealing enough for gay travelers, but when Delice Dream drops each year, things hit new levels. For 2021, Delice Dream Festival will be celebrating its 10th anniversary and will adopt the apt theme ‘Express Yourself’. Running from October 8 to 13, the iconic festival will feature 15 different events, along with 20 DJs. The legendary organizers have recently passed the torch to Gibus club, and we can't wait to see what they have in store for us this year.

 
  Book Accommodation in Torremolinos  

 

Feeling inspired for more LGBTQ events? Check out our dedicated Pride Calendar for the globe's best Prides. 

Cover image credit: ©FB/Milkshake Festival

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