NEWS

2018 was the biggest Prague Pride ever. Here are the most important moments

Prague Pride 2018 was really loaded with events. It took a whole week and brought several significant novelties and historic records. We wish to thank everyone who contributed to it, whether as an organizer, volunteer or participant. Without you all, Prague Pride would not have been the same! Let’s look back at some of the moments of the rainbow week.

The hottest week of the century

The Czech Republic has been gripped by unusual high temperatures since early May. When you add to that the “warmest week of the year” (“warm” is a Czech slang word for “gay”) of the Prague Pride festival, the combination can be excessive… The most hellish day we survived was Thursday 9 August, when temperatures attacked 40 degrees Celsius. The participants adapted to the climate change with remarkable success, be it at the Pride Voices in NOD theater, where the non-A/C venue changed into a hot air oven, or at the Pride Village, where the London-based drag king Adam All later confessed that his whole pectoral muscle, consisting of make-up material, was washed away by his own sweat.

We were enormously happy when the weather forecast announced only 26 °C for Saturday, the day of the parade. We had worried that in case of extreme temperatures everyone would rather choose to stay at home or would prefer some waterside place to the heat of the sweltering big city center. Finally, the Saturday weather was a combination of summer warmth and enjoyable clouds. And when the parade reached the Letna stairs, we even had a few symbolic drops of rain. Probably also because the pleasant weather, a large number of people remained at the Pride Park at Letna until 10 PM, when the program ended. The atmosphere of a Letna full of people was simply wonderful.

The longest parade

This year’s parade included a record number of 21 floats, even without the auto of the Hunter company, which broke down and could not fulfill its task to ensure refreshments for the four-legged participants. The parade gained in length also because its route had to be changed this year due to reconstruction work in the lower part of Vaclavske Namesti, and instead it followed the narrow Opletalova and Hybernska streets. According to estimates there were 40,000 people in the parade.

At the front of the parade there were 3 Mini cars carrying the people who had been awarded the title Marshal Prague Pride 2018. After them we had the Prague Pride festival car with DJ Kierastoboy. The parade included floats of several NGOs: the marriage equality campaign Jsme fer, Amnesty International, the queer film festival Mezipatra. Once again we had a float from the U.S. Embassy. Maybe the most interesting float this year was the Pirate Party boat with rainbow flags. The wonderful ship dropped anchor after the parade at the elementary school in Nucice, where it will be used as a playground. Other floats in the parade were those of the Vodafone company, our main hotel partner Mama Shelter, Microsoft, IBM, Google, Accenture, Amazon and EXXON, ADP with eBay. Two limos carried LGBT activists with earlier birth dates, and the kids’ train carried families with children.

Among those who showed their support for the Prague Pride through their participation were the actress Ana Geislerova, actor Dan Bambas, the moderator and patron of the LGBT counseling service Sbarvouven.cz Ester Janeckova, moderator Bara Mottlova, singer Leona Gyongyosi. The political scene was represented by the Dutch MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld, the vice-mayor of Prague Petra Kolinska and the Prague 7 counselor for culture and neighborly relations Hana Trestikova, and we also noticed in the crowd the Czech MP Dominik Feri.

The biggest party in the Pride Park

The measurements based on the mobile phone operator T-Mobile’s signal data confirmed what we already felt: that an unusually high number of people came to the Pride Park and stayed until the end of the program at 10 PM. The data show that compared to last year, there were at least 5662 more people at Letna this time. Between 2 PM and 4 PM, when the parade arrived, there were 29,116 people at Letna. At 10 PM there were still there 8,988 people (last year’s data showed 2265).

There were 22,211 participants from the Czech Republic and 6,905 from abroad. The number of foreign guests almost doubled since last year, when we counted 3,781 foreigners at Letna. Most of them this year were from the U.S. At one point at Letna there were at least 1,713 Americans. Second was Great Britain, with at least 1,152 Brits finding their way to Letna. The other countries with numerous participants were Italy, Germany, Slovakia, Russia and the Netherlands.

The biggest number of festival activities

Prague Pride 2018 hosted an incredible number of 127 activities. A novelty was the program for lesbians and the new festival location Pride Mandala at the Open Tibet House in Skolska street, which hosted events focusing on Central Asia and Turkey.

For the first time the Prague Pride cooperated with the Konsent organization and the Genderman project, adding to its program activities focusing on gender topics. Another first in the frame of the Prague Pride festival was the representation of the Jeden svet (One World) film festival, specializing in human rights documentary films, which thus joined the Mezipatra queer film festival, which has been traditionally represented at Prague Pride.

Another new thing was the Pride Ball – a meeting of the vogue dance community which took place for the first time ever in the Czech Republic. On Friday the dancers competed at the Pride Village in poses, style and costumes. Friday was the day of the Dance Divas show at the Krizikova Fontana, featuring Heather Small from M People, Dara Rollins, Mikolas Josef and 30 other singers and dancers.

Testing record for the Czech Help AIDS society (CSAP)

The testing zone at Letna had a tough task, because it aimed to test not only for HIV and syphilis, but also for hepatitis B and C. Taking so many samples implied a huge collection place and a lab where to analyze them immediately. Despite the remarkable success in setting up the infrastructure, CSAP was let down by the internet connection, which is necessary for processing the pre-testing interviews and data bases. So in the end the testing zone could test only 357 people, although in normal circumstances it could have served hundreds more. Even so, with all the difficulties caused by the internet connection, this was the biggest free of charge, anonymous, mobile mass testing in the whole of Europe.

The results in HIV testing were as expected. Almost a dozen samples were sent to the national reference lab under suspicion of HIV and syphilis infections. It is significant that among those patients were not only men who’d had sex with men, but also women. There were no suspicions of hepatitis.

Successful novelties for the participants

To make festival guests’ staying even more pleasant, we prepared several information materials. The festival issue of the Prague Pride Mag had a substantial part of its content in English. For those coming from abroad we printed out the Prague Pride map with highlights from the program and a map of the parade. There was also an online version of the map which 1,429 users downloaded from the Prague Pride site. For the Czechs coming to Prague from other places we prepared for the first time a guide with info about how to get from the train station to the meeting point for the parade, where to find cheap coffee in downtown Prague etc. The guide was downloaded by 1,805 people.

We wish to thank all those who cooperated with us, our program partners, financial partners, volunteers, the city of Prague and city institutions, the Czech Republic Police and all those who helped with the blueprint, organization and safety of this big activity which ended without any problems and incidents. The Pride is huge, and behind it there is the work of many different units which are bound to complete each other.

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Prague Pride z. s.
Rybna 716/24
110 00 Praha 1
Company ID 22842730
Companies in the Federal Register: Municipal Court in Prague, Section L, File 22311
© Copyright 2019 Prague Pride z. s. All Rights Reserved.

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