The steeped, prudish days which typified Madrid in the Franco era are hard to recognize when taking part in the Spanish capital’s Gay Pride. The whole Chueca neighbourhood, where the festivities take place, is a good example of the tolerance and respect that now characterize the city. It is open to a whole range of lifestyles creating a combination that is fun and spontaneous at the very least. Therefore, this event is not only celebrated by the homosexual community; instead, it is a favourite amongst people who want to live their lives freely. With the city's perfect location in the heart of the peninsula, this gigantic public festivity attracts over a million spectators yearly, making it one of the most ostentatious and extravagant Gay Prides in Europe.

In 2007, Madrid hosted the Euro Pride, which turned out to be the largest of its kind yet to be organized. With around 2.3 million people attending over 300 Euro Pride events over a ten day period, Madrid was transformed into a rainbow-wrapped marvel. According to independent media estimates, more than 200.000 visitors came from outside Madrid as well as from foreign countries to join in on the awe-inspiring event.

This year, July 1-4, the Spanish schwarovski-enfolded, feather-covered festivity, can once again be relied upon to present some of the most ferocious and glam-rocking parties for its participants. Lined with flags and garlands, the streets in Chueca will be the settings for open-air concerts, and multiple other cultural activities hosted by art galleries, cinemas, bookshops and associations. The vibrant mix of dance parties, cultural happenings and social mixers will ultimately culminate with the amazing Infinita Party, carrying shows with some of the world’s hottest go-go dancers and astonishing performers of present time.

* http://www.madridgaypride.com/