Rainbow festivals celebrating queer or gay pride have developed into a mainstay on the agenda in the Northern Netherlands: there were already Gay Pride festivals in Leeuwarden (May 2018) and in Groningen (Queer Pride Groningen June 2019), and last weekend, a rainbow festival was also well received in Emmen, in the province of Drenthe.
Translation by Hans de Preter
The turn-out was excellent last weekend for the first ever festival, RTV Drenthe reports. According to the broadcaster, the pageant was a great success and there were no incidents. Plans have already been announced to hold the event in Emmen next year.”
“It was a fairy tale. You hope something like that will turn out well, when you first think of it. We didn’t need any security at all. I’m really floating on a pink cloud,” organizer Wesly Struik told RTV Drenthe. “The visitors were very positive. We did have doubts about how people would react. Also because we had received a few nasty messages in advance. But everyone was very loving,” says Struik. “Two young boys also walked arm in arm and that was just wonderful!”
There was plenty to do during the festivities in Emmen, including a silent disco, a pink church and a spot to cool down on the Raadhuisplein. There were also performances by various artists. The Rainbow Festival aims to increase acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people within society, and highlight the various forms of oppression many people still suffer from.