Before Copenhagen 2021 was forced to scale backWorldPride and EuroGames, the Denmark capital (and sister city Malmö, Sweden) were expecting up to a million visitors. Instead, when the the ten day celebration starts tomorrow, the region will likely see crowds of only a few thousand at many of the events. Less than half the 5,000 LGBTQ+ athletes that were originally expected will now compete in EuroGames. Instead of one massive WorldPride parade, there will be seven smaller marches.
Still after more than six years of planning and the interruption of a global pandemic, the events will go forward. "Despite the challenges...we are proud to have pulled together an impressive schedule of more than 1,000 events spanning sport, human rights, culture and Pride taking place over 11 days," Lars Henriksen, chair of Copenhagen Pride which hosts the seventh WorldPride said, "We are determined, and we are optimistic, that we will give hope for the future for LGBTI+ people everywhere, ensuring that these eleven days will have an impact for many years ahead.”
The global celebration of equality and diversity will feature a Human Rights Conference is expected to draw 1,000 activists, 700 events organized by cultural institutions around Copenhagen and Malmö, and there will be more than 100 sessions at 25 events streamed digitally to a global audience that has been forced to stay home.
The Malmö Live Concert Hall is playing the role of WorldPride House, containing both physical and digital environments (with streamed real-time events and those available online on demand). The WorldPride House content will range from questions regarding politics, lust and sexuality, health, culture, work, family, violence and a lot more.
Each day there will be "Political Riots," where speakers will deliver opinions, visions, burning desires, and feelings through poetry or direct speeches addressing themes like love, safety, sex, anger and spirituality.
Copenhagen's Roller Derby team will compete at EuroGames
“We never could have imagined the difficulties we would face in organizing EuroGames during a pandemic," Christian Bigom, chair of Pan Idræt which is hosting the games said in a statement to the press. "But we are so happy that we can welcome so many participants not only to compete in sports, but to use the opportunity to make sure that sport is more inclusive and more diverse in the future. The Tokyo Olympics have shown how far we have still to go, and EuroGames in Copenhagen and Malmö will strengthen our determination and our demand for a place for every LGBTI+ person in sport.”
Two thousand athletes from more than 50 countries will be on hand to compete in the multi-sport EuroGames. A Sports To The People program including more than 70 public sports activities, will take place across Copenhagen, and Islands Brygge is transformed into a Sports Village.
Performing at a smaller concert hall which will be live-streamed an outdoor park audience of 5,000 are international stars like Todrick Hall and Princess Nokia alongside Danish and Swedish artists including Freja Kirk, Theo X, Ängie and AQUA. The Copenhagen Rådhuspladsen will offer street-food market, bars, a performance area and big screen. The iconic Drag Night Concert is being streamed to entertainment magazine Time Out’s website in several countries.
Copenhagen 2021's Fluid Festival celebrates women and genderqueer and nonbinary people with a blend of performances, speeches, talks, and space to socialize. There is also programing for queer youth and space for families at Huset KBH and Rainbow Children @ BLOX.
Copenhagen at sunset.
Denmark's Ministry of Foreign Affairs will project a rainbow into the sky towards Christiansborg, the seat of the Danish parliament, in a collaboration with artist Båll & Brand. At Christiansborg, 150 parliamentarians from around the world have been invited by the Speaker Henrik Dam Kristensen for an Assembly to discuss global LGBTI+ equality, and to sign the Øresund Declaration of goals for equality by 2030. In Malmö, the Refugees, Borders & Immigration Summit will consider how LGBTI+ migrants can be better protected and served.
WorldPride’s Opening Parade takes place at Malmö Stadion on Thursday evening (August 12), followed on Saturday the 21st by six WorldPride Marches through the streets of Copenhagen, all meeting at Fælledparken for the closing ceremony at which EuroGames is handed to Nijmegen, The Netherlands for 2022; EuroPride to Belgrade, Serbia for 2022; and WorldPride to Sydney, Australia for 2023.
All events are taking place within the current pandemic guidelines and restrictions. Information on testing and rules can be found here.