Gay Pride LGBT 2018: Vindication and Mayhem in Madrid

You can read our new post Gay Pride Madrid 2019

Well well WELL! Today marks the start of something HUGE. The time has finally come for Madrid’s event of the year. For over a week, the city will be utterly taken over (even more than usual) by freedom, open-mindedness, fun, madness, bravado and so much PARTYING!

Guys, let the 2018 Madrid GAY PRIDE celebrations commence! Oh yeah!!

Madrid’s Pride celebrations no doubt deserve the warmest of welcomes. From June 28 to July 8 the whole city will be buzzing with freedom and excitement, and of course, dressed up in leather! Madrid proves once again that it is the coolest capital city, with the biggest personality. Hand in hand with all the crazy parties lies a clear message of equality, that fills us with pride (pun intended!).

Our city is internationally recognized as the world’s best LGTBIQ+ destination. Last year we hosted World Pride and 2 million travelers came to vindicate and celebrate. Over 300 million euros were spent here, in what was one of the city’s best investments. This just shows how much effort businesses in Madrid -restaurants, bars, shops, HOSTELS like CATS-, really make to support this initiative, entertaining travelers throughout these days of endless celebration. Business is business!

This year many travelers will come back for more Pride mayhem, as well as expectant newcomers, ready to take in the Madrid experience at this year’s SPECTACULAR edition.

Hands up for Madrid Gay Pride’s 40-year anniversary! Four decades have passed since Madrid’s first gay pride pioneers began seeking vindication, protesting against the discrimination and exclusion (to name a few) that homosexuals had to face daily in Spain. For this reason, and rightly so, we will pay homage and honor them by doing what Madrid knows best… enjoying our FREEDOM.

So let’s get to it. What’s in store for us at 2018 Madrid Gay Pride?

Cats Hostel-Gay Pride 201828JUN/THE BIG KICK-OFF

Madrid Gay Pride will be officially kick-started with a few institutional acts, as well as the formal presentation of this year’s edition: ’40 YEARS OF PRIDE’.


Let’s get the party started! Many cultural events spring into action throughout downtown Madrid, particularly in the gay pride epicenter: Chueca. Exhibitions, concerts, culinary competitions, and flea markets flood the streets, to our delight.


Before we throw ourselves into mega party mode, it’s time to stop and reflect a little bit. A few of Madrid’s universities will host the 2018 Madrid Summit, a place to come together and seek vindication. The summit’s purpose is to offer a place to exchange experiences, including presentations by experts, academics and politicians who support the movement.


Time to go wild! We are Madrid, and Pride is our thing! It’s our biggest celebration, so let’s start things off with a bang: the opening speech.

A handful of amazing artists such as Los Javis, Operación Triunfo contestants (kinda like Spain’s American Idol), youtuber King Jedet (and many more) will have the honor of reading the 2018 Madrid Pride opening speech. It will take place in the Plaza de Pedro Zerolo, in Chueca. This year’s goal is to look into the future of the LGTBIQ+ movement, which is why the younger generation is taking over!

Protocol over… let the madness begin! Five days of musical magic will fill Madrid’s emblematic plazas (Plaza de Pedro Zerolo, Plaza del Rey, Puerta del Sol y Plaza de España). Today’s pop stars will bring their best tunes to please the crowds.

Hidden away in surrounding streets you’ll find smaller parties, in Chueca’s famous clubs (discover the best gay clubs in Madrid). Adventures into the unknown around every corner…

But if you’re more of a MEGAPARTY goer, then brace yourself for We Party Festival. A few of Madrid’s biggest nightclubs (Fabrik, La Riviera) will be waiting for you to join their spectacular, and crowded, pride parties.


Once again, Chueca will be the setting of a landmark pride event, which has been a classic for over 20 years.  Pride isn’t pride without the mythical high-heel race!

The brave contestants that signed up for the race take to the streets in their highest of heels and most outrageous outfits, ready for some fun on the buzzing Calle Pelayo, which is always bursting with people. The first sprinter to make it to the finish line without breaking an ankle gets 1,000 euros for party pocket money!


Madrid is home to Spain’s biggest and best LGTBIQ+ beauty contest, and where better than the famous Plaza del Sol? From the country’s selection of wonderful candidates, Mr. Gay Pride will be crowned in a super gala, with the best music and ambience around. It’s set to be a night to remember, presented by TV star Luján Argüelles, and including performances from the likes of Eleni Foureira, Cyprus’s Eurovision contestant.


Manifestation meets catwalk.

Madrid’s massive Pride march is the star event. It represents the foundation of the entire week of celebrations. All of Madrid’s Pride extravaganza comes to a spectacular end with this amazing manifestation. Throughout the last day of Pride, the streets fill with the air of vindication and happiness (basically what the whole thing is all about).

At 5pm, a huge manifestation will take place at Atocha station, in the name of equality. Protestors will gather against repression and discrimination. This year’s theme is “Conquering equality, TRANSforming society”. Every single one of the city’s main streets collapse with people coming together to send this one, very clear message.

And, last but not least, the final pièce de résistance. The most immense, daring, and entertaining parade you’ll ever see in Spain. It begins at 8pm on July 7 and over 50 elaborate floats will make their way towards Cibeles, accompanied by a sea of limitless party-goers, eager to get their groove on. Every different kind of music will be blaring, you’ll probably get hosed down to combat the summer heat… You’ll see models, dancers, policemen, celebrities and much more! Such an explosive and unforgettable mix.

If we had to give you one piece of advice it would be this: do NOT miss out on this intense parade. You’d regret it.