Huge crowds pack Stockholm for Pride

Stockholm was thronged by an estimated 60,000 participants for Saturday's gay pride festival. Hundreds of thousands of spectators also lined the parade route.

Huge crowds pack Stockholm for Pride

The fun kicked off at 1pm with the crowds marching from Medborgarplatsen in the heart of the city. Reports suggested there were as many 115 floats (mobile rigs) with the route full of colour and dancing.

IN PICTURES: See more from the Pride Parade

With temperatures in the high 20s a high turnout was expected and there was some early crowd congestion on Götgatan. Many in attendance sported t-shirts and banners protesting about next year’s winter Olympics in Russia.

“Swedish Olympic athletes should really act as you can’t treat people the way Russia does,” said Pride attendee Britta Tegby Frisk to the TT news agency.

Behind her, sporting huge black eyelashes, was Christer Rikenberg who said a boycott may go too far.

“Sweden has come a long way but if you look at the rest of the world, for example Russia, it goes several steps back. At first you think it might be better to boycott the games but there must be a better way to cause some influence than by not going.”

Green Party Politician Gustav Fridolin was at the fore in one of the floats and there was representation from the Swedish defence forces. Sweden’s commander in chief of the defence forces, Sverker Göranson, told TT that he wanted to show support for gay people in other countries.

“Although things are relatively good in Sweden we must show solidarity with the LGBTQ movement in other countries,” he said.

Missed the parade? Watch this video recap

Also raising a cheer were the so-called ‘dykes on bikes’ who roared their Harley-Davidson motorcycles along the parade route.

Some wore t-shirts with the slogan ‘marching for those who can’t’ and had black masking tape over their mouths in protest to anti-gay laws which exist elsewhere.

Peter Rimsby, chairman of Stockholm Pride, said the recent focus on the treatment of LGBTQ people in Russia had swelled the attendance figures at Pride.

“But we haven’t seen so much from the sports world. I hope that this is the alarm call that wakes them up and gets them involved with our questions.”

TT/The Local/pr

Follow The Local on Twitter

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Stockholm Pride is a little different this year: here’s what you need to know 

This week marks the beginning of Pride festivities in the Swedish capital. The tickets sold out immediately, for the partly in-person, partly digital events. 

Pride parade 2019
There won't be a Pride parade like the one in 2019 on the streets of Stockholm this year. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

You might have noticed rainbow flags popping up on major buildings in Stockholm, and on buses and trams. Sweden has more Pride festivals per capita than any other country and is the largest Pride celebration in the Nordic region, but the Stockholm event is by far the biggest.  

The Pride Parade, which usually attracts around 50,000 participants in a normal year, will be broadcast digitally from Södra Teatern on August 7th on Stockholm Pride’s website and social media. The two-hour broadcast will be led by tenor and debater Rickard Söderberg.

The two major venues of the festival are Pride House, located this year at the Clarion Hotel Stockholm at Skanstull in Södermalm, and Pride Stage, which is at Södra Teatern near Slussen.

“We are super happy with the layout and think it feels good for us as an organisation to slowly return to normal. There are so many who have longed for it,” chairperson of Stockholm Pride, Vix Herjeryd, told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

Tickets are required for all indoor events at Södra Teatern to limit the number of people indoors according to pandemic restrictions. But the entire stage programme will also be streamed on a big screen open air on Mosebacketerassen, which doesn’t require a ticket.  

You can read more about this year’s Pride programme on the Stockholm Pride website (in Swedish).