A sneak peak into the celebrations lined up for Copenhagen 2021
BY POLLY SHUTE
Here at DIVA we have been missing Pride season, and like many, are big fans of the Nordics. We were delighted, as an official media partner, to be flown out to Copenhagen for an exclusive update on their plans for WorldPride and The EuroGames in 2021.
Billed as a “celebration of equality, arts and human rights”, Copenhagen 2021 has planned a jam-packed week of content kicking off on 13 August and running right through to the closing ceremony on the 21 August 2021. As Copenhagen are working in collaboration with Malmo Pride, you can even pop over the bridge to join celebrations and activities in Sweden. It really is a Nordic LGBTQI event that you will not want to miss!
This will be the first WorldPride that is also combined with the LGBTQI focused EuroGames. The organisers have also included an impressive Human Rights Forum, including an Assembly with 220 politicians and up to 50 activists from across the world.
Since Copenhagen picked up the baton to host WorldPride in New York last year, they have been busy planning what will be the biggest LGBTQI event in Denmark. Copenhagen 2021 has support from the City, the Danish government and even has a The Crown Princess of Denmark as a Patron.
Denmark is a progressive country, decriminalising homosexuality back in 1933, and was the first country in the world to recognise same civil partnerships back in 1989 (this was replaced in 2012 by same sex marriage law). The first successful gender reassignment surgery in the world took place in Copenhagen in 1951. Copenhagen was also the first city to have a permanent rainbow flag, in a square that was renamed Rainbow Square back in 2014. 2021 will also mark 25 years since the first ever Copenhagen Pride.
DIVA visited Copenhagen during this year’s Pride week. Like with most cities, Pride celebrations have been curtailed due to COVID-19 restrictions, but we saw plenty of support for the LGBTQI community in the town and from key institutions and businesses. There is a thriving LGBTQI bar and café scene, including the oldest LGBTQI bar in the world, established in the 1920s.
Copenhagen 2021 expects up to 750,000 people to attend the events in the city and in Malmo. The first thing that struck home is how compact and accessible Copenhagen is a city. There is a good variety of transportation, including the metro and bike and even motorised scooter hire. As all the main Pride venues are just 20/30 minutes walk apart, it is easy to get around. It is well worth investing in The Copenhagen Card, which gives you free access to transport and entry to many key tourist attractions, including the wonderful Tivoli Gardens and various Canal Trips.
The opening and closing ceremony for Copenhagen 2021 will take part at World Pride Square (City Hall Square) where the first civil partnership ceremony was celebrated back in 1989. There will be a main stage here and day long entertainment, celebrating both WorldPride and the EuroGames. The Square will host a Village throughout the week, with free to enter shows and cultural events.
There will also be key villages across both Copenhagen and Malmo. This includes key areas for young people and families as well as a dedicated area in Copenhagen called Fluids that has been set for non-binary audiences and will have specific content for LGBTQI women. DIVA was impressed by the early focus of the team at Copenhagen 2021, to ensure WorldPride really is an intersectional festival, accessible and open to all.
You can also expect both official and unofficial parties across the week. Copenhagen 2021 will work with local party organisers to host Signature Events throughout the week, with all venues being accessible. DIVA was pleased to hear that the parties will focus on all elements of the LGBTQI community, including identifying women.
There is no Pride without a Parade, and more than 60,000 people are anticipated to take part in the marches at Copenhagen and Malmo, with another 500,000 watching the live event. The theme for Copenhagen is #YouAreIncluded, and to emphasise this there will be no fencing on the route, allowing spectators to join in as the march takes place.
The EuroGames are a sports-for-all-event, open to everyone, irrespective of sex, age, sexual identity or physical ability. Copenhagen 2021 expects 6,000 athletes will take part in what is anticipated to be the biggest EuroGames ever. There will be 29 different sports to enjoy, ranging from football and tennis through to chess and even an e-sport tournament. DIVA even got to see the plans for an impressive Sports Village and a Sports Leaders Conference.
Amongst the celebrations, Copenhagen 2021 will also be very focused on the protest side of Pride and will host a five-day Human Rights Forum from the 16 – 21 August. One of the key elements of this will be an Assembly on 20 August of 220 parliamentarians from across the world. At the end of the Assembly they will sign a multi-national agreement, The Orsesund declaration (named after the bridge that connects Denmark and Sweden) with key objectives to be achieved by 2030.
DIVA loved the vibe in Copenhagen, it felt a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQI women. We enjoyed the restaurants and visiting the beautiful Tivoli Gardens, as well as a boat trip where we got to see the famous Little Mermaid. Outside the city, there are some wonderful beaches and you can also take a dip in the many centrally located harbour baths. So, don’t forget to pack your swimmers!
Copenhagen is less than two hours flight from London, and it takes just 15 minutes on the train from the airport to the heart of the city.