BENIDORM – Benidorm, a city that rarely sleeps and is always colourful, is going the extra mile this week. With an expected 20,000 visitors and a high hotel occupancy, the Benidorm Pride Festival is the grand finale of the Gay Pride season in Europe.
The event started out as a fun gathering in 2011 but has grown into an international sensation. According to the municipality, this festival not only gives the city a rainbow touch but also a welcome boost to tourism, which usually slumps at this time of year.
Hotels in Benidorm are smiling with an occupancy rate of 87% for September, which is expected to rise to almost 90%, thanks in part to the Benidorm Pride Festival which takes place from 4 to 10 September, but expects the most visitors during the closing weekend.
The festivities already started this week in dozens of bars and clubs in the historic centre, the beating heart of the party. On Tuesday you could go to Barbie’s Bottomless Brunch in The Westend Showbar, and on Wednesday there was a fetish party at DYMK and a pink party at Tiki Town Beach Club.
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As if that wasn’t enough, the municipality has also added a cultural note. An art exhibition entitled Vibe Arte by Bulgarian artist Martin Georgiev Binev opened at the Espai d’Art of the Casa Consistorial.
Pool party and parade
But the real highlight? That’s still to come! On Thursday there is a Pool Party at the Primavera Park Hotel, and on Friday you can put on your whitest outfit for the Fiesta Blanca at KU Lounge Bar. And then, of course, the big parade on Saturday. This departs from Rincón de Loix at 5.00 pm and ends in the Julio Iglesias Auditorium of the Parque de l’Aigüera.
Many of the expected visitors are from the UK, with some even staying for more than a week. There are also large numbers of Italians and French. All in all, a weekend occupancy of no less than 98% is expected.
Collaborations and innovations
This year the organisers have entered into partnerships with local hotels and companies. As a result, some of the parties now take place in other locations such as Primavera Park, Ku Lounge or Benidorm Palace, rather than in the traditional auditoriums.