It might be one of the smallest countries in Europe, but Malta’s unwavering support for the LGBTQIA+ community is known throughout the continent. Having ranked at number one in ILGA-Europe’s annual ranking of the best places to be LGBTQIA+ in Europe since 2015, it only makes sense that this year’s EuroPride be held in the region. From 7 to 17 September, its capital city, Valletta, will be the hub of all things LGBTQIA+ in Europe as thousands celebrate with a focus on achieving equality. From details on its highly anticipated concert to how you can get tickets, this is everything you need to know about EuroPride Valletta 2023.
Why is EuroPride being held in Malta?
Malta won the bid to host EuroPride in 2020 after being selected during the annual general meeting of the European Pride Organisers Association (EPOA), beating out competition from Belfast in Northern Ireland, Hull in England and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. EPOA owns the EuroPride trademark and is responsible for licensing it out to a different Pride organisation each year, with Malta declared the 2023 host after receiving 54 per cent of the vote. Despite being one of Europe’s smallest countries, Malta has a big track record when it comes to supporting LGBTQIA+ rights and advancing equality. This includes the legalisation of same-sex marriage, access to IVF for lesbian couples and single persons, as well as anti-discrimination provisions on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity at a constitutional level.
What’s it like to be LGBTQIA+ in Malta?
Malta is recognised as one of the most welcoming countries in Europe, having topped ILGA-Europe’s annual ‘Rainbow Map and Index’ for eight years running. The list is a ranking of 49 European countries based on their respective legal and policy practices for LGBTQIA+ people, with Malta routinely hailed for its progressiveness. In 2016, it became the first country in the European Union to ban so-called ‘conversion therapy’ and, a year later, same-sex marriage was legalised. Other recent advances on LGBTQIA+ rights include men who have sex with men being able to donate blood on an equal basis with others, further improvements on LGBTQIA-inclusive education and the introduction of a third-gender option on ID cards and passports. On the whole, Malta is seen as one of the best places to be LGBTQIA+ in Europe – making it the perfect host for EuroPride.
Who is headlining the EuroPride Valletta 2023 Concert?
On 16 September, The Granaries will be home to the highly anticipated EuroPride Valletta 2023 Concert. It will be headlined by none other than global superstar Christina Aguilera, who has a longstanding history of advocating for and celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community. She is credited for being one of the artists who paved the way for musicians to incorporate themes of LGBTQIA+ culture, sexuality and feminism into their music, resulting in her being recognised as a gay icon to this day. Christina is also one of the best-selling music artists of all time and, with her endless stream of hits, is sure to deliver a showstopping set that no one will be able to forget. “This event is a powerful moment of unity and celebration that shows the immense progress our community has made towards equality,” Maria Azzopardi, President of Allied Rainbow Communities, said. “We are delighted that Christina Aguilera, a true icon and ally, will be headlining the concert.” The EuroPride Valletta 2023 Concert aims to celebrate diversity, equality and inclusivity and is free for all to attend.
What are some of the key events taking place during EuroPride?
Throughout the time that Malta hosts EuroPride, there will be an array of events taking place for all aspects of the LGBTQIA+ community to enjoy. These are just some of this year’s most highly anticipated ones you can attend:
- The Official EuroPride 2023 Opening Ceremony + After Party (7 September): EuroPride will get underway with an array of performances from local artists, as well as a special set from Eurovision winner, Netta.
- LGBTQIA+ Human Rights Conference (13-15 September): A three-day conference with an array of sessions on the state of LGBTQIA+ rights in Europe and beyond.
- Eurovision Night ft. Conchita Wurst, Katrina & The Roop (15 September): One of the most highly anticipated events of EuroPride, the Eurovision Night will be a star-studded event featuring performances from the likes of Conchita Wurst and Katrina and the Waves.
- QUEERing Faith? A Forum on faith and sexuality by Drachma (16 September): A groundbreaking conference exploring the intersection of faith and sexuality, as well as how diverse faith experiences have empowered people from various religious backgrounds to embrace their love and unique identities.
- EuroPride March (16 September): With protest at the core of any Pride event, the EuroPride March sees the streets of Floriana and Valletta come alive as tens of thousands of people march in favour of love and equality.
- The EuroPride Concert (16 September): Headlined by global superstar Christina Aguilera, the closing concert will bring EuroPride to an unforgettable end with performances from Katerina Stikoudi, Ira Losco and Queenz.
How can I get tickets for EuroPride?
Given that EuroPride is made up of a number of events, whether or not you need a ticket depends on what you want to go to. For example, the official EuroPride Valletta Concert is free to attend, but requires pre-event registration that can be filled out here. There is a comprehensive list of what’s on during EuroPride available here, which also details whether or not tickets are required.