These festivals celebrate LGBTQ pride and everything it represents with great enthusiasm and fun. Take a look!


1. Bok o Bok Festival

When: November, 2016 (TBA)
Where: St. Petersburg, Russia

The Bok o Bok (Side by Side) Festival is a queer film festival that was founded by de Guerre and Sultanova, and has been running for over eight years, and it was believed that last year’s controversy could have put an end to it. Considering the terrible incidents of violence and undue hatred the community faces in Russia, we applaud the bravery and solidarity of every person who attended and supported the festival. Bok o Bok’s events and initiatives are also admirable, ranging from films and public discussions to educating local journalists on how to handle gay and transgender issues in a non-offensive way and without inadvertently promoting hate.


(Source: The Guardian)


2. Queer and Allies Arts Festival

When: December 2016 (TBA)
Where: Pune, India

Organized by MIST, a non-profit organisation for the LGBT community in Pune, this festival is an open space to chill, hang out and exchange ideas with like-minded people, the Q&A Arts Festival is the place to be over the span of a weekend. The focus of the festival isn’t only queer art, or art in any singular form. It’s a space for people to express themselves, and the festival will have painting exhibitions, sculptures, dance performances and poetry readings. There are also going to be some interesting movies screened, and even an open mic night for music and stand-up comedy!




3. Mumbai/Bangalore International Queer Film Festivals

When: February 25-28 (Bangalore)/May 25-29 (Mumbai)
Where: Mumbai/Bangalore, India

2009 marked a good year for the LGBT community in India. The Delhi High Court decriminalized homosexuality and not being heterosexual was not a punishable offense. The youths of the city rejoiced at the forthcoming evolution of the country, and the movement was taken forward by shedding some light on queer cinema. Unbeknownst to the almost medieval mentality most of the country’s political authorities would display four years hence, KASHISH Mumbai Queer Film Festival was conceptualized. Similarly, Bangalore celebrated their own queer film festival, which is said to be dated back to the early 2000’s. An almost essential platform for cinema, theatre and performing arts, these festivals prevail still, celebrated by faithful fans with vigour.

(Source: Bangalore Queer Film Festival/Facebook)


4. The Milkshake Festival

When: July 30-31, 2016
Where: Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Milkshake festival is back for its fifth edition in Amsterdam this year. Taking place outdoors in Amsterdam’s Westerpark, this festival showcases over 40 queer artists and an air of fabulousness that is simply unattainable by other festivals. Sort of a throwback to the ’90s rave scene, Milkshake sees queer folks from all over the world, dressed up in funky costumes, glitter and an air that lacks inhibitions. This is a great place to make friends and meet new people, and is famous for all manner of vices. The line-ups of Milkshake are always spectacular, this year’s featuring acts such as Supertoys, Cirkus Klauterwerck, Rapido, Hausbound and many more. Take a look at more details on their website.




5. The Outing Festival

When: October 7-9, 2016
Where: Lisdoonvarna, Ireland

A delightful festival that amalgamates the happiness of music and matchmaking, The Outing is truly one of a kind. Queer to the very Q, this festival is all about flamboyance and some hearty fun. Featuring elaborate drag performances, music, art, pop-up nightclubs, and film-screenings, there’s not much room for complaint here. Now in its fourth year, the festival is essentially an extension of the Traditional Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, which has been around for more than 157 years. Spanned over five weekends, the festival dedicates the first weekend to the LGBTQ community, pretty much taking over the hotels, bars, and venues in the Village. Find more deets about the festival here.

the outing

(Source: The Guardian)


6. Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

When: March 5, 2016
Where: Sydney, Australia

What started as a defiant civil rights march in 1978 has turned into one of the most colourful, energetic parties in the world and the biggest annual event in Australia. The glitz and flamboyance of this parade-festival gives San Francisco’s famous pride parade a run for its money. The weekend of Mardi Gras is alight with parties and pageants all over the city, so pack your glitter and stilettos, because this festival is all about the fabulous. Apart from the bodacious parade, the festival has several other immersive activities, such as film screenings, dance parties, academic discussions, and much more. Head to the festival’s website for more details.


(Source: SGLMG/Facebook)

7. Yo! Sissy Festival

When: July 29-31, 2016
Where: Berlin, Germany

Berlin’s first queer music festival, Yo! Sissy debuted last year, funded successfully by Kickstarter. There are a lot of great things that will draw you to the festival – the music, the design, the political messages and the phenomenal acts. Dust off your dance shoes for a weekend of insanity featuring ethereal drag queens, intensely captivating music, and of course, disco balls. Last year’s lineup included some incredible musical acts such as Peaches, Crystal Waters, JD Samson, CHRISTEENE, The Hidden Cameras, Cakes da Killa, Hi-Fashion, Hard Ton and many more. You can keep tabs here to be the first to know about this year’s anticipated lineup.


(Source: Lisa Wassmann)