Barcelona to bag €100m from global gay ‘fiesta’

The 11-day Circuit Festival is expected to attract over 71,000 visitors and generate €100 million ($134 million) in revenue for the Catalan city through art, sport, parties, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activities.

Barcelona to bag €100m from global gay 'fiesta'
2,500 American gay cruise passengers will join in with this year's 7,000-strong water party at the festival. Photo: Circuit Festival

The spectacular gay festival running in Barcelona from August 6th-17th will attract a huge influx of free-spending foreign visitors, according to its organizers.

Most are expected to be middle class, mid-to-high income professionals aged 25-45 who will spend an average of €250 every day.

Assuming a typical stay of seven days, the result will be a €100 million injection of cash into the local economy.

Spanish daily Publico reported Circuit spokesperson Teseo Cuadreny as saying, "Barcelona is in fashion with the gay public and thousands of homosexual couples visit the city each year thanks to its mix of sun, beach, gastronomy, leisure and, above all, its tolerance, and because they can walk hand-in-hand through the streets without anyone saying anything."

22 parties, and 15 daily activities related to art, culture, sport and LGBT activism are included in the Festival's packed schedule.

Joining the party will be 2,500 gay passengers from the North American liner Atlantis Cruise which is docking in Barcelona on August 12th, just in time for Water Park Day, the world's biggest gay and lesbian water park event with 7,000 participants.

Most Circuit attendees in previous years were European but many Brazilians, Americans, Australians, Chinese and Taiwanese now make the trip to Catalonia.

Five to ten percent of attendees are Muslims, leading to the adoption of pork-free catering such as hot dogs made from turkey and chicken.

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Six reasons why Spain should be proud of its LGBT record

With Madrid's pride celebrations in full swing, The Local takes a look at Spain's record with equal rights for members of the LGBT community.

Six reasons why Spain should be proud of its LGBT record
Pride celebrations in Barcelona, 2019. Photo: AFP.

1. A history of equal marriage rights

Between the legalization of gay marriage on June 30th 2005 and 2016, there were almost 40,000 gay marriages in Spain. In this respect, Spain was way ahead of other countries, legalizing same-sex marriage nine years before the UK and ten before the US. In the first full year after the legalization, 2006, 4,313 same-sex couples were married.

2. Starting a family

While other countries struggle with the issue of adoption by same-sex couples, it has been possible in Spain for years. On top of this, a children born by in vitro fertilization in Spain can be recognized as the child of the biological mother’s same-sex partner.

Photo: Depositphotos

3. Support and recognition for the trans community

It was as early as 2007 that a Law passed to allow people in Spain to change their name and gender without the need for judicial procedures or surgeries. The right to modify one’s gender on the Civil Registry also became possible with the Gender Identity law of 2007, although it has been pointed out that the process could be less restrictive.

As well as this, although Spanish is a gendered language, it is not uncommon for gender-neutral modifications of words, for example trading 'amigos' or 'amigas' for 'amigxs'. 

4. Amazing Pride Celebrations

Spain is home to some of the world’s biggest and most vibrant pride celebrations. As well as parades in Barcelona, Sevilla and Valencia, Madrid’s pride festival is the biggest is Europe, with the parade being expected to attract around 2 million people this weekend.

Photo: AFP

5. Protection against discrimination

Although there is sadly no law against sexual-orientation based discrimination, over 85 percent of the Spanish population lives in an autonomous communities or region that offers broad protection against this type of discrimination, including Andalusia (2014/2018), Aragón (2018), Islas Baleares (2007), Cataluña (2014), Canarias (2014), Madrid (2016), Navarra (2017), Valencia (2018), Extremadura (2015), Galicia (2016) ), Basque Country (2012) and Murcia (2016).

6. Taking pride in the little things

Whether it may be the opening of a public retirement home specifically for gay people, or the adaption of traffic lights to celebrate pride, there are all kinds of measures in Spain to help work toward inclusion for all. In fact, a Pew Research Centre poll from 2013 indicated that 88 percent of Spaniards believe that society should accept homosexuality, compared to only 60 percent of people from the US.


By Alice Huseyinoglu

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about Madrid Pride 2019