LGBT festival to run 10 days
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau announced that the city will host the first 10-day Pride of the Americas Festival in April 2020.
Fort Lauderdale’s annual Pride festival has proven to be such a successful draw for LGBT tourism that local hospitality planners have decided to expand it to an international-scale event.
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau on Wednesday announced that the city will host the first-ever, 10-day Pride of the Americas Festival in April 2020. The event was initially announced last weekend at the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association annual conference in Toronto.
The new festival celebrating the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community will be hosted by organizers of the annual Pride Fort Lauderdale festival and will feature a parade, beach party, arts festival, social events throughout the area, and a human rights conference focused on LGBT rights in the Caribbean and Latin America.
The event will replace the annual Pride Fort Lauderdale festival in 2020. Organizers hope to piggyback on the Tortuga Music Festival and the Miami Beach Gay Pride event, both of which are in April, said Miik Martorell, president of the nonprofit organization that runs the Pride Fort Lauderdale festival.
The Fort Lauderdale event is typically in February but would be moved to April for the 2020 event, he said. “Ideally, Miami Beach Pride would kick off the event on their weekend and then our event would be the week after. We would hopefully be able to share [concert] staging with the Tortuga Music Festival.”
Martorell said he envisions concert offerings from A-list entertainers from the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America.
The idea for the event grew out of a recent disappointment — Pride Fort Lauderdale lost its bid to host the global WorldPride festival in 2021, said Richard Gray, vice president of LGBT+ Marketing for the convention and visitor bureau.
But even though Copenhagen, Denmark, was awarded the bid for WorldPride, the committee that reviewed the bids were impressed with what Fort Lauderdale’s offered. Rather than scrap their plan, local organizers decided they could complement the nearly annual EuroPride festival by focusing on drawing visitors from the Western Hemisphere, Gray and Martorell said.
Martorell said he envisions the area hosting the festival every three or four years if it’s successful in 2020.
The festival will include a conferences exploring oppression faced by LGBT members in the developing Western world, especially the Caribbean.