The two week Gay Pride event, which culminates in the boat parade through Amsterdam’s canals on Saturday is considered ‘a special event but not a particularly likeable one’, according to research by consultancy Hendrik Beerdma involving 1,600 people.
SAIL, the Pinkpop music festival and the Huishoudbeurs (ideal home exhibition) are the top three events according to those polled by the consultancy. Gay Pride was eighth on the list of top attractions, sandwiched between the Dutch Cup football and Assen TT motorbike races. It topped the list of non-conformist events.
Gay Pride, now celebrating its 21st year, is not yet a popular part of the events calendar, Beerda told broadcaster NOS. ‘A lot of the Dutch still have a real problem with it,’ he said.
Many Dutch people, he said, are still traditional and not open to events which campaign for the acceptance of gays, bisexuals and transgenders. ‘In particular men with low levels of education from outside the central urban belt find it difficult to watch, say, the canal parade,’ he said.
The survey into attitudes towards 50 events is carried out every two years. ‘The challenge facing Gay Pride is to build up a more likeable image among a wider population,’ he said.
For example, many people don’t realise Gay Pride consists of two weeks of events and debates, not just the annual boat parade, he pointed out.
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