After two years of restrictions, it's time to get out your best pair of shorts and celebrate summer just like we used to! And what better way than with a lively street party, iconic festival, or even a cruise across the Med?
Whether you’re a beach bunny or a cool city kid, 2022 offers up a whole stack of great LGBTQ summer events in Europe for all tastes. So, not including the many gay prides you're bound to attend, here’s our countdown of the top 10 LGBTQ events Europe that you simply can’t miss this season!
From Folsom Festival Berlin to Circuit Barcelona, we've got you covered for your summer calendar. It's time to party again!
1) What? Milkshake Festival
When? July 30-31
Love a summer festival in a park full of peeps? Then this is THE event for you. Described as hetero-friendly, Milkshake Festival is a weekend queer party set in Amsterdam’s Westerpark. It features DJs, performances and a whole lot of fun. Milkshake celebrates the diversity of Amsterdam and visitors: thick, thin, small, large, gay, straight, trans, black or white: are all welcomed to come shake their thang at Milkshake!
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2) What? The Cruise by La Demence
When? July 30- August 6
We love a good anniversary, and this time around it’s La Demence’s turn. It’s anchors away as the iconic La Demence Cruise will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary next June. From July 30 to August 6 2022, set sail from Rome to Athens, and look forward to an A-list line-up of entertainment that will keep your festive spirits afloat. Think tea dances, after-parties, karaoke, drag bingo, and more. Over the course of eight days, you’ll also be able to marvel at some of Europe’s hottest destinations, with the cruise making pit stops in Dubrovnik, Korčula, Kotor, and Mykonos. Can't make this one? Check out our round-up of other great gay cruises.
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3) What? Circuit Festival
When? August 6-14
One of the busiest (and sexiest) gay events in the calendar, the Circuit Festival from Matinée brings together 30,000 visitors to Barcelona every year (outside of Covid times). With a line-up of big-name parties, international DJs and the infamous Waterpark Day, all taking place beachside in Barcelona, it’s easy to see why Circuit Festival attracts gay guys from all over the world every year. We don't like to be biased, but we have to say this is hands-down one of the best summer events in Europe, so we'll see you there!
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4) What? XLSIOR
When? August 17-24
XLSIOR is an international gay dance festival held in the beautiful LGBTQ haven of Mykonos. During XLSIOR, this stunning Greek island fills up with over 30,000 people from all over the world, coming to party with some of the best gay Circuit DJs in town, fabulous shows, sexy dancers and party productions. The island, the parties, the beaches… XLSIOR adds up to a summer gay event you won’t easily forget! If you need to recuperate on a gay beach come day, check out our round-up of top gay beaches in Greece.
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5) What? Italy Gay Summer Party 2022
Where? Puglia, Italy
When? September 2-4
While Milan may be considered Italy’s gay capital, things are heating up down south this summer. Italy Gay Summer Party will be returning to the idyllic shores of Gallipoli, Puglia, from September 2-4 and it promises to be bigger, better and even more fun than before. For three days, enjoy everything from a sunset aperitif, a beach party, and an incredible boat party which will sail around the beautiful port of Gallipoli. Italy Gay Summer Party’s main event will be the Official Party, which will take place Saturday evening, location TBD. Dance to a mix of Italian 80s pop along with DJ beats, and enjoy a free drink upon entry. If you’ve already done Milan, and you’re looking to experience a different LGBTQ side to Italy, book your ticket for Italy Gay Summer Party now.
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6) What? Sitges Bears Week 2022
Where? Sitges, Spain
When? September 2-11
Sitges Bears Week is one of the biggest and most popular gay bear bashes in the world. This gay event draws in over 5,000 bears, cubs, otters and admirers to the super LGBTQ-friendly town of Sitges, for almost two weeks of all things beefy 'n' hairy! Aside from the main parties, there's a bears village and a Mr. Bear Sitges competition, not forgetting, the fantastic beaches of this resort on the Mediterranean. Barcelona is also just a 20-minute train ride, so why not fit both LGBTQ destinations into the one trip?
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Bear bonus: If you wanna avoid the crowds and heat at Sitges Bear Week, a great alternative is Bears on Ice in Iceland from September 1-4! This bear gathering explores Iceland’s natural landscape of geysers, waterfalls and the amazing Blue Lagoon. There will, of course, be time for our furry friends to party once the exploring is over! Find your misterb&b in Iceland.
7) What? Folsom Europe
When? September 10
Folsom in Berlin is the European edition of infamous Folsom Street party in San Francisco. Thousands of leather and fetish guys ram the German capital. The event will transpire in the form of a wild street fair on Saturday, September 10, starting at noon, where a section of Schöneberg – Berlin’s gayborhood – fills with DJs, bars and stalls. Folsom is Europe’s biggest Fetish Event with more than 20,000 fetish expected to attend, so get out the leather and we'll meet you there!
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8) What? Austria Pink Lake Festival
Where? Klagenfurt, Austria
When? August 25-28
Every year in August, the idyllic Pörtschach am Wörthersee transforms into Pink Lake for the annual Pink Lake Festival, in Austria. Along with an incredible line-up of entertainment, Pink Lake Festival sets up the Beach Club on Pink Island, which is the perfect place to soak up some summer revelry and make new friends while you’re at it. Over the course of these four days in August, you can enjoy a line-up of fabulous entertainment, with everything from a boat cruise party, a pink lake club night, and an Oktoberfest-inspired party in a castle! As the name suggests, however, pink is the main color, so pack those pink bathers and your favorite rose-colored tee! Klagenfurt is also about a four-hour train ride from Vienna, should you wish to make a pitstop in the capital before or after.
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These events have already taken place, but don't worry, there's always next year!
9) What? Mighty Hoopla
When? June 3-4
Whether you're a proud pop princess or more of a guilty pleasure Queen of pop, you need to get yourself to Mighty Hoopla in London this June. The event refers to itself as the ultimate pop extravaganza, and includes fun, games, and of course plenty of 'pop-tastic' music. The two-day event will take place in London's beautiful Brockwell Park, and will dish out a fab line-up of retro entertainment with everything from Steps, Sugababes, Five, Natalie Imbruglia, and more - we're going to be torn over who to pick!
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10) What? London Fetish Week
When? July 9-17
If you’re serious about kink or just curious, join thousands of guys at this gay event in the UK capital this summer. London Fetish Week welcomes those guys with an interest in leather, rubber, uniform, sports gear, puppy play and every other fetish you can think of. The kink-tastic London Fetish Week features nine days of parties but also film screenings, classes and other activities. So are we going to see you in London this season for some kinkiness?
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So which events are you adding to your summer bucket list then? Whether it's a cruise, a festival, a fetish week, or all three and more, let's celebrate summer just like we used to and experience our pride with misterb&b.
Main image ©Milkshakefestival.com
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