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Here are the best queer music and dance events of 2020

We round up the best music and dance events for the coming year

By Steve Brown

Words: Will Cohn

Although it’s only January 7, we are already excited for the queer events of the year.

With 2020 in full swing, we have put together the list of the best music and dance events for the coming year – and there’s guaranteed to be so many more!

Read more about 2020 hottest destinations in Attitude’s February Travel issue – out now to order globally and download to any device.

Check out our list below:

GAY8  – 16 February

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The biggest Hispanic/Latino LGBTQ festival in the US, Gay8 is unlike any other event. Set on Miami’s Calle Ocho (8th Street) in the Little Havana neighbourhood, it offers fashion shows alongside dance parties and four stages – oh, and the best Miami sandwich competition (yes, honestly).

SITGES CARNIVAL – 18-26 February

Need one last hurrah before the 40 days of Lent begin? Look no further than the Sitges Carnival with its famous parades, from its launch party Fat Thursday through the raunchy Debauchery Parade, to the closing Extermination Parade, for which all the drag queens dress in black. Sinfully good.

WINTER PARTY – 4-10 March

Kill two birds with one stone, partying all week while raising money for the LGBTQ community — all the better to help your come-down feel mildly less traumatic.

Winter Party was created to give back, and you can play a part by attending a range of events taking place at Miami Beach’s top hot spots, from Heat, at Wynwood Factory, to Under One Sun: Evolution, at Nikki Beach Club.


The notorious fetish festival is back. Go for the fact that proceeds aid Saint Foundation, a New York-based non-profit organisation that aims to create archives of LGBTQ night-life, and stay for the signature “Strange Live Acts.”


If you don’t want to commit to your New Year resolutions just yet, kiss the 2010s goodbye a bit late at the Songkran Festival, Asia’s largest gay dance party.

Held in Bangkok, it features seven parties — including Bear Wash, Boy Wash, and All That Glitters, three of which take over the Novotel Bangkok’s pool.

CHERRY POP – 16-20 April

This year marks The Cherry Fund’s 25th anniversary of raising money for mental health and HIV/Aids services.

That makes the Washington DC-based celebration the longest-running non-profit dance music festival geared towards the LGTBQ community in America, with four days of fun and nine parties.

So far, $1.3m has been donated to good causes.


Dubbed the “ultimate pop extravaganza,” last year’s Mighty Hoopla festival saw acts such as Chaka Khan and Samantha Mumba take to the stage.

It promises to be bigger and better this year, with Sonique, Jimmy Somerville, Natasha Bedingfield and Atomic Kitten among the acts (in Brockwell Park, South London, if all goes to plan).

WHOLE – 12-15 June

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If dancing in front of a stage in a public park has become boring, and you think roughing it in the rain at a British festival is overrated, try Whole — queer raving Berlin-style.

This event is a camping festival hosted in a huge open-air museum by an abandoned mining lake, set to some of the sickest sounds around.


Respect, freedom, love and tolerance come first at the Milkshake Festival.

Held at Westerpark, in Amsterdam, and hosted by two of the city’s biggest clubs — Paradiso and Air — the two-day event will feature 11 stages along with performance art and drag acts, including Jodie Harsh.

Melanie C featuring Sink the Pink should bring the house down (if it was held in a house) on the Sunday.


Europe’s summer international gay capital Barcelona turns up the heat when this 11-day bash brings 17 parties and 40 DJs to the Catalonia region.

If the heat is too much, attend the Water Park Day, with aquatic rides and, of course, more performances.

They also host parties in Thailand and Miami, in June and November respectively.


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Across five stages, the street festival is back for its 39th year.

Playing host to Jake Shears, Steve Grand, Macy Gray and Daya last year, the event is held in Chicago’s Boystown neighbourhood.

With 100,000 guests expected, you’re bound to make new friends.

XLSIOR – 19-26 August

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More than 30,000 people from around the world are expected to be in Mykonos for Xlsior.

Not surprisingly, given the location, pool parties tend to dominate the seven days of festivities.

First making a splash in 2009, the festival puts an accent on fun, luxury and an unforgettable atmosphere – to give you a total holiday experience with events chosen to provide you with the best views of the most (in)famous Greek island.

PINK LAKE – 27-30 August

Festival-goers will have three days to remember in the Austrian summer resort of Pörtschach am Wörthersee, on the northern shore of Lake Wörth.

Last year’s action included the Almdudler Almrausch Party inside a 15th-century castle, and the Boat Cruise Party.

The organisers are promising it will be even better this year.


Southern Decadence began 49 years ago as a simple going-away bash.

Fastforward to 2019 and it brought more than 275,000 people to the streets of New Orleans’ French Quarter, going on unofficially for six days around a national holiday weekend.

BLACK & BLUE PARTY – October (dates TBC)

The first Black & Blue party, in 1991, attracted just 800 people.

Now, the Montreal gathering plays host to about 80,000 revellers who travel from virtually every country in the world.

The event, which encourages straight men and women to join in the fun, supports the BBCM Foundation which helps those living with HIV/Aids in Quebec’s largest city.

LA DEMENCE – 30-31 October

Whichever way you voted in the EU referendum, you’ll want to be in Brussels for the circuit party as it makes its way to Belgium’s capital.

With a name that translates as “madness,” these are sure to be two days that you won’t forget.

HOMOBLOC – November (dates TBC)

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After a colossal launch last year, this now-annual Manchester block party has established itself as the UK’s best queer rave event.

If you want extras beyond the pulsating beats of DJs like Honey Dijon or performances from Roisin Murphy, there’s no shortage of activities to keep you stimulated.

From Morning Voga (yes, vogue-yoga) to the drag Sunday roast, this is the British music weekender you never knew you needed.

MAD BEAR – December (dates TBC)

Geared towards “bears and their admirers,” this isn’t only a party but also a culture trip.

Indulge in dinners, saunas and movies alongside celebrating the international winter meeting of the Madrid bears in Chueca, Madrid’s gaybourhood.

WHITE PARTY BANGKOK – December (dates TBC)

Asia’s largest gay New Year festival reaches the ripe old age of six in 2020!

Last year’s events saw a military-themed ball (dress code: be a warrior) and the rooftop Jock Ball (surely, we don’t need to explain).

More of the same for 2020 we assume, with indoor and outdoor fetes, but remember that you have to be over the age of 20 and have original photographic ID cards.

Read more about 2020 hottest destinations in Attitude’s February Travel issue – out now to order globally and download to any device.