The first Uppsala Pride was organized in 2008 by a local network of volunteers following a leftist political ideology. In 2012 the festival was discontinued.
In early 2016 RFSL Uppsala recognised the need for a new Pride festival in Uppsala, creating a platform that was politically and religiously unaffiliated, which would lift the votes of newly arrived LGBTQI people and promote integration into society. The initiative was spearheaded by member Warren Kunce, who became the project manager for the 2016 festival, WelcomeOUT.
The festival’s reopening in September 16-18, 2016 under RFSL Uppsala’s leadership was a huge success. About 600 visitors participated in various seminars, lectures, conversation groups and activities for two days as well as a Pride Parade of nearly 1000 private citizens through central Uppsala. The festival concluded with a picnic in the city park on Sunday, the third day.
The reception was enormously positive; both the municipality and the county backed the festival and supported with contributions and logistics. There was also a large media response, with reports in local newspapers such as UNT and Uppsala Tidning, national media such as SVT and P4, and also internationally in VICE magazine.
The following year (September 15-17, 2017) attracted even more visitors, with about 800 people registered during the three days of the festival. The parade was as big as last year, with about 1,000 participants. The end-of-parade picknick was a bit more happening this year, with a party tent and DJ (thanks to Uppsala Jungle!), bouncy castle, and food trucks.
As before, the project ended with an evaluation of the festival and the organizing committee started preparations for the 2018 festival, set for September 14-16.
In its third year the festival reaffirms its commitment to an inclusive and integrated Uppsala, and has rebranded itself to “Uppsala Pride – Welcome OUT”.