THE BIG GAY SUMMER FESTIVAL
The Canary Islands big gay summer festival for guys is called Dunas Festival, in case you didn’t already know… These six consecutive crazy days in Maspalomas, from 11-16 August, prove that our hottest month can be just as popular as the traditional winter high season, without the sweltering heat the rest of Spain has! If you’ve got holidays coming up in a few weeks, grab a cheap flight: it’s time to enjoy the pools and terrace bars at Dunas Festival. Perhaps the sea is more your thing, or the countryside? Keep reading – you’re bound to find something to take your fancy.
The idea started in 2007 as a laid back meeting of French and Belgian friends at exhibitions by gay artists. The fiestas slowly grew in popularity, attracting more and more friends and acquaintances (and their pickups) from other countries. Even though you’ll still hear a lot of French spoken, the festival’s now a meeting point for guys from all over Europe, mostly in the 25-45 age bracket. Its huge following extends beyond the Canary Islands and includes backing from local businesses, the media and even sponsorship from two airlines.
So what’s it all about? The programme’s varied and you can check it out on the official website, but I’ll sum it up for you in a couple of sentences: during the day you have pool parties and excursions, and at night you can go to “racier” parties at a range of clubs, including fetish sessions. Among these, the “masked nights” at the Zoo club particularly rouse my curiosity. I’ve never been to a masked night, but I’m looking forward to trying it. For the tourists who’ve never been out of Maspalomas, I can really recommend the organised excursion to the volcanic crater of Bandama (1 km in diameter) and the historic town of Arucas, including its impressive neo-Gothic church built from black volcanic rock. However, if you love the sea, like I do, you’ll be looking forward to the all inclusive, 100% gay boat trip along the south coast on one of the Canary Islands’ biggest catamarans.
Gran Canaria means great fun at a good price. Tickets for Dunas Festival are reasonable (€10 on average, including some free events), although the organisers recommend buying combo packages, available for online purchase with a discount of around 15%, which is much appreciated!
So: if you’ve got holidays in August (like so many other hard workers), Dunas Festival is the best time to come to Gran Canaria. Score yourself a place on a boat trip or at a pool party surrounded by hot guys, and if you dare, let loose at one of the hottest night parties. I’m already counting down the days!