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The Rainbow Expo, the Greatest Gay Lifestyle Event!

by our Editors in Events & Agenda , 04 oktober 2017

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar
Length: 4 minutes

Visit the Rainbow Expo, the best gay lifestyle event, from October 27-29. It is the perfect outing! Experience the latest trends in lifestyle, entertainment, the culinary art, health, design & luxury, living, leisure, beauty, dating, marrying, art, and community life! Join workshops, taste, shop and enjoy great live performances!

Food Truck Area

Honest and traditional foods, fresh produce, and delicious wines. It will be a culinary experience, and visitors will find it all in the Food Truck Area! Exciting music, thrilling artists, different experiences, and a variety of entertainment for all visitors at the Rainbow Expo.

Explore the wide range of street food, sample surprising dishes, or venture out to the tastefully prepared organic delicacies and sweets. From Mexican to Surinamese, and from Vegan to burgers, a three day long treat for your taste buds. Visitors can quench their thirst with a real barista, the cocktail bar or the extensive wine bar!

From Gay Expo to Rainbow Expo, 23 Years Later...

Food TruckIn 1992, the staff of the organising agency gathered at an eatery in Haarlem. They offered the owner of the café a drink, and he joined their table, asking what they did for a living. They told the owner that they organized exhibitions and events in the Benelux, to which the owner responded enthusiastically. He told them that he visited the Household Fair in Amsterdam every year with his boyfriend.

This led to the idea of organizing a consumer fair for gay men and lesbian women. There are fairs for Indonesians, anglers, construction workers and the like. So why not a lifestyle fair for gay men and lesbian women? A fantastic group that constitutes about eight percent of the population, and a group of critical and progressive people with a significantly higher spending pattern. The idea was conceived!

After extensive marketing research, the initiators found themselves on the right track. From that moment on, they were talking to the owner on a weekly basis in the eatery to crystallise their ideas. Late 1992, the plan for the Gay Expo was ready, and they were looking for two staff members from the gay scene to launch the expo. They placed an advertisement in the Gay Krant for “two commercial jack-of-all-trades” to strengthen the team. From then on, four employees started working full-time for the first edition of the Gay Expo, which took place in October 1993 at the Expohal in Hilversum.

There was a great deal of interest in the Gay Expo from entrepreneurs, artists, the media and (sports) associations. The Gay Krant, for instance, published an extra edition, and the NOS News and RTL News devoted a lot of air time to the Gay Expo. The visitors came in drones. TV personality Sonja Barends conducted a critical interview about the lifestyle fair, and television crews from Germany, France, England and even from Japan covered the fair.

The organizers never expected the Gay Expo to be this successful. Thousands of visitors travelled to Hilversum by trains that were packed. The parade of the Gay Classic Car Club and Motor Mies was escorted by the police from the centre of Amsterdam to the Expohal in Hilversum.

In 1994, the second edition of the fair was organized. This second edition also was a huge success, with the craziest events from all possible lifestyle angles. Unfortunately, the Expohal in Hilversum had to give way for a new school building, so in 1995 the Gay Expo moved to the Groenoordhal in Leiden. The third edition of the Gay Expo was twice as big and was opened with a special opening song that was sung by aldermen who were open about their sexual orientation from all over the Netherlands. An international gay volleyball tournament was also organised in connection with and alongside the fair. Unfortunately, the atmosphere in Leiden was not as good as in Hilversum. Also, there was more competition, and so it was decided to discontinue the fair.

The years passed and other fairs and events were held, but the idea of reviving the Gay Expo continued to surface. Early 2016, the organizers again did extensive market research, which led them to the conclusion that the Gay Expo should make a come-back. In collaboration with, among others, OUTtv, COC and IntoGirls, they now present the new gay lifestyle event: The Rainbow Expo! Curious about the exhibitors? View the exhibitor list on the website of the Rainbow Expo!

Gay & Married? We’re Looking For You!

Did you recently tie the knot as a gay couple? And would you like to have the wedding take place again? In that case, in collaboration with True Love Wedding, the organization is looking for you!

When interested, you can register for a Real Life Gay-Wedding. The ceremony is organized by True Love Wedding. If you want to shine again as a couple and have everyone witness the event, you can sign up via A limited number of ceremonies is available.

 The Early Bird tickets for the Rainbow Expo are sold out! Take advantage of five euros discount on a ticket by purchasing the ticket online. Tickets are available via the official website of the Rainbow Expo:



published Dec 2017        Length: 5 minutes

published Aug 2016       

published Nov 2017       


In the New Issue of Gay News, 332, April 2019

July 27- August 4, 2019

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