• Dale Roberts

Eurovision artists perform at Sofia Pride



Eurovision 2021 artists Victoria from Bulgaria and out and proud artist Vasil Garvanliev from North Macedonia performed at Sofia Pride this weekend.


This is the fourteenth edition of the event but it took place among increased hostility.


Threats by far-right groups following an increase in homophobic assaults in the country saw an increased police presence.


Victoria announced via Twitter she would be performing saying, "I will have the opportunity to open the concert and support the #LGBT+ community in #Bulgaria


While Vasil said: "Every honest step you take no matter how small ... is a step closer to truth and freedom. Very excited for this weekend."


The two had the opportunity to meet at the event with Victoria tweeting that it was "Such a pleasure finally meeting @VGarvanliev and especially for this wonderful event #Sofia #Pride thank you"



The event was particularly important for Vasil Garvanliev as an out performer with some Bulgarian heritage saying,


"Every honest step you take no matter how small... is a step closer to truth and freedom. Very excited for this weekend."

Vasil faced controversy over the music video of his song 'Here I Stand' in North Macedonia over symbolism people believed was related to Bulgaria.


Despite apologising for an unintentional mistake, Vasil faced enormous backlash.


A change.org petition for him not to go to Eurovision was filled with homophobic language.


Thankfully he was able to perform and represent his country North Macedonia in Rotterdam.


Bulgaria currently ranks 37th in Europe for LGBTIQ+ equality according to the ILGA Europe.


Vasil shared these pictures from his Twitter account and video from the event:



Vasil previously said about being out in the region saying, "Every time I came back home to the Balkans, to Macedonia, you feel this need to put on a mask. I sympathise so much with everybody here that lives in fear of judgement, discrimination, injustice, bullying...As artists we have a responsibility to speak truth – especially if I’ve tasted freedom, which I have."


Bulgaria currently ranks 37th in Europe for LGBTIQ+ equality according to the ILGA Europe.


Events like Sofia Pride and support of Eurovision artists like Victoria and Vasil go a long way in helping progress the community.