The idea

Every year, the Netherlands celebrates Gay Pride with the Amsterdam Canal Parade. A boat parade that draws thousands of visitors who come to cheer on the participants on the boats as they celebrate the freedom to be their true self. This freedom is still not a given for everyone. So during the Amsterdam Gay Pride 2015 an empty boat with an on-board camera, streaming a full 360-degree view, allowed people from all over the world, who can’t openly show their pride, to be part of the Canal Parade. Through a secure website anyone could experience the Pride as if they were on the boat themselves. The 9-metre long LED screens on the boat allowed people to be virtually on board. In this way people could experience the freedom of being your true self.

Phase 1

The Invitation

Two weeks before the Amsterdam Gay Pride we launched our project. By working closely with different Pride organisations from all over the world we spread the news through social media. The initiative was immediately picked up by the news media and led people to our website pridestream.org

1/5

In the first phase of the project the website worked as a tool to spread the news. A short film invited people to join our boat and with a variety of tools people could spread our message.

2/5

People could download a special toolkit to spread our message. It included a Facebook cover, avatar, the PR video and a document with an encrypted URL that led to our website. Via WhatsApp and e-mail people could send private invitations to friends they felt had to be there. 

3/5

We took the privacy extremely seriously. All data was automatically encrypted. We recommended and alternative browser that made it very difficult for others to trace our website. We created an alternative URL that the browser history showed no LGBT-related titles or media data.

4/5

People received a notification by e-mail or Facebook on the day of the live event.

5/5

Two weeks before the event we sent invitations to every single LGBT group in the world through social media. In collaboration with several Pride organizations we could get our message across. Via LGBT activists, we managed to reach thousands of people in underground networks.

Phase 2

The Live Event

On Saturday, 1 August 2015, thousands of people saw our boat as it sailed through the canals. More than 68,000 people from 128 different countries, sailed on this boat as virtual passengers and experienced the freedom of being their true self.

1/5

With a few clicks people could join the event as virtual passengers. 

2/5

The 360-degree camera enabled everyone to enjoy a full 360 view of the celebrations. A real-time map showed the route of the parade. A social feed allowed people to cheer on the passengers a they sailed through the canals. 

3/5

Through the secure website anyone in the world could experience the Amsterdam Pride on all devices as if they were on the boat themselves. 

4/5

Through the secure website anyone in the world could experience the Amsterdam Pride on all devices as if they were on the boat themselves.

5/5

Impression of the live event.

Phase 3

Re-live the Pride

All the people that couldn't experience the event live can now still be part of the Canal Parade and re-live the pride, so they too could experience the freedom of being your true self. 

1/4

On the website pridestream.org people can experience the full parade in full 360-degree view.

2/4

On the website pridestream.org people can experience the full parade in full 360-degree view.

3/4

People can sail the 2,5 hour parade or fast forward to the most exciting moments using the hotspots on the map. In this way people all around the world can still briefly experience the freedom of being your true self. 

4/4

People can sail the 2,5 hour parade or fast forward to the most exciting moments using the hotspots on the map. In this way people all around the world can still briefly experience the freedom of being your true self. 

The 360° Boat

Our 12 meter long boat sailed on canals of Amsterdam together with 80 other decorated boats. The boat was ‘empty’ but it had more people on board than all of the other 80 boats in the parade combined. With 11 SIM cards, the event was broadcasted LIVE in audio and video via the 4G network using a full 360-degree camera.

1/3

9 meter long LED screens on both sides of the boat showed an animation that communicated our message. The boat was equipped with audio speakers. Famous LGBT DJ Joost van Bellen created a special dj set that was played during the 2,5 hour parade.

2/3

An on-board camera, streaming a full 360-degree view, allowed people from all over  the world to be part of the Canal Parade ‘live’. Using their smartphones, iPads or computers, they were able to see the parade, complete with sound and video.

3/3

The 9-metre long LED screens on both sides of the boat allowed people to be virtually on board and be cheered on by the thousands of spectators along the canals. People were given the option to place themselves anonymously on board the boat by using the rainbow filter. 

Multiplatform

To make the experience engaging for everybody, anywhere in the world, we designed separate versions of the desktop site for tablets and other mobile devices, focussing on the maximum possible user experience for each device.

Short documentary

During the parade we followed two people from Turkey and Costa Rica who can´t openly show their pride. For the first time in their lives they were able to attend a Gay Pride event.
Their reactions were heart-warming. 

Results