South Korea’s largest LGBTQ pride celebration, which usually takes place in Seoul Plaza, has been denied access to the venue, which will host a Christian youth concert instead.

Usually drawing crowds of colourful performers and participants in rainbow attire, organisers of the Seoul Queer Culture Festival (SQCF) say the decision was an act of discrimination.

It was reported that both the SQCF and the Christian concert, held by the CTS Cultural Foundation, sought to use the Seoul Plaza venue from June 30 to July 1. As neither group agreed to change their dates, the decision was left to a civic committee.


The committee granted the venue to the CTS Cultural Foundation, which is connected to the Christian broadcaster CTS – A broadcaster known to oppose the pride festival and homosexuality.

The civic committee cited its preference for events involving children, teenagers, or those with “public interest” value in making its decision. However, SQCF organisers and supporters have accused the committee of discrimination, pointing out that they have faced similar challenges in securing the space in previous years, even when meeting all requirements.

SQCF has also argued that the Christian concert will be used to spread hatred against LGBTQ+ groups, claiming that its purpose is to disrupt the Queer Culture Festival and prevent sexual minorities from expressing themselves – an accusation that the CTS Cultural Foundation has denied.

Seoul Plaza has been the festival’s site since 2015 (except during the pandemic). The SQCF has confirmed that the event will still occur this year, but the location remains uncertain.