Take part in the glamour of the world’s most spectacular celebration of LGBTQI pride.
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is a three-week festival featuring more than 100 events that culminate in the world-famous Mardi Gras parade on the first Saturday of March. Each year, the festival attracts more than 200,000 people. Here’s how to get among the festivities.
- Where: Sydney
- When: 16 February - 4 March 2018
- Price: $
Sydney Mardi Gras highlights
THINGS TO DO
See the Mardi Gras parade
Sydney’s Mardi Gras parade is one of the world’s largest LGBTQI celebrations. More than 10,000 people take part the parade – in support of equality, pride and self-expression – bringing the city to a standstill. The procession of colour includes dancing boys, the famous Dykes on Bikes, big and little costumes featuring glitter and leather and big-name acts that in the past have included Cyndi Lauper, George Michael and Kylie Minogue. Arrive early to snare a spot along Oxford or Flinders streets, east of Sydney's city centre. In the heart of the action, Taylor Square provides a fantastic view of the parade coming up Oxford Street. The Local Taphouse, on the corner of Flinders and South Dowling streets, is also a great spot to see the parade as it turns onto Flinders Street.
Witness the raising of the Rainfbow flag
To kick off the Mardi Gras festivities, on Friday 16 February, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore will raise the rainbow flag at Town Hall. The flying of the flag symbolises the city's support for LGBTQI community, and will remain on Town Hall for the duration of Mardi Gras.
Take the family to fair day
Each year, Fair Day attracts more than 80,000 people to Victoria Park near The University of Sydney. Join the crowds and head here to sample a smorgasbord of international cuisine, buy local wares and learn more about the LGBTQI community. You can also watch entertaining performances on the main stage and dance tent well into the night.
See a movie at the Mardi Gras Film Festival
Produced by Sydney-based Queer Screen, an independent organisation with a mission to engage individuals and communities through queer storytelling, the Mardi Gras Film Festival runs during February each year and features the best new LGBTQI films and documentaries from around the world. The majority of films are screened at Event Cinemas George Street (in the heart of the city), but for a truly unique experience catch a flick at the boutique Golden Age Cinema and Bar in Surry Hills.
Dance the night away with Cher
The Mardi gras party this year, will be the biggest yet with international pop sensation and LGBTQI advocate, Cher headlining. The party will feature a range of DJs, entertainment, food stalls and theatrics!
Explore the Museum of Love and Protest
To mark this year's 40th anniversary of the Mardi Gras celebrations, The National Art School in Darlinghurst is exhibiting photos, costumes, artefacts and videos, that tell the stories of Mardi Gras from over the years. On the weekend, the museum will also feature a pop up Love and Protest bar.
Snap up a ticket to one of the VIP viewing spots. Options range from grandstand-style seating with celebrity hosts to an outdoor club in Taylor Square with raised viewing platforms, cocktail bars and DJs. Tickets from AUD$110.
HOW TO GET THERE
Spectators are encouraged to take public transport into the inner city. Hotels near the parade route are also heavily booked. Wear comfortable shoes and grab a viewing spot well before the parade starts.
Visit transportnsw.info to plan your trip.
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