Attending the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is often considered as being an experience of a lifetime. Whether you identify as gay, bisexual, lesbian, straight, or anything in between, there’s definitely something for you to see and do during the massive amount of festivities in what is one of the most popular events in both Australia and the world.
The Sydney Mardi Gras Festival has so much going on between the 19th of February and 6th of March that it can sometimes be confusing to know where to start, and you may feel as though you’re missing out on something exciting somewhere. As well as the festival itself, there are a few other things you should keep in mind so as to ensure your Sydney Mardi Gras experience is one of the best.
With over 20,000 international and interstate visitors to the festival each year, it’s no wonder that accommodation in and around the city can sometimes be book out months in advance. Whether you’re looking to stay in a hotel, backpackers, serviced apartment, or even a boat on the harbour, you’re best off ensuring that your accommodation is book and confirmed nice and early. Be sure to check out the events you’re interested in participating in, and where they are in conjunction with your proposed accommodation. The last thing you want to be doing is travelling for extended periods just to get to that awesome party because your accommodation is too far out of the city.
What to wear
It’s no secret that the Sydney Mardi Gras brings out some of the most fabulous and awe-inspiring outfits seen anywhere in the world. The most important thing to remember is to dress comfortably and be yourself. You needn’t dress up in a particular style or fashion just to impress others. The best thing to do is dress in clothes you love and enjoy, and the rest will fall into place. Being yourself is a key factor to the way you dress yourself. On the other hand, if you enjoy dressing up and want to show off a bit of flair, the Mardi Gras Festival is definitely somewhere you can get away with wearing an outlandish outfit or two; nothing will be over the top here!
There are various different events to explore during the Mardi Gras season, so no matter whether you love the theatre, dancing, art, or just relaxing in the park, there will be an event to make you feel at home and comfortable being yourself. There are plenty of theatrical works playing at selected theatres and venues across the city, and some of the art galleries will also be showcasing some beautiful and inspiring artworks that you can peruse over your stay here. Some of the key events that shouldn’t be missed in Mardi Gras season are:
Proudly supported by ANZ Bank, Fair Day is on Sunday the 21st of February at Victoria Park in Camperdown. More than 80,000 people often find themselves here, enjoying one of the most relaxed and atmospheric events of the festival. It’s one of the most-loved events of the festival and is a great event for the whole family.
Children are, of course, welcomed here, and there is always a selection of fine foods and snacks to enjoy throughout the day. There are some educational and informative LGBTQI organisations who will be there to provide some great knowledge and some excellent stallholders on site will be there selling unique and interesting wares. If you just want to relax, it’s easy to do with lots of live entertainment throughout the day to keep everyone entertained. One of the great things about this event is that it’s free to enter, however you can provide a gold coin donation upon entry if you wish to support Fair Day further.
If you could just imagine standing on Oxford Street alongside 200,000 other people and watching a parade and flurry of colour, glitter, sequins, leather, feathers, and speedos, then you have yourself a Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. This will be the 38th parade to run through the famous Oxford Street and beyond, and will no doubt be yet another great performance for everyone.
Approximately 10,000 performers, walkers, dancers, bikers, and musicians will be in the parade, sure to give you that rainbow fix you’ll be looking for. You can enjoy the festival from the streetside for absolutely free, or if you’re looking for a special way to enjoy the parade night you can purchase tickets for premium viewing areas so that you can get an even better glimpse. The parade starts at 7pm and runs for approximately four hours.
One of the biggest and best parties of the whole Sydney Mardi Gras event is of course the Mardi Gras Party held after the Parade. Held at Hordern Pavillion in Moore Park, the party often sees approximately 12,000 partygoers from across Australia and the world enjoying a fantastic night out. Everyone is welcome to join in on the fun and dance the night away.
There are plenty of great acts lined up for the 2016 Party, including Courtney Act, Mark Alsop MA15+, Kitty Glitter, Victoria Anthony, Buck Wild, and more to be announced in the lead up to the event. Running from 10pm right through to 8am the next morning, it’s sure to be a huge night of entertainment, fun, excitement, and great music. Tickets are still on sale but you’d better be quick to ensure you don’t miss out on an epic night out.