In 2018, we celebrate 40 incredible years of passion, pride and protest in the wake of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras’s 40th birthday bash. To mark this momentous occasion, there’s a stellar line-up for the weekend’s entertainment, including an appearance by the legend herself, Cher. Let’s count down the top six must-dos for this year’s Mardi Gras extravaganza.
Date: Saturday 3 March, from 7.00pm to 11.00pm
The 40th anniversary parade is shaping up to be one of the most exciting spectacles yet with more than 200 groups and jaw-dropping floats showcasing everything from outrageous drag queens, LGBTQI community heroes and talented queer performers.
While the parade officially starts at 7.30pm, be sure to arrive earlier to secure yourself an optimal viewing spot. Why not stay with InterContinental Sydney, checking in at 3pm and making your way to the parade earlier – we’re only 15 minutes away from the excitement with plenty of public transport nearby.
In the know tip: While you’ll have to be very early to get a great spot on Oxford Street, there is generally a lot more availability on Flinders Street.
Date: Sunday 18 February, from 10.00 am to 8.00 pm
Where: Victoria Park, 1001 City Road, Camperdown
Join Mardi Gras’ free-of-charge, family friendly carnival with up to 80,000 others on Camperdown Memorial Rest Park. There’s something for everyone, from sets by DJ Kitty Glitter to 200 market stalls, four-legged encounters at Doggywood to bold and beautiful costumes.
3.Trevor Ashley's Mardi Gala
Date: Saturday 17 February, from 8.00 pm to 10.00 pm
Where: Sydney Opera House
Dubbed “Mardi Gras Royalty", Trevor Ashley is set to star in a dramatic performance at Sydney Opera House Concert Hall alongside a number of his nearest and dearest entertainers. This performance will be part concert, part chat show accompanied by a 14-piece orchestra – the perfect way to kick off a night of laughter, boldness and beyond. The best part? $5 from every ticket goes to support Mardi Gras' cultural outreach programs.
4.APPRECIATE SYDNEY’S COLLECTION OF QUEER VISUAL ART
The city is awash with incredible queer art, and what better time to check it out than during the height of the Mardi Gras festival. Social media sensation, Phil Ferguson, has his Chili Philly: Crochet Social on display Australian Design Centre and Comber St. Studios is showing Rebellion and Subversion: 40 Years of Queer Art from February 22 – March 8.
5. EQUALITY DANCE AUSTRALIA FESTIVAL
Date: Saturday 24 February, 11.00am – 11.00pm,
Where: Marrickville Town Hall, 303 Marrickville Road, Marrickville
We’re in the mood for dancing, and that’s exactly what we’ll get if we attend Equality Dance Australia Festival. In its 40th year, the Ballroom and Latin Dance Festival showcases same sex dance teams competing in full equality with mainstream opposite sex dancers, all of who compete for the prestigious Mardi Gras Same Sex Dance Championships. A full night of incredible entertainment!
6.MARDI GRAS FILM FESTIVAL
Date: 15 February – 1 March
Where: Event Cinema, George Street
Now in its 25th year, Queer Screen is back to host Mardi Gras Film Festival 2018 at Events Cinema George Street, and its program is more exciting than ever before. Discover film’s greatest queer narratives with “a countdown of the Top 25 LGBTIQ Films of All Time as voted by Queer Screen fans” according to Queer Screen itself.