Best things to do in Sydney this weekend (4th-6th March)

It’s the first weekend of autumn for 2016 but that doesn’t mean the carefree summer nights are going anyway. Just two days ago it was reported that March will be mostly hot, leaving a traditional autumn to start sometime in April instead. It’s good news for Sydneysiders, especially those heading out this week since there are quite a few big outdoor events that could use the extra stretch of summer, particularly the massive Mardi Gras parade and it’s resulting after party. Here are some of our top picks for this weekend so get those to-do lists out and start planning.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (Oxford Street)

This Saturday from 7pm, the 38th annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade will be bringing its spectacular self to the city, marching along Oxford Street to thousands of Sydneysiders seeking to support this dazzling array of sparkles and self-expression. The whole city turns out for this one, and it’s even more important now since same-sex marriage is still not legalised in Australia (seriously) so showing your support for the LGBTI community on the day is paramount.

These are just a few of the floats and groups people can expect to see during the parade:

  • The Peoples Republic Of Mardi Gras – The award winning team of marchers and their pink army returns to continue the battle against homophobia and transphobia.
  • Muslims Against Homophobia – Muslims Against Homophobia aims to challenge homophobia in Muslim community, and promote queer Muslim rights. The group includes LGBTQI and Non-LGBTQI members and calls for queer Muslims and their supporters to stand up for and promote queer Muslim rights.
  • Australian Olympian & Paralympians – Made up of Australian Olympian and Paralympians this group aims to show that Australia’s best athletes support diversity and inclusiveness.
  • Sydney AFL Women – with 17 women’s teams from across Sydney, Wollongong and the Central Coast, Sydney AFL is made up of a mixture of straight, gay, trans, Muslim, Catholic, Christian participants who all support each other for who they are. The group will take to the streets to show that inclusion and diversity makes for a better community.
  • Sydney Queer Irish – Pirate Queens – Panti, the pirate (drag) queen of Ireland will be spreading the message of love and equality across the world. A torch – the “burning flame of love” symbolises the connection of Ireland and Australia as Panti calls for Australia to march towards marriage equality.
  • Gayby Baby – The film Gayby Baby has drawn a community of supporters over the years of production. With the families that feature in the film and it’s supporters marching, this float says thank you to the community who supported the film over the last 12 months… especially during the media storm and banning of the film in NSW schools.
  • Trans* – This group of marchers are walking in support of transgender rights and to deliver a statement of Trans* pride to the world!
  • Gay for Ruby Rose – A light-hearted celebration of gender fluidity and sexuality as a spectrum, #GayForRubyRose embraces the idea that true inclusiveness allows that someone might be gay for just one person… and who better to fall for than Ruby Rose!?

Official parade viewing areas include: The Diamond Club at Taylor Square, which is exclusive to Members of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and the Parade Sideshow, which is located on Flinders Street, hosted by Portia Turbo and Andrew Mercardo with food stalls, bars, toilets, and live event screens.

The parade isn’t all though, be sure to check out HERE for more info about the huge all-night after party with the likes of Deborah Cox, Courtney Act, and Conchita Wurst.

The night before the parade (Friday 4th March) will see a Madonna themed party take over The Burdekin (2-4 Oxford St) with Sydney-based DJ and hardcore Madonna fan DJ Ray Issac curating a special night of absolutely everything Madonna, from an impersonator set to perform, to a playlist full of classics from the superstar’s entire career.

For more information on Mardi Gras plans click HERE.

The Old Clare Hotel’s Sunday Sessions (The Old Clare Hotel)

Have you seen the rooftop of The Old Clare Hotel? Centered around a long, sparkling pool with plenty of room for drinks and food, it’s damn near one of the most stunning centrally located openings that Sydney has ever seen. The team at The Old Clare Hotel know this and they’ll finally be pushing it towards the public with their brand new Sunday series. There will be tunes from DJ Backhanderz, Tanqueray cocktails all day, and food aplenty, from 11am to 10pm. More information can be found at the Facebook event HERE.

The Old Clare Hotel
1 Kensington St, Chippendale

Spectrum Now

Spectrum Now has begun for it’s second year, bringing in 16 days of events across the arts, talks, music, and more, grounded at The Domain where you’ll find a whole heap of food and drink set-ups from the likes of Black Star Pastry, Gelato Messina, and Burgers by Josh. There’s also a beer garden from Little Creatures and a quirky circus-style pop up from Hendrick’s Gin where you’ll find a cucumber sorbet created in partnership with Messina. The Big Top will also be located here, with heaps of international and local live music, like The Jesus & Mary Chain, Sleater Kinney, and Missy Higgins. For our top picks of the festival click HERE.

Summer Dance (National Art School)

Astral People’s epic Summer Dance at the National Art School in Darlinghurst will be on for it’s last weekend in 2016, so you better believe the event organisers will be going all out to make this one of the most memorable day parties yet. Jeremy Underground will be heading here all the way from France to headline, with Sadar Bahar from the U.S, and locals Andras and Ariane. For more information and tickets click HERE.

Ariane has even made a mix to preview the day, which you can hear HERE.

National Art School
Forbes St & Burton Street, Darlinghurst

One Day Sundays (Factory Theatre)

Your favourite Sydney hip hop block party is back as the boys from One Day return to the Factory Theatre to commence their hugely popular monthly residency. There’s even a pig-on-a-spit to keep people fed throughout the day and Spit Syndicate will be filming their new music video, so make sure you’re lookin’ fresh.

Factory Theatre
105 Victoria Road, Marrickville

Guilty Pleasures (ivy)

As part of the current March Into Merivale festival staged at Merivale venues across Sydney, a new nightlife concept will be coming to ivy and Pailings. Straight from the UK, the party dubbed “Guilty Pleasures” will be on every Friday, recreating the big, bold, and brazen activities of the renowned overseas party with confesstional booths, crowd-karaoke, dancers, a Chandon Unplanned house band, and more. The party’s founder, Sean Rowley, will be there as part of the DJ lineup to fill the space with disco, pop, R&B, and other assorted bangers to go with the theatrical atmosphere which has been designed around depravity and 100% shame-free fun. It’s every Friday from 8pm starting from tonight. For more information head HERE.

1/330 George St, Sydney

El Anatsui: Five Decades (Carriageworks)

This is the last weekend of Carriagework’s incredible El Anatsui: Five Decades exhibition. It’s acclaimed Ghanaian artist El Anatsui’s first major exhibition in Australia, showcasing more than 30 works from Anatsui dating all the way back to the 1970s, bringing in a range on ceramics, drawings, sculptures, and woodcarvings, displayed by the artist’s renowned, expansive large-scale installations. More information can be found HERE.

245 Wilson St, Eveleigh 2015.

Lululemon Barangaroo Yoga Series (Barangaroo Reserve)

If you are at all into Yoga in Sydney then you already know that Lululemon is a quintessential and integral brand aimed at supporting the practice. They will be launching their free Saturday morning yoga sessions down at Barangaroo this Saturday (9am-10:30am) with brand ambassador Persia Juliet leading a class in a 90-minute vinyasa flow session accompanied by live music and followed by yin practice. You need to book ahead which you can do so via the registration link HERE. The session will take place on Stargazer Lane at Barangaroo Reserve.

Stargaze Lawn
Barangaroo Reserve

Headline photo supplied and used with permission.


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy-Editor-At-Large of the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.