It’s that time again, where pride, diversity and strength take centre stage as the fabulous Mardi Gras rolls into town. Not just all about the parade itself anymore, the celebration has become about Sydney, it’s people, and it’s venues coming together to showcase and highlight the city’s effervescent LGBTQI community all week long. Right up until the iconic parade on 2nd March, there will be some unmissable events going on around town, so we’ve pulled together a few we think you should definitely be across if you want to make the most of Mardi Gras this year.
Drag Battles at The Winery
Surry Hills staple The Winery are hosting a series of classic drag battles for celebrate this year’s Mardi Gras, each themed as the venue is transformed in to a rainbow oasis. Queens from Sydney Drag Royalty will compete for the winning title in each category, starting from Tuesday 26th and lasting up until Saturday 2nd March, where there will be a live screening of the parade.
25% of all tickets sales ($20 with an Absolut cocktail on arrival) will be going straight to the Black Dog Institute while you get access to show downs like Queen, Elton John and Lady Gaga (Tuesday), George Michael, Kylie Minogue and Madonna (Thursday), and more.
Address: 285A Crown St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Celebrations at The Beresford
Now of course The Beresford Hotel will be going all out for Mardi Gras this week, with a program of daily events to get across like special brunches, trivia nights, and their super popular Laneway Party. The progamme kicked off last week, but there are still plenty of options to choose from like the Absolut Mardi Gras Brunch on Monday 4th March; an exclusive Beresford Sundays on the 24th Feb, hosted by Decoda Secret and international DJ guest Neil Singleton; a movie night on Monday 4th March from 8pm with The Rocky Horror Picture Show; Bingray on Tuesday 26th Feb; the annual free-entry Passport Party on Thursday 28th Feb, bringing in a huge international lineup including Wayne G, Neil Singleton, French Kiss, and Decoda; and, for the main event, the Mardi Gras Laneway Party on Sunday 3rd March, from 2pm to 1am with headliners Sneaky Sound System and a whole host of others partying across Beresford, Flinders and the street in between.
Miss 3D talks at Dulcie’s
Dulcie’s, the first licensed bar to open in the proper Kings Cross precinct in over a decade, is already becoming fast known for their superb cocktails and immersive time-capsule of an atmosphere. But there’s also a stage, and it’s as much a radical creative space built for the exchange of ideas, as it is a bar. As such, they’ll definitely be putting on a show for Mardi Gras, and this week it’s to welcome veteran Queen Miss 3D who will be discussing the fearlessness of gay Sydney during the 70’s, from the 1978 protest on The Golden Mile to, quite possibly, “a show or three”. It’s going down on Wednesday 27th February, and for more information you’ll want to head along to the official Facebook event page HERE.
Address: 44B Darlinghurst Rd, Potts Point NSW 2011
Queer Screen at Mardi Gras Film Festival
In addition to hosting one of the greatest Mardi Gras celebrations in the world, Sydney also welcomes the film festival component each year at Event Cinemas. For 2019, that means a whopping 120 narrative features, documentaries and short films (including five world premieres) are currently playing at the George Street cinema, highlighting the stories of the LGBTQI community from across the globe. It’s not all just the parade in Sydney, so to make the most of the experience this week head along and support these talented filmmakers and get a deeper insight into the many diverse stories that are being expressed right now.
Address: 505/525 George St, Sydney NSW 2000
Festive Fun at Mardi Gras Parade
Then of course you have the parade itself, the iconic Saturday 2nd March party down the strips of Oxford and Flinders Street where hundreds of thousands of people will come together to watch, express and celebrate this year’s theme of “fearless”. It’s to honour the trailblazers in the queer community as much as it is to celebrate unity, pride, diversity and strength
It’s 41 since Sydney’s first Mardi Gras protest, and this year’s theme ‘fearless’ will honour the LGBTQIA trailblazers, such as those who were there in 1978, as well as proudly and joyfully celebrating the queer community in all its diversity. Join the hundreds of thousands of people who line Oxford and Flinders Streets to share messages of equality, diversity, strength and pride – and to party.
Address: Oxford Street and Flinders Street
Feature Image: The Beresford