9 ways to make the most of Mardi Gras

Sydney’s biggest LGBTIQ celebration comes to an all-singing, all-dancing crescendo when the Mardi Gras Parade takes over our city on 29 February.

Spectators at the 2018 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Photo: Katherine Griffiths / City of Sydney

1. Attend Fair Day

The massive free community Fair Day returns and everyone’s invited. Chill with a picnic, browse the community stalls or kick up your heels and have a dance. The event shines a light on rising LGBTIQ music talent with performances from queer trailblazers including Jess B, JamarzOnMarz, Jamaica Moana.

Sunday 16 February 2020
Victoria Park

Bent Burlesque is at the Seymour Centre, Mardi Gras Central

2. Head to Mardi Gras Central

Get ready to be entertained and inspired. The 2020 festival hub will showcase a mix of queer performance, theatre, music, dance, circus and cabaret, plus thought-provoking talks and workshops. Don’t miss Gender Euphoria, F*** Fabulous and Hot Brown Honey.

Seymour Centre

Koori Gras

3. Check out Koori Gras

Koori Gras features a series of cultural events with local, interstate and international First Nations queer artists, thinkers and communities.

Saturday 15th February to Saturday 22nd February
Carriageworks

Sissy Ball

4. Catch a superstar at the Sissy Ball

Sissy Ball is Australia’s largest vogue ball. This celebration of self-expression and identity is inspired by NYC’s vogue ballroom scene. Entrants will compete to take out titles for dance, movement, fashion, and flair. There’s also live music, DJs and performing artists.

Saturday 22 February
Enmore Theatre, Newtown

Photo: Katherine Griffiths / City of Sydney

5. Take your rainbow kids to Luna Park Family Fun Day

Luna Park is given a rainbow makeover for the third consecutive year. Tickets give LGBTIQ families with kids a fun day with unlimited rides, plus DJs and surprise performances in the Crystal Palace Kids Dance Party.

Sunday 23 February 2020
Luna Park

Pic: © William Yang/courtesy National Library of Australia

6. Take a self-guided walk

We’ve partnered with Pride History Group to develop a self-guided tour of Oxford Street. To wander this strip today is to walk through a rich history of parties and protests. Download the Sydney Culture Walks app to learn about places so important to the emergence of local LGBTIQ communities.

Rafiki at the Mardi Gras Film Festival

7. Watch a movie at the Mardi Gras Film Festival

Check out a program of films featuring LGBTIQ characters, stories and filmmakers from all over the world. This year’s festival boasts 57 feature-length films, 2 episodics and 75 short films told through 15 different genres and a number of world and Australian premieres.

Thursday 13 February to Thursday 27 February
Event Cinemas George Street

Mardi Gras parade 2018. Photo: Katherine Griffiths / City of Sydney

8. Experience queer art after hours

National Art School’s “Queer Contemporary” exhibition is the Mardi Gras hub for queer art and visual culture, full of exhibitions, conversations, workshops, and family activities. Kick things off with DJs and performances at their launch night.

Friday 14 February 2020
National Art School

9. Stake a spot and watch the parade

Make your way to Oxford or Flinders street early to secure a good spot to see the parade in person! You can also secure a seat to watch from the family friendly viewing precinct on Flinders Street.

Oxford and Flinders streets
Saturday 29 February

See all Mardi Gras events.