Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival, 19 February – 06 March, 2016

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is an all-embracing festival full of electric, eccentric and eclectic events, every one of them celebrating the power and beauty of diversity. It is one of the City’s major annual events, attracting tens of thousands of interstate and international visitors every year, making it one of the biggest and most loved festivals in Australia.

As part of the semi-curated festival, we produce a number of key events such as the Parade, Fair Day, Laneway and Party and additional cultural events, such as Queer Thinking. We also work closely with local venues and a range of producers. The amount of publicity Mardi Gras creates is massive, reaching across the country and beyond, drawing in new audiences, engaging the wider communities and spreading the love! Being involved in Mardi Gras is being part of something amazing – nearly three weeks of fun, celebration and festival buzz!

How Do I Apply?

For 2016 we've simplified the process. Complete the online Expressions of Interest form to be considered for inclusion within the 2016 Festival. Our team will review all the applications and then contact all applicants in early September to advise of the outcome. 

If you have any questions about this process please feel free to contact us directly.

Key Dates

Stage One

Friday 14th August - Expressions of Interest Open

Monday 7th September - Expressions of Interest Close. 

If you missed the deadline and would like to complete an EOI, please contact the festival team ASAP.

Stage Two

Week beginning Monday 7th September - All applicants will be contacted advising of outcome of their application. Payment for successful applications will become due and full payment is required by 30 September 2015. Supporting documentation and materials is due by 15 October 2015.

Festival Genres

We’d like to hear from artists, community groups, arts organisations, independent and commercial producers about how you would like to get involved. Our program includes

  • Performing Arts
  • Visual Arts
  • Social & Community
  • Sport
  • Experiences

EOIs will be assessed by the Festival Team and the final season is selected to reflect a quality, unique and diverse festival that celebrates the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex communities (LGBTQI). Expressions of Interest close 7th September and the Festival team will assess each application against set selection criteria to determine how the event will add to the 2016 season. 

If you would like to discuss your ideas we are happy to talk through things with you, please contact us directly.

Successful Applications 

If successful you will receive a letter of invitation by email for inclusion in the 2016 Season and be asked to confirm the inclusion of your event along with payment of your Festival fee. You'll also be asked to provide details of sponsors, public liability insurance and venue confirmation. You should also submit final marketing materials including artwork, photography and any other collateral that helps us to promote your event. This information is due by 30 September 2015.

We'll provide you with a 2016 Festival marketing pack including logos and guidelines.

How Will My EOI Be Assessed?

Your EOI will be assessed against the Selection Criteria below.

  • Whether you have members of the LGBTQI communities participating in key roles
  • Is your event themed or relevant to the LGBTQI communities
  • The potential to contribute to the celebrations that surround the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival
  • Assessments of applications and decisions are made primarily on the basis of the information supplied by you in your application and accompanying support material

Support Material

Support material enables the Festival Team to understand your background and ideas for your event.

Please include relevant examples of your work, images/publicity of past events you have produced, or previous publicity your events have attracted. You will need to provide URLs for your support material eg. YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, websites, blogs, Dropbox etc

Marketing Support

Every event in the festival receives a dedicated event web page that contains the event description, images and links to ticketing. Standard events may also receive additional promotion across Mardi Gras social media channels. There may be other promotional opportunities as the season unfolds.

Each year the Festival includes a small number of significant events that are designated as Premier or Partner Events by the Festival team. These events are offered additional marketing support which is reflected in a higher Festival fee. This can include but is not limited to inclusion in email newsletters, social media mentions, PR & media support and online advertising.  


Fees to be included within the 2016 Festival are based on the event prominence and the level of marketing support.

Standard Event - $225 inc GST
Premier Event - $890 inc GST
Partner Event - Negotiated


For the 2016 season, we're partnering with Pozible to provide an official crowd-funding platform for Festival events. The Pozible team will be conducting a workshop to help any event producer learn about the benefits of crowd-funding and how to successfully use the Pozible platform. If this is of interest to you, please let us know in your EOI submission.


Eventbrite is our preferred ticketing partner for the 2016 Festival. If your event is using Eventbrite this season, we're able to include the event within a Mardi Gras Festival branded environment within the Eventbrite ticketing system. If you need more information or assistance with ticketing, please let us know in your EOI submission.

Questions or Help?

Please send any questions to and one of the team will get back to you as quickly as possible. If you need urgent assistance, please call 02 9383 0900. 

Please do not forward applications or support material by email unless requested by our team.