Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras paints our city with rainbow colours and glitter every February and March. Many other cities and tourist destinations around Australia and New Zealand host their own vibrant LGBTQI festivals too. Each of them give you great ways to get in touch with your local LGBTQI community, or opportunities to visit and sample the best the cities have to offer.
Mark your calendars – many of Australia’s Pride festivals happen in spring. Here they are listed below, in order of dates for the rest of 2017 and early 2018. This year’s events are still in the planning stages, so click the links to connect and find out more.
Sydney Pride Festival – 9-28 June 2017
Marking the date of the original Stonewall riots in New York, Sydney has a Pride Festival each June, with Oxford Street’s Stonewall Hotel as the focal point. Various events showcase arts, debates, sports, and fundraising.
Southern HiBearnation - Melbourne - 11-18 June 2017
The biggest stand-alone Bear event in the Southern hemisphere is coming. From dance parties to drag, comedy to karaoke, saunas to cinemas and dinner to dark rooms – there’s something for everyone.
Brisbane Pride - TBA September 2017
Brisbane Pride Festival started in 1990 as a means of organising and promoting public events and activities that contribute to Brissie’s queer culture. The first event was held as a Rally and March through the streets of Brisbane, ending with a small gathering at Musgrave Park, South Brisbane. This day has now grown to encompass a big Parade through the city streets and a huge Fair Day.
Alice Springs Pride Carnivale - September 2017
Alice Springs' annual Pride Carnivale is a vibrant celebration of sexuality and gender diversity across cultures in Central Australian regional and remote communities.
Broken Heel Festival - 8-10 September 2017
The outback is never a drag! Hosted at the colourful Palace Hotel, Silverton Hotel and the shining Silver City of Broken Hill, this festival offers all of the authentic favourite haunts from the iconic film Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
Gay Ski Week Queenstown - 2-10 September 2017
Come along and have fun on and off the snow in Queenstown, New Zealand. Jam-packed with amazing events including cabaret nights, massive dance parties and night skiing.
Darwin Pride Festival - 21-30 September 2017
Run by a local small group of volunteers, Darwin Pride is a week-long festival activating the city with the best in LGBTQI culture and community.
Cairns Tropical Pride – 30 Sep-8 Oct 2017
Once a year, Cairns Tropical Pride invites visitors from around Australia and the world to join them for ten days of play in the gorgeous environment that is Tropical North Queensland.
Pride WA - Perth – 27 Oct – 25 Nov 2017
Pride WA has been an integral part of the Western Australian community since 1989, and is committed to providing a platform by which the Pride Community can showcase their talents and continue to champion their rights and freedoms. Perth’s vibrant festival includes an evening Parade, parties and many other events.
TasPride - Hobart - TBA November 2017
TasPride began in 1992 and continues to celebrate, unite and promote the LGBTI communities, providing opportunities for everyone to come together and share pride. The festival happens in the first two weeks of November each year.
SpringOut Festival - Canberra – TBA November 2017
The Australian Capital Territory's LGBTQI festival is run during the month of November with events sponsored and coordinated by the local community in and around Canberra. Major events include the annual SpringOUTPride Parade, Family Day and the Bush Dance.
Out in the Open - Shepparton – 2-5 November 2017
OUTintheOPEN is Shepparton VIC’s festival, involving a CARNIVAL DAY at the Queens Gardens, a health/wellbeing forum at Goulburn Valley Hotel function rooms, and several other events during the weekend across the city.
FEAST Festival - Adelaide – 11-26 November 2017
Adelaide's celebration of LGBTIQ pride has been promoting diversity and inclusion since 1997. Feast is a major event attracting performers from all over the world to South Australia.
Tropical Fruits - Lismore - New Years 2017-8
Held every year since 1988, this elaborate New Years Eve festival runs over four days around Lismore in northern New South Wales, providing creative, welcoming and fun opportunities to celebrate in the beautiful Rainbow Region.
Midsumma Carnival - Melbourne - January 2018
Melbourne’s annual three week festival celebrates and supports queer arts and culture. Key events include the outdoor carnival and T-Dance plus the vibrant Pride March in January. Midsumma’s massive with a wide range of cultural events to sample.
Equality Project’s Better Together Conference – 12-13 January 2018
The Equality Project is a new, national organisation bringing together LGBTIQ people with allies across the social justice movement, to advocate for a better, more just, and fairer society for all. Its biennial conference, Better Together, will explore current issues facing the LGBTIQ movement, bringing together voices from women’s rights, indigenous rights, disability, the Deaf community, and multicultural and faith groups.
Gaytimes Festival - Lake Mountain Alpine Resort - February 2018
Gaytimes is Australia's queer camping music festival, held in a picturesque campground in Lake Mountain Alpine Resort in Victoria. With an eclectic lineup of music, performers, visual arts, food trucks, yoga and more, Gaytimes is a weekend of music, art, community, sexuality and self-expression.
Auckland Pride Festival - February 2018
A celebration of Rainbow Community culture and identity, Auckland Pride Festival includes local and international theatre and cabaret, visual art exhibitions, live music, film and new media, literature, drag and burlesque, historic walks, youth events and workshops, sports, recreation, pets, pageants and parties – plus a big Parade along Ponsonby Road.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras – Feb/Mar 2018
That's us! 2018 will be our extravagant 40th anniversary festival, and we have some incredible things happening to celebrate. The 2018 Parade and Party date is confirmed as Saturday 3 March. Subscribe to our updates here.
ChillOut Festival - Daylesford - 8-12 March 2018
Queer country pride! ChillOut Festival transforms Daylesford in regional Victoria's Hepburn Shire into the LGBTQI capital on the weekend after Mardi Gras in March. Well worth the trip, it's the ultimate friendly and fun post-Mardi Gras wind down.