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Category: Mardi Gras Events

Trevor Ashley's Mardi Gala

Trevor Ashley's Mardi Gala

Bigger, better and dare we say, Gayer than ever, Trevor Ashley's MARDI GALA returns to the Concert Hall for one fabulous night only. 

Live onstage with a 12 piece orchestra, this variety gala is jam-packed with surprises, laughs and power ballads, that will have everyone on their feet.

Joining "Mardi Gras Royalty" Trevor Ashley is the smooth vocal stylings of Hugh Sheridan, the deliciously camp Rhonda Burchmore, the electrifying Tim Campbell, the acerbic wit of Tom Ballard, Oxford St legends Shauna Jensen and Minnie Cooper, and more surprises!

Right after the show, the Northern Foyers play host to the best party in Sydney with breathtaking views in a sunset soiree like no other, sparkling with the sounds of DJ Victoria Anthony.

Come and join us for the ultimate Mardi Gras pre-party and celebrate with the stars!

Sydney Opera House presents in association with Trevor Ashley Enterprises.


Rainbow Flag Raising Ceremony

Rainbow Flag Raising Ceremony

Happy Mardi Gras!

The City of Sydney's Rainbow Flag Raising Ceremony hosted by Lord Mayor Clover Moore at Sydney Town Hall is the first official welcoming event of the Festival each year.

The rainbow flag originated in San Francisco in 1978 and was designed by artist Gilbert Baker for the Californian city's Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Parade. Since then it has become a woldwide emblem of gay pride and gay-friendly areas. The red on the flag symbolises life, while orange signifies healing, yellow is for sunlight, green represents nature, blue stands for harmony and violet signifies spirit.

City of Sydney is proud to show support for its many LGBTQI residents, workers and visitors. As a government partner of Sydney's Mardi Gras Festival, the City will fly the rainbow flag above Sydney Town Hall throughout the 2019 Festival from Friday 15 February until Sunday 3 March.


Queer Screen's 26th Mardi Gras Film Festival

Queer Screen's 26th Mardi Gras Film Festival

Queer Screen’s 26th Mardi Gras Film Festival has searched high and low to create a powerful fusion of LGBTIQ+ characters, stories and filmmakers from all over world. The brilliance and the challenges of being queer will be screened from 13 – 28 February in Sydney before touring to Canberra, Parramatta, Lismore, Newcastle and the Blue Mountains in March and April.

The Festival boasts five world premieres, 75 Australian premieres and 15 Sydney premieres, screening 54 feature-length films and 66 short films across 70 sessions in Event Cinemas George Street and venues across Sydney.

Opening with Giant Little Ones from Canada in its Australian premiere. A coming-of-age film featuring Kyle MacLachlan and Maria Bello, it explores how 17-year-old Franky begins to question his sexuality after an incident at his birthday party. This touching drama looks at the pressure to pick a label when maybe you don’t need one.

Rafiki will close the Festival. A bold and powerful story about young lesbian love in a conservative society in Nairobi, it was the first Kenyan film selected for Cannes and was initially banned in its home country where homosexuality is still illegal.

Other highlights include, the Felix Maritaud double header in coming of age thriller Boys and the film that shocked Cannes, Sauvage, a Focus on Latin America including the World Premiere Gala screening of The Blonde One, a slow burn sexy drama from Argentina, the Australian Premiere of the much anticipated bio-pic Mapplethorpe, a nod to old Hollywood with Making Montgomery Clift and Scotty & the Secret History of Hollywood, important documentary from Tonga, Leitis in Waiting, romantic drama Snapshots and the Molly Shannon lead comedy Wild Night Nights with Emily.


Posted in Mardi Gras Events Tagged Community, Film

Koori Gras

Koori Gras

Moogahlin Performing Arts in association with Carriageworks and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras present a series of creative cultural arts events featuring local, interstate and international First Nations qweer artists, thinkers and communities.

Black Nulla - Qweer Blak
18-23 February
Moogahlin Performing Arts in association with Carriageworks and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras present Creative development workshops, pushing the boundaries of Black Qweer Drag Five qweer black emerging drag artists will undertake a one-week intensive creative development workshop program with local First Nations performance artists to push the boundaries of what is Qweer Black Drag. Participants will perform their developed works at Black Nulla Club Night alongside your favourite local and interstate drag artists.

Black Point
22 February

A communal “feed” and open mike night for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander guests to share stories and discuss relevant issues for qweer black artists. Black Point will be presented in partnership with First Nations Rainbow a local community social support group that aims to celebrate, and reduce stigma and discrimination against the qweer black community.

Blak Speakers Platform - Sequin and Giggles
23 February

Renowned First Nations Drag artists come together to discuss their practice and issues of performing in a multitude of spaces, places and communities. Is it all just sequins and giggles?

Black Nulla Club Night
23 February
$25 / $20 Concession +bf

Carriageworks will come alive with celebrated and renowned black drag performers and DJ sets, also featuring participants who have developed works during the Black Nulla development workshop. Party! Community tickets will be available at the door. Get tickets here.


Diamond Club

Diamond Club

Proudly presented in partnership with ANZ

TICKET UPDATE: Our Diamond Club viewing area is now SOLD OUT! Thanks to everyone who booked!


Take your Mardi Gras viewing experience to the next level. Come and join us at Taylor Square, right in the heart of the action, where you won’t miss a moment of our dazzling Parade. Diamond Club is our exclusive standing cocktail area, featuring a private bar, gourmet food trucks and DJs. With unparalleled views, it’s the ultimate place to enjoy the Parade for the ultimate VIP experience. Diamond Club is an over 18’s venue.


Posted in Mardi Gras Events Tagged Parties



The ultimate recovery event to close the Mardi Gras festival’s final weekend, Laneway features the hottest DJs, surprise live performances, an eclectic mix of indoor and outdoor party spaces to dance, strut or take the edge off the night before.

Our LANEWAY line-up for 2019:

Jess Love
Miss Poodle
Rhys Lightning
Beth Yen
Butch le Butch
DJ Dan Murphy
DJ Alex Taylor
DJ Charlie Villas
DJ Rob Davis
Estée Louder
GI Jode
DJ Sveta
Greg Boladian
James Alexandr
Jonny Marsh
DJ Kate Monroe

All good things must come to an end – and there’s no ending quite like Laneway.

VIP tickets get you access to the Mardi Gras VIP Bar at Upstairs Beresford, featuring an exclusive dance floor, bar and amenities.

Sissy Ball

Sissy Ball
Following last year’s dazzling sold out debut, Australia’s biggest vogue ball returns with more attitude than ever.

My Trans Story - The Next Generation

My Trans Story - The Next Generation

In 2018, Trans Stories sold out and audiences gave it a triple standing ovation. In 2019 we present My Trans Story featuring fearless next generation story-tellers.

Meet 14 year old Evie Macdonald, the girl who faced off with the PM on The Project and star of ABC’s First Day, Liz Duck-Chong, writer, sexual health nerd, pun a cionado and self-described post-fertile funny girl and Nevo Zisin, Jewish, queer, non-binary, activist and author of award-winning Finding Nevo. Plus young trans and gender diverse people who will be stepping into the spotlight for the first time.

Here's the full speakers' lineup:

Evie Macdonald
Kalypso Finbar
Nathan Shephard
Threse Vargas
Nyx Calder
Nevo Zisin
Liz Duck-Chong
Dibs Barisic Šprem

My Trans Story – The Next Generation launches where Trans Stories – 40 Years left off. In 2018 we looked back at our activists who fought for the early hard-won rights and toward a brighter and more inclusive future. In 2019 we will be looking at the future. Traversing the next generation’s struggles, loves, triumphs and pursuit of a society that celebrates multiple intersecting gender identities. These are the kids we whispered to, grab your ticket and hear them roar.

My Trans Story – The Next Generation is presented by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and FEM in association with Trans Pride Australia.

Fair Day Official After Party

Fair Day Official After Party

Join us at Mardi Gras Central’s Festival Club for the official Fair Day after-party, where very special guests will delight partygoers with pop-up performances while our esteemed DJs will fill the floor with the ultimate dance and party tunes until the early hours.

After a day of soaking up the rays in Victoria Park with Sydney’s LGBTQI community head to the Festival Club for a night of entertainment and dancing featuring a stellar line-up of artists hosted by NICOLA and Kryptonite including DJ sets by Betty Grumble and pop-up performances from Trigger Happy's and Garret Lyon.

Entry is $5, or free with a Mardi Gras Central show ticket for 17 February.


Queer Thinking Day 1: Young and Fearless

Queer Thinking Day 1: Young and Fearless

Curated by Charlie Murphy

Saturday All-Day Pass: $45 or $30 concession - BOOK HERE


After Safe Schools: Queer Youth Still in Crisis12pm – 1pm
Moderated by Liz Duck-Chong

In the wake of the national conversation on Safe Schools, our queer youth in schools continue to be a vulnerable target for conservative politics, often with youth shut out from the discussion themselves. By including the voices of the queer school students themselves, this panel opens a proper dialogue and lets the youth tell their own stories, their way.

Liz Duck-Chong is a writer, sexual health nerd and filmmaker who has had articles, poetry and essays in a range of publications. A transgender and non binary woman, she co-hosts wholesome sex ed show @letsdoitpodcast, and is on Twitter at @lizduckchong.

Bobuq Sayed is a writer, multidisciplinary artist and queer youth worker for Drummond Street / Queerspace. They partnered with Minus 18 and Safe Schools on an educational resource that unpacks QTPOC intersectionality for school aged young people due for release in early 2019. They coordinate an LGBT youth mentoring program to help facilitate intergenerational connections and tweet @bobuqsayed.

Janet Anderson is a 18 year old transgender actress and comedian who graduated from Newtown High School of the Performing Arts in 2018. She is an aspiring writer, feminist and octuple-threat if you count getting things from highs shelves. She recently performed in 'Political Children', written and directed by Felicity Nicol, which focused on the life and death of the Safe Schools program, from the perspective of the young people it impacted.

Ebony Rose is an activist and public speaker who came into the public eye as a subject of the 2015 documentary ‘Gayby Baby’. The film, following the lives of children with same-sex parents, hit the headlines when it was temporarily banned from being shown in schools. Since then, Ebony has continued to advocate for LBGTQI+ inclusive education and the de-stigmatisation of what she refers to as “poster child syndrome”, speaking at events in Australia and New Zealand. She also partnered with Guardian Australia and fellow ‘Gayby’ Gus as a co-producer of “Vote For Love” during the 2017 Marriage Equality Plebiscite.

$15 or $10 concession - BOOK HERE


What It Means to Be Non-Binary2pm – 3pm
Moderated by Kaya Wilson, with panelists Riley J Dennis, Mara Maya Devi, and Nevo Zisin

In the new millennium, non-binary identities broke into the mainstream consciousness, emerging largely in online communities, including Tumblr and other social media networks. A conversation exclusively with millennial non-binary identities, including artists and media commentators, they will share their own experiences and views of the future for non-binary people.

Kaya Wilson is a writer and scientist based in Sydney, Australia. He writes lyrical non-fiction essays with a focus on queer identity and researches the tsunami hazard to Australia. His work has been published widely, including by The Guardian, Overland, Archer, Sydney Morning Herald and The Conversation.

Riley J. Dennis is a queer girl who makes videos about politics, social justice, and whatever else is on her mind, while drawing from a leftist and intersectional feminist perspective. She uses both she/her or they/them pronouns.

Māra Māyā Devi is a local performance artist who has performed at the MCA, Oyster Club: Glamdrogynous Freakshow, Heaps Gay Parties, and much more.

Nevo Zisin is a Jewish, queer, non-binary writer, activist and public speaker with a particular focus on issues surrounding gender, sex, religion and sexuality. They run workshops in schools and workplaces around trans issues. They are also the author of award-winning Finding Nevo, a memoir on gender transition.

$15 or $10 concession - BOOK HERE


Queers vs Capitalism: Reform or Revolution? | 3:30pm – 4:30pm

Millennials and Gen Z have been strongly represented in popular support for the resurgent leftist Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders campaigns. As the coming generations drift further left, in this panel young, queer voices respond to our current economic system through a series of unique viewpoints on how capitalism intersects with queer lives.

Will the young queer visionaries of the future seek reform of capitalism, or desire revolution?

With panelists Hannah-Joy Gillard, Nayuka Gorrie, and Oscar Monaghan.

$15 or $10 concession - BOOK HERE



Iraq and Queer Rights: In Conversation with Amir Ashour 5pm – 6pm
Interviewed by Mon Schafter

An intimate conversation with Amir Ashour, One Young World Ambassador and the founder of IraQueer, the first and only support network for queer Iraqis. Fleeing from his native Iraq to Sweden, and now based in the United States, Ashour joins us to tell his story and share his vision for progressive change for Iraq.

Mon Schafter is a Walkley Award winning journalist, documentary maker and podcast host who reports for the ABC’s flagship current affairs program, 7.30. She has interviewed icons such as Academy Award winner Jodie Foster and Russian feminist punk collective Pussy Riot, and has sought out the voices of young asylum seekers, LGBTQI warriors, domestic violence survivors and indigenous trailblazers. Previously, Mon co-hosted the ABC’s ground-breaking current affairs comedy program Hungry Beast, produced by Andrew Denton.

Amir Ashour is a human rights defender with almost 10 years of experience working with Iraqi and International organisations. He is the founder and executive director of IraQueer, Iraq’s first and only LGBT+ organisation. He holds a masters degree in human rights from Columbia University, and he has been nominated for several human rights awards including the Raoul Wallenberg Academy Prize and the David Kato Voice and Vision Award.

$15 or $10 concession - BOOK HERE

Fair Day

Fair Day

Photo: 2 Boys in Saris at Fair Day 2018

Fair Day is proudly presented in partnership with ANZ.

See the Fair Day map and lineup here!

Mardi Gras Fair Day, the biggest and best-loved free community event of the season, returns on Sunday 17 February with over 80,000 people expected to come together in Victoria Park in Camperdown for a day filled with live entertainment, over 200 stalls, and food and drink outlets. You can see the full list of general (non-food) stalls here. 2019 will see the all new Doggywood and Sports Village and the official Fair Day After Party extravaganza at the Seymour Centre.

Fair Day 2019 will shine a light on rising LGBTQI music stars that are reshaping the Australian contemporary music landscape and breaking new ground. Hosted by Faustina Agolley, you will discover a heady mix of queer trailblazers including soulful electronic pop duo and Eurovision contenders Electric Fields, genre-defying J Award winner Mojo Juju and breakout electronic tomboy-pop artist HANDSOME. Also taking the stage are Detroit-based alt-pop singer-songwriter Flint Eastwood, fierce R&B storyteller & producer Maribelle and Melbourne-based synth-pop duo The Marion Cranes plus super DJ duo stereogamous spinning tunes between sets.

The Arena morning program is a dog-lovers dream. Be sure to not miss the Doggywood Pageant presented in partnership with Hush Puppies, as Sydney’s finest dogs battle it out for the coveted titles of Best Dressed and Most Talented. Registrations are open pre-event at the Mardi Gras website and also next to The Arena on the day. There are two sessions (11am and 12.30pm), and plenty of great prizes for both dogs and owners. Get a front row seat to witness some spectacular canine acts as Kelly Gill and the Wonderdogs team of talented Border Collies, team up with celebrity vet Dr Katrina Warren for two show and trick demonstrations at 10:30am and 12:00pm. Find out more and register your pup for Doggywood here.

In the afternoon Team Sydney takes over The Arena, with demonstrations and activities including Volleyball, Tug of War, the Speedos Fashion Parade, the Swing Out Dancers, Martial Arts and Fitness.

Victoria Park Pool will be open on Fair Day, so be sure to pack your swimmers if you want to take a dip. Especially for Fair Day, Victoria Park Pool will be offering free entry for children under the age of 10 years.

The mid-morning program on the ANZ Main Stage will start from 10:30am and will feature performances from the NSW Police Band, Swing Out Sydney Dancers and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir. In the early afternoon you will be able to get a taste of some of the extraordinary queer performance, cabaret and burlesque artists performing throughout the Mardi Gras Festival.

Everyone’s favourite Fashions of the Fair will be held on the ANZ Main Stage at 1:30pm, so prepare those glittering summertime picnic looks and get ready to strut-your-stuff. Mardi Gras talent spotters will be roaming the Park handing out Golden Tickets for you to compete in Fashions of the Fair and you could be in the running to win tickets for you and 3 of your best friends to Mardi Gras’ new retro pool event, Strictly Kaftan Party.  

For those looking to dance the summer day away, the new Absolute Dance Floor will feature an electric line-up of DJs GI Jode and Victoria Anthony. As the sun-sets two of Sydney’s iconic DJs, Kate Monroe and Dan Murphy will take to the decks on the ANZ Main Stage to keep the party vibes pumping until close at 9:00pm.

The official Fair Day After Party this year will be across the road at Mardi Gras’ new late night Festival Club at the Seymour Centre. After a day of soaking up the rays in Victoria Park with Sydney’s LGBTQI community head to the Festival Club for a night of entertainment and dancing featuring a stellar line-up of artists hosted by NICOLA and Kryptonite including DJ sets by Betty Grumble and pop-up performances from Trigger Happy and Garret Lyon.  Entry to the official Fair Day after Party is $5 or free with any ticket to a show on that night at Mardi Gras Central. 

See the entertainment lineup set times here!


Parking around Victoria Park is limited, so people are encouraged to take public transport or walk or ride. Bicycle Parking will be available in Victoria Park, at the City Road Entrance (opposite the Seymour Centre).

Strictly Kaftan Party

Strictly Kaftan Party

A sparkling new all-inclusive event for Mardi Gras 2019, the STRICTLY KAFTAN PARTY at the Ivy Pool will be the epitome of poolside glamour, retro fun, dancing, comedy and plenty of splashing!

Join us anytime from 4pm for the cocktail hour, just make sure you and your friends are there by 7pm when the live entertainment kicks off!

Frolic by the pool and enjoy a wash of entertainment as New Zealand’s comedy music duo The Topp Twins perform live in concert. Your ‘hosts with the most’ are flying into Sydney especially for the summer soirée of the year!

Virginia Ferris also joins the party with the debut of the Fabulous Drowning Flamingos – a water ballet troupe like no other who will send you into a delicious watery swirl of synchronised simplicity.

Sip retro cocktails as the sunsets or get up and dance in or out of the pool as a selection of our favourite DJ’s play hits from the last 5 decades. Enjoy our Strictly Kaftan playlist on Spotify here.

We also encourage you to join in the fun and dress up in your most vibrant kaftan, comfy muu-muu, or equally glam colourful summer couture. The Topp Twins will be awarding prizes for Best Kaftan, Best Cabana Lounging Ensemble and Most Outrageous Summer Accessory.

Ivy’s Ucello dining room overlooking the pool will be open especially for Kaftan Party guests and is creating a special menu for the night. If you would like to like to book a table for dinner you will need to book dinner vouchers separately.

Book now for the Strictly Kaftan Party on Tuesday19 February. It’s fun, it’s playful, it’s dress up... it's decadent summertime fun at Mardi Gras like the good all days!

4pm-11pm, Tuesday 19 February
IVY Pool Club,
Level 4, 320 George Street, Sydney CBD

Tickets from $50+ booking fee for entry, entertainment and lots of fun. 

Dinner vouchers $65 for two course set menu, includes a glass of prosecco on arrival!

DJ Gemma
The +1s
GI Jode

If you've pre-booked your dinner voucher, you will enjoy an authentic Italian two-course meal in the chic poolside surroundings of Uccello restaurant on the ivy rooftop, you will be welcomed with a free glass of Prosecco at your table.

Select from this menu on the night:

Smoked eggplant puree, goats curd, peppers, chickpeas
Cured ocean trout, fennel, lemon, cippolini, parsley
Calamari Frito, lemon

Gnocchi, tomato, ricotta, basil
Mahi mahi, capers, cherry tomatoes, parsley
Gnocchi sardi, lamb ragu, green olive
Salad leaves, barrel-aged red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil
Sautéed Sebago potatoes in duck fat, rosemary

Frangelico ice cream sandwich, chocolate sauce, hazelnut croquant
Vanilla panna cotta, berries

Uccello restaurant will also be taking bookings on the night.

Requiem Mass: A Queer Divine Rite

Requiem Mass: A Queer Divine Rite

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and City Recital Hall present Requiem Mass: A Queer Divine Rite. An evening length original choral work by American singer and composer Holcombe Waller, that invokes remembrance and peace for the dead who suffered persecution for their sexual orientation or gender expression.

The piece is an emotional and personal work informed by research into the pivotal gay history from the 1980s through present day. Driven by community engagement and local community input, Waller’s Requiem explores the theatricality of ceremony as a means for collective catharsis and cultural introspection around the intersection of religion and LGBTQI identity.

Working with local singers, musicians, artists and faith leaders, the performance invites collaborative participation to make it most relevant to its particular time, venue, and cultural context, reflecting on the shifting and complex local narrative of the evolution of social justice for LGBTQI people. The work will be performed by Sam Allchurch and the Sydney Chamber Choir, inviting participation from singers of all abilities who feel called to the project’s mission, supported by professional singers and instrumentalists. Building off of millennia of queer leadership in religious ceremony, Requiem Mass audaciously plays with the intersection of music, theatre and ceremony to propose a claim for Queer power within our most sacred cultural spaces.

Benjamin Burton – organ
Luke Byrne – keyboard
Jess Ciampa – drums and percussion
James McCrow – French horn
Anna McMichael – violin
Elsen Price – bass
Simon Sweeney – trumpet

This is an Auslan Interpreted event. Please call the City Recital Hall friendly Box Office staff on 02 9231 2222 or email boxoffice@cityrecitalhall.com to arrange tickets in view of the interpreter.

The Australian premiere of Requiem Mass was originally produced by Performance Space for Day for Night: 24 HRS, 2016.


Queer Contemporary at NAS

Queer Contemporary at NAS

The National Art School’s iconic site (the former Darlinghurst Gaol) is a part of the queer past and the queer future, from the infamous Wall to today’s Queer Contemporary, which includes exhibitions, conversations, workshops, kids activities and the boutique Moonlite pop up bar named in honour of former inmate - Bush Ranger Captain Moonlite and his lover James Nesbitt.

Queer as Folklore - Exhibition of works from the collection of Dr Dick Quan and Holdsworth House Medical Practice Works from the Refracted Light exhibition Created by Insideoutdelhi - India’s first queer art competition Moonlite Tour led by artist Todd Fuller.

See the complete program here on the National Art School's website.


Luna Park Family Fun Day

Luna Park Family Fun Day

An action-packed day for Rainbow Families!

Mardi Gras' Family Fun Day at Luna Park was a sell-out success in 2018, and it's back for 2019, with more live entertainment and activities for the whole family to enjoy - PLUS unlimited rides all day across the entire park. All for just $36 (+bf)!

The Crystal Palace Kids Dance Party in the Grand Ballroom featuring DJ extraordinaire Kate Monroe will get the dance floor bopping, and will be a fun and creative soundtrack to the day's activities. Inaugural Miss First Nations winner Josie Baker will welcome guests of all ages to the Party and will perform a very special show.  Exuberant MC and Vaudevillian Heidi Hoops will have everyone dancing - she's bringing her special rainbow hoops for her Hula Hoop Disco Workshop.

At our Fearless Creative Workshop, your kids will be able to create colourful crowns, buttons and headbands representing our unique fearless culture, identity and style. Blasted in from outer space to run the workshop is Dweeb City - biodegradable glitter-drenched, neon-clad, super-powered cyber-pop aliens from Dweebtopia.  You’ll be able to show off your wonderful creations and pose for photos with our special Mardi Gras sign and guest performers. Dweeb City will also perform a crazy live music set later in the day.

Drag icon and teacher librarian Joyce Maynge will present story time, bringing her most loved selection of Mayngey books. Whether you like monsters, dogs, frogs or clogs, there will something for everyone. She will also read out one lucky person's favourite picture book, so email your fabulous suggestion to: hello@joycemaynge.com.

Luna Park Family Fun Day is a special fun-filled treat for kids of all ages. Each Luna Park Family Fun Day ticket gets you into the Crystal Palace Dance Party for all the entertainment and activities, PLUS unlimited rides throughout the park all day.

Luna Park Family Fun Day 
Sunday 24 February 2019
Luna Park, 1 Olympic Drive
Milsons Point
11am - 4pm
Tickets $36 + booking fee

Posted in Mardi Gras Events Tagged Community