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Events: Free Events

Rainbow Flag Raising Ceremony

Rainbow Flag Raising Ceremony

Happy Mardi Gras! The 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 worldwide emblem of pride and LGBTQI+ friendly areas. The red in 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 2020 Festival from Friday 14 February until Sunday 1 March.

Mardi Gras Festival Hub

Mardi Gras Festival Hub

A hive of activity over 14 days and nights, the Mardi Gras Festival Hub is the place to meet new and old friends with something for everyone.

Celebrating our diverse communities, the Festival Hub will showcase a wild mix of queer performance, theatre, music, dance, circus and cabaret, plus thought-provoking talks, workshops and a free, late-night club from Thursday to Sunday each week of the Festival.

Posted in Festival Hub Tagged Free Events



A peek, taste and celebration of new works by LGBTQI+ writers PLAYLIST is a full day of professional play readings by writers, theatre makers and new talent who tell bold, unique LGBTQI+ stories for audiences hungry for new voices.

PLAYLIST is a partnership between Seymour Centre, Mardi Gras and Siren Theatre Co that celebrates the creation and development of original Australian theatre with an LGBTQI+ focus.

Over the past two years, PLAYLIST has received over 100 new plays for consideration, curated a public reading program of 20 new works, engaged over 80 professional artists in the readings and welcomed full houses of engaged, curious and enthusiastic audiences.

LGBTQI+ Elders Dance Club

LGBTQI+ Elders Dance Club

A fabulous, free social event for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, gender diverse, intersex elders and their allies! Come along and learn new dances, enjoy delicious catering and drinks and interact with the whole rainbow community.

LGBTQI+ Elders Dance Club champions the recreational and social rights of rainbow elders, creating a space that is safe and inclusive. No dance experience necessary. Afternoon tea provided.

Fair Day

Fair Day

An all-day rainbow adventure for the whole family, Fair Day is a landmark of the Mardi Gras Festival that sees our communities shine brightly together. Enjoy the summer sunshine with a picnic, shop the community stalls for your Festival outfit or join the fun and games in the Sports Village. There is something on offer for everyone, including your precious fur babies who can strut their stuff at the world-famous Doggywood competition.

Our Main Stage has become a festival hotspot in recent years, proudly showcasing up-and-coming and leading queer performers who are redefining the Australian music landscape to ensure LGBTQI+ voices and stories are heard. 2020 will include a spotlight on favourite queer hip hop artists, electric live sets from Bec Sandridge and Ngaiire, plus beloved community DJs taking over the decks at sun-down.

Want to apply for a Fair Day stall? Find all the details here.

Minus18 Queer Formal

Minus18 Queer Formal

The Minus18 Queer Formal® is returning to Sydney in 2020, and in a most spectacular fashion: for its first ever Mardi Gras!

Queer Formal is an unforgettable evening of live music, dancing, glamour stations, activations, dinner, dessert and much, much more - for all LGBTIQ young people aged 13-19 and their friends. Minus18 celebrates every identity, in an inclusive space where anyone can bring a same-sex partner, embrace their identity and express themselves however they want.


● All tickets are gloriously FREE
● One ticket booking per person
● If you find out you’re unable to attend, please un-register your spot via Eventbrite so someone else can attend
● No allocated seating or tables – the vibes at this formal are casual, and primed for friend-making ACCESSIBILITY
● Tram station pick-up and drop off
● Completely drug, alcohol and smoke-free zone
● Wheelchair accessible
● Youth workers on-site

Visit our website for more information around volunteering and supporting our event - every ticket is made available free thanks to donations and community support.

Minus18 acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional custodians of our land – Australia. We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation as the traditional custodians of this place we now call Sydney.



Celebrate OXTRAVAGANZA as 100+ businesses in and around Oxford Street, Darlinghurst (The Pink Mile) offer up a variety of fun events from midday to very late. Check out retail activations, live gigs and special offers.

Darlinghurst has historically been a stomping ground for oddballs, queers, bohemians, and artists, whose influences delightfully combine to form a unique cultural hub - an unconventional and non-judgmental space where anything goes and everyone is welcome. Join our community as we celebrate Mardi Gras in our own, very special, way!

Photo credit: Hareth Tayam



Celebrating the colourful collision of creativity and culture across our communities, the world renowned Mardi Gras Parade unites hundreds of thousands of revellers for the biggest night on the LGBTQI+ calendar.

The iconic procession down Oxford St is sure to dazzle and delight as 200 mesmerising groups and floats roll past, inviting everyone into a world of all things camp, queer, glitz and glamour. Parade remains a vehicle of protest, honouring those who have marched the street over the last four decades, continuing to showcase WHAT MATTERS to LGBTQI+ lives around the globe now, and taking us into the future.

Crowds line the streets for hours in anticipation of the Parade, which is open for all to enjoy - so make your way to Oxford Street or Flinders Street early to get the best viewing place and experience this creative playground under the stars.

Tickets to the DIAMOND CLUB Parade viewing stands in Taylor Square are now SOLD OUT.

Book tickets to the PARADE SIDESHOW viewing area in Flinders Street here.

Queer Art After Hours

Queer Art After Hours

For the fourth year running, the Art Gallery of NSW bursts with queerness! It’s spectacular, it’s glorious, it’s powerful: it’s Queer Art After Hours.

Strut through a creative wonderland of art, ideas, colour, movement and sound, inspired by WHAT MATTERS, and experience an extraordinary array of performances, music, talks and installations.

Explore the treasure of queer art history with highlights from the archives, and watch screenings of rare queer film shorts in a tribute to 20 years of the Gallery’s pioneering film program. Discover new perspectives on artworks from the collection with eye-opening tours, raise a glass at our pop-up bars and make an exhibition of yourself with hands-on art workshops. Drawing on the brilliance of Sydney's dazzling and diverse queer communities, this is a night to revel in your rainbow palette and be your own masterpiece.

PICNIC Surry Hills

PICNIC Surry Hills

Grab your mates, family and dog and come along to a new food, culture and community day-festival. Enjoy summer vibes with delicious picnic offerings, specially curated by local institutions, pubs and cafes.

Use the PICNIC Surry Hills map to find everything from fresh summer snacks, delicious desserts and hearty lunches from any of the participating food outlets in Surry Hills. Pick up your preferred menu option, take it away in provided eco-friendly packs and enjoy any of the new neighbourhood pocket parks and spaces, as well as old favourite spots like Shannon, Ward and Harmony Parks.

Blankets, deck chairs and beanbags will be available at parks as well as entertainment, artists and DJs.

Sandy Bottoms Disco on the Green

Sandy Bottoms Disco on the Green

Every year the inner west comes to celebrate Mardi Gra's, Diversity and Family with a good old fashioned Disco On The Green, join Sandy Bottom and her Stella "Drag Girlfriends" as she welcomes everyone to recover over a good old fashioned meat raffle, special shows on the green, International DJs and Sandy's "Poof Bowling" on the green. Dance, Laugh and be with friends as we celebrate another wonderful gay year.

Twenty Twenty Vision

Twenty Twenty Vision

2020 Vision is an art exhibition by gay artist, Stuart Meyer-Plath. It features limited fine art prints, paintings, silver jewellery and figurative male nude bronzes.

2020 Vision celebrates the theme of same-sex relationships and attraction as underpinned by the basic human right of 'Equality' and 'Respect'. Meyer-Plath’s exploration of the issues of 'Equality' and 'Respect' came to fruition due to the series of political circumstances stemming from the 2017 Marriage Equality plebiscite. This event highlighted the fact that contemporary Australian society still possesses diverse and opposing opinions and attitudes towards lifestyles, religion, workplace equality and discrimination. Meyer-Plath’s jewellery depicting the subtle political statement of 'Equality' and 'Respect', in the form of ambigrams, alluding to the fact that despite the current spin-doctoring surrounding these issues we as a society still need to establish and enforce these values across all aspects of society; ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age and religion.

2020 Vision runs from 23rd -29th February, 2020, 11am - 6pm at the Sheffer Gallery, 38 Lander Street, Darlinghurst.

Stuart Meyer-Plath was born in Sydney, Australia to European parents in 1965. He spent his formative years growing up in Spain and Germany before his family settled in Australia. These early childhood travel experiences and exposure to stories and art depicting ancient mythology, religious constructs, relationships and diversity encouraged his interest in classical art and sculpture which has continued to this day. Meyer-Plath’s journey in art has seen him express aspects of his personal experience. This is particularly reflected through his sculpture where the human form has been expressed in both figurative and abstracted forms. Meyer-Plath has explored the notion of what it has meant for him to be both a gay man, a father and in a long-term same-sex relationship for over twenty years. The 3-D male form has been represented throughout history but what makes Meyer-Plath’s sculpture unique is that the male form takes on a sensuality that is rarely expressed. For this reason, his sculpture is both refreshing and inspiring as well as challenging as it questions the notion of sexuality, but in particular, homosexual attraction as depicted in relaxed male, nude poses.