LGBTQI Festivals

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras sparkles with rainbow colours every February and March.

Many other cities and tourist destinations around Australia and New Zealand also host their own vibrant LGBTQI festivals. 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.

Some of 2021's events may need to be postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions
Click the links to connect with the festivals and find out more

New Years Tropical Fruits Lismore, NSW 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.
February Gaytimes Festival Lake Mountain Alpine Resort, VIC 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.
February Auckland Pride Festival Auckland, NZ 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.
February Port Douglas Hot & Steamy Gay Festival Port Douglas, NSW Come party in Queensland! February in the tropics is hot, humid and steamy. This festival has been developed by a group of gay locals who want to showcase our stunning town and region to the broader community. Events include a Long Lunch, Great Barrier Reef Cruise, Sunset T-Dance, Recovery Pool Party and more.
February Port Pride Port Kembla, NSW Port Pride is a local queer non-for-profit organisation organising the South Coast Fair Day on the 21st of Fab. The day will be held at The Arthouse Cafe in Port Kembla, featuring info stalls, arts, drag queens, local musicians, and storytime for the kids. It's a family-friendly and dog-friendly queer event. Something for the whole Illawarra and dar south coast to be proud of.
18 February - 6 March 2022 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Sydney, NSW That's us! The 2022 Parade is confirmed for Saturday 5 March.
20 February - 6 March 2022 Bear Essentials Darlinghurst / Newtown, NSW Harbour City Bears is Sydney's social group for big hairy LGBTIQA+, their friends and admirers.  Concurrently with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is Bear Essentials, a 15 day program of meeting one another, sharing experiences and making friends for life from Fair Day, Pub socials, movie night, beach day, Wet Furr pool party, UnderBear dance party, Sauna party  and Recovery event. A favourite with interstate and overseas guests.
February / March Wagga Wagga Mardi Gras Wagga Wagga, NSW Wagga Wagga's Mardi Gras aims to raise the visibility of the LGBTQI communities in the Riverina. The whole community will be invited along for the ride, including an evening of amazing floats, laughs and fun.
February / March Rainbow on the Plains Festival Hay, NSW Haaaaaaaay Mardi Gras is celebrated in Hay NSW, on the edge of the Outback. Join them for the street parade, Fair Day, Heaven on Earth Dance Party and Rainbow Sunday.
March ChillOut Festival Daylesford, VIC 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.
April / May 2021 Midsumma Melbourne, VIC Melbourne's annual three-week LGBTQI+ has been delayed in 2021 due to COVID restrictions. Key events include the outdoor carnival and T-Dance plus the vibrant Pride March. Midsumma is a massive festival with an array of events to enjoy.
May Rainbow City Festival Orange, NSW Orange's first ever LQBTQI+ festival, a celebration bringing together the LGBTQI+ community, their friends, families and allies. Discover the full spectrum of colours and events the Orange region has to offer!

Postponed in 2021 due to COVID-19

3 - 30 June 2021 Sydney Pride Festival Sydney, NSW 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. Events showcase arts, debates, sports, and fundraising.
13 - 20 June 2021 Southern Hibearnation Collingwood, VIC For over the past 20 years bears from all over Australia, New Zealand and beyond have gathered in Melbourne for a celebration of bear pride – Southern HiBearnation.  Each year, we put together a schedule of events for bears and their admirers to enjoy over 7 fun-filled days. With 10+ events on offer across the entire week, there is something for every bear to enjoy – from the big dance parties, to free films in the afternoon, hearty lunches, educational workshops and more.
18 - 20 June 2021 Katherine Pride Festival Katherine, NT In its second year and brought to you by our Katherine based members, Katherine Pride 2021 will provide fun, entertainment and services for all the family.
19 June 2021 Out n Proud Festival Sunshine Coast, QLD A new live music concert to celebrate pride, people and culture on the Sunshine Coast. Kicking off in 2021 with a big line-up of local music stars. The Out n Proud Festival takes over Kings Beach, Caloundra with a big stage and community market stalls.
12 August - 5 September 2021 Newcastle Pride Festival Newcastle, NSW Newcastle Pride's festival is an amazing program of LGBTIQ+ events including Fair day, Dance Party's, big gay Cabaret, interactive movie, Sports, Trivia, Art, food, wine and much more to come. The Newcastle Pride Festival is an exciting, glamorous and “out n’ proud” series of events aiming to showcase to locals and visitors that Newcastle is a city of diversity, culture and beauty. Newcastle Pride is an inclusive, vibrant and fun not-for-profit LGBTIQ+ community-based organisation established to make Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the wider Hunter Region a safer, happier, healthier and more culturally rich place for all the LGBTIQ+ community. A place to celebrate equality, diversity, and authenticity.
19 - 22 August 2021 Bear Pride Inner Sydney/ Paddington/ Newtown, NSW Harbour City Bears is Sydney's social group for big hairy LGBTIQA+, their friends and admirers welcomes likeminded people from all over Australia and overseas.  We celebrate our "Beary" ways with a four day program of events from Thursday to Sunday in Darlinghurst & Newtown. It includes a welcome function, Mr Harbour City Bear Competition, Bear Pit dance party, various day events and a Recovery Party with plenty of time to see the City sights too.
27th August - 5 September 2021 Winter Pride Queenstown, NZ The most popular Winter Pride Festival in the Southern Hemisphere, renowned for fun both on and off the mountain. Boasting 10 days and over 40 events, the dates for 2021 are set for Friday 27 August to Sunday 5 September - two full weekends and a lot of fun in between.
September Brisbane Pride Festival Brisbane, QLD Brissie's Pride is now the state's largest and the country's third-largest LGBTQI festival, attracting more than 50,000 attendees over a four week period. There's a wonderful Fair Day, Pride March, parties and activities galore.
September Top End Pride NT A three day tropical festival incorporating a Launch, Rainbow Cabaret, Rainbow Day, Pride Parade, Tea Dance, Parties, Love Boat and Pool Party. Top End Pride celebrates the rich, diverse LGBTQIA+ community in the glorious tropical sunshine.
3 - 5 September 2021 Darwin Pride Festival Darwin, NT With the current global situation affecting so many people worldwide, the committee of Top End Pride NT (inc) vision a weekend celebrating life, diversity and community sharing positivity with one another. Our focus point this year is Hope.
9 - 13 September 2021 Broken Heel Festival Broken Hill, NSW The Broken Heel Festival is a fabulous three day festival which celebrates the theatrical anniversary of "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" at her spiritual home; The Palace Hotel and the township of Broken Hill, NSW, Australia.
October Cairns Pride Cairns, QLD Once a year, Cairns Tropical Pride invites visitors from around Australia and the world to join them to play in the gorgeous environment that is Tropical North Queensland.
13- 17 October 2021 Northern Exposure Spring Hill, QLD BrisBears welcomes bears around Australia, NZ and the world to come and celebrate everything that is "Bear" as we chose the next standard-bearer of Mr Bear Qld.  Events include Meet & Greet, Dinner & Show, Barefoot Bowls, Bingo, Polar Bear Pool Party, Under Bear and Recovery.
28 October - 7 November 2021 Out in the Open Shepparton, VIC 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.
November Pride WA Perth, WA 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.
November Parramatta Pride Picnic Parramatta, NSW A massive day of community and pride in western Sydney, packed with community stalls, a rainbow kids activation area, dog shows, food trucks, Q&A panels, drag queens, Bollywood dancers, buskers, choirs, a fully licenced area for purchasing craft beers and wine, a charity sausage sizzle, activities from Team Sydney, ambient music, performers, exhibitions and a chill zone.
November SpringOut Festival Canberra, ACT 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.
DATES TBA November 2021 Bearstock Adelaide Adelaide, SA Bearstock is Adelaide's annual celebration of Bear lifestyle and culture, where Bear Men of Adelaide host events for the whole LGBTIQA+ community to celebrate. We endeavour to promote Bear culture and creativity from Adelaide and the world, and promote Adelaide as an international centre thereof.  Events include Artist in Residence, Megabear, Big Splash Pool Party, Grunt V Dance Party, Teddy Bear's Picnic and Wrap Party.
6 - 28 November 2021 FEAST Festival Adelaide, SA 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.
19 - 23 January 2022 Coastal Twist Festival Central Coast, NSW Central Coast NSW’s good vibes, all-out LGBTIQ A+ inclusion festival. Burst into spring with a bumper weekend of Queer happenings. This dynamic festival embodies authentic inclusion of all peoples. 75mins from Sydney, 90mins from Newcastle. Coastal Twist is the ultimate Queer Summer weekend getaway.
26 - 31 January 2022 Costal Twist Festival Central Coast, NSW If you didn't have enough last January, welcome Spring back with our 2022 SPRING EDITION OF Coastal Twist Festival, Central Coast NSW’s good vibes, all-out LGBTQIA+ inclusion festival Burst into spring with a bumper weekend of Queer happenings from cabaret, dance party & exhibition to The ‘Coastie-Carnie’ day with the 3 signature events Hour of Drag Power, Puparazzi Pooch Parade and the world’s first LGBTQI longboarding event. This dynamic festival embodies authentic inclusion of all peoples. 75mins from Sydney, 90mins from Newcastle. Coastal Twist is the ultimate Queer Spring into Spring weekend getaway.

This page is regularly updated as new information comes in. For additions/inquiries contact reception@mardigras.org.au.