Parade Applications

It’s game on for the 43rd Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade – on Saturday 6 March 2021 we’re transforming the Sydney Cricket Ground into a stunning and sparkling showcase of LGBTQI+ culture and community. 

Feel the energy of the crowd and gaze in wonderment at what we can create together. Join the stadium audience of families, friends and allies, where you’ll witness a colourful cavalcade starring 5,000 paraders from over 100 LGBTQI+ community groups. The 2021 Parade will move away from large floats, focusing instead on the outlandish pageantry of vibrant costumes, puppetry and props.

Parade applications opened 10am Monday 9 November and closed 5pm Thursday 3 December 2020.  

Please ensure that you have read all information below and the 2021 Parade Entrants Terms and Conditions + Creative Guidelines before submitting your application online. If you have any questions, please contact the Parade team via email at parade@mardigrasarts.org.au or phone (02) 9383 0900.

Read Parade Terms & Conditions here


The safety of our community, spectators, parade participants, staff and volunteers are our highest priority and is at the forefront of all our planning. A number of operational changes have been made to ensure your safety. The Parade continues to be the significant platform for us to come together and shine a global spotlight on LGBTQI+ lives, culture, communities and creativity.

Major changes to note for 2021

Due to the current COVID-19 Pandemic and the restrictions under current health orders, the following changes will be in place for the 2021 Parade:

  • The Parade will be a ticketed event for spectators, held at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in Moore Park, and broadcast by SBS.
  • Parade participant numbers will be reduced, with Parade participants capped at a maximum of 5,000 people
  • Parade groups will be no more than 40 persons each. This will allow for as any many groups as possible to participate
  • No vehicles can be used as part of any floats. SGLMG encourages participants to think big with their costumes, props, flags, inflatables, signs and pushable elements.
  • A series of COVID-19 Safety Protocols will be in place and Participants must comply with these. These include:
    • Symptom screening & temperature checks
    • Contact details registered for all individual participants
    • ID checks on entry
    • Mandatory face masks for all participants while in the marshalling area
    • Stay at home if you are sick or have any cold or flu symptoms.
    • Physical distancing at all times
    • Avoid physical greetings such as handshaking, hugs and kisses
    • The practice of good hand hygiene. Hand sanitiser and hand wash stations will be available in the marshalling area
    • Controlled access sections within the marshalling area will be in place to allow physical distancing and avoid contact with large numbers of people

Please ensure that you read the 2021 Parade Entrant Terms & Conditions (in particular Section 8.3 COVID-19 Safety Protocols) for full details.

SGLMG will continue to work closely with NSW Health and other government agencies in the lead up to the Parade and will adapt COVID Safe Protocols as required.

2021 Festival Theme - RISE!

This past year has undoubtedly been one of unprecedented challenge and hardship. The impact of droughts, fires, floods and a global pandemic tested our spirit and resolve to the core.

Our community understands the pain many people have gone through and stands alongside them in support. We know and love the power of people and communities that rise together to support others to overcome adversity and inequality. It’s time we rise together again.

In tough times and in good, discrimination will only divide and take us backwards. When we rise together through love, compassion, respect and understanding, we will all arrive to a better place.

When we rise to the occasion, amazing things happen. 

We overcome fear. We connect with our brothers and sisters. We emerge from hard times stronger together.

Let’s create that platform for rising stars and unsung heroes wherever and whoever they may be.

It’s a new dawn. Let’s lift the bar and watch our spirits rise again in 2021.

Eligibility and Conditions of Entry

Eligible Applications must:

  • Be submitted by:
    LGBTQI+ – Individuals, community groups or organisations primarily involving LGBTQI+ people. Organisations must be able to prove their main aim is to represent or support the LGBTQI+ communities. These Entrants must communicate a message relevant to the LGBTQI+ communities; or
    Non-LGBTQI+ – Individuals, community groups or organisations who do not identify as LGBTQI+ but supports the rights, achievements, culture and aspirations of the LGBTQI+ communities. These Entrants must communicate a clear message of support or celebration relating to the LGBTQI+ communities and must not use an abbreviation of LGBTQI+. These Entrants must not sell themselves or what they do unless they are directly promoting how they support or celebrate LGBTQI+ communities
  • Include a detailed creative concept to ensure SGLMG has a clear understanding of the concept, artistic ideas, production values, themes and messaging.
  • Include a minimum of two (2) Supporting Documents to visually support the creative concept. Any production designs must include dimensions. Supporting documents includes visual designs of your costumes, outfits, props, signage with exact wording, mood board references, participants formation.
  • Have relevance to the 2021 SGLMG Festival theme.
  • Agree to all T&Cs as outlined by SGLMG.
  • Entrants must not be discriminatory, homophobic, biphobic, transphobic, racist, sexist or breach any defamation law. Applications will not be accepted from organisations who have demonstrated any of the above in previous Parades or in their general business.
What is the application process?

1. Submit your completed Parade Application form online by 5pm Thursday 3 December 2020. Our new online event management system will require you to create an account in order to submit the online form.

2. The Curatorial Committee, comprised of representatives from both SGLMG and our community, will assess all applications based on the below selection criteria:

Meeting the eligibility and conditions of entry
Providing a well-designed creative concept
Ability to plan and deliver the creative concept safely
Benefit and relevance to LGBTQI communities
Relevance to the 2021 Festival theme

Under no circumstances will SGLMG alter or make exceptions to the selection criteria to match an individual Application.

If SGLMG receives more Applications than the total capacity allows and your Application has met the selection criteria, SGLMG may review your Application based on previous Parade history and support of LGBTQI+ communities. Additionally, LGBTQI+ organisations will receive first preference. SGLMG encourages non-LGBTQI+ organisations to consider sponsoring or partnering with an LGBTQI+ organisation for their Parade Entry.

3. Applicants will be notified electronically on the outcome of their application on Friday 11 December 2020.

4. To secure placement in the Parade, Successful Applicants must complete the following:
Complete payment of the Parade Entry Fee by the Payment Deadline.
Register the full name, phone number, email address and postal code of all individual
Participants by the Individual Participant Registration Deadline
Attend the mandatory Parade Entrants Briefing session.

What is the entry fee?

SGLMG charges a small fee to Entrants to meet a small proportion of the core costs of staging the Parade. Fees are set according to the type and size of group/organisation. Payment is only required for successful applicants. Refer to table below for categories and fees. All prices are in $AUD and include GST.

Group Categories and Fees:

Individual or group of up to 5 Parade Participants: $58
Community Group: $169
Government Organisation: $849
Not for Profit Organisation with less than 50 employees: $229
Not for Profit Organisation with 51-500 employees: $449
Not for Profit Organisation with 501-1000 employees: $649
Not for Profit Organisation with more than 1000 employees: $849

Expectations and Commitments

What SGLMG will do:
Assess whether an Entrant and their entry aligns to the selection criteria and core values of the Parade and SGLMG 
Assess an Entrant on their creative concepts and production standard 
Consult with Entrants to realise their creative potential 
Work with an Entrant to maximise the impact of their messaging to audiences 
Work towards delivering a Parade that is designed to inspire, excite and challenge audiences 
Communicate clearly and apply the same measures and treatment to all entries 
Identify any elements that may require expert advice 
Identify any elements detailed that violate the 2021 Parade Entrant Terms & Conditions and provide advice back to the Entrant
Respond to queries in a timely manner

What SGLMG won’t do:
Censor counter viewpoints
Allow illegal activities or ambush marketing
Allow messages that discriminate or may cause harm to others

What SGLMG expects from Entrants:
Participate and be open to consultation with the SGLMG team
Adhere to criteria, sponsorship, operational terms, conditions and instruction before and on Parade day
Honour your agreement with us; your parade entry is what was approved on your application
Attend mandatory briefings such as the Entrant Briefing
To use the available resources to produce a visually enticing entry Businesses and government entries must set a high artistic standard
The Parade is a protest and a celebration that is world-renowned and belongs to a creative and vibrant community.
All Entrants are expected not just to take part, but to contribute to the artistic and political goals of SGLMG and help create an event that is world standard.
Show respect, listen and follow requests from SGLMG staff and volunteers


10am, Monday 9 November 2020:

Parade applications open

5pm, Thursday 3 December 2020:

Parade applications close

5pm, Friday 11 December 2020:

Applicants notified of outcome

5pm, Monday 4 January 2021:

Successful Applicants (Entrant organisers) to complete the following:
- Payment deadline for Parade Entry Fee
- Final audio track uploaded
- Submit completed “Final Entry Details” webform to confirm messaging and music setlist (artists and song titles)
- Final date for any changes to Financial Supporter details submitted for approval

5pm, Monday 1 February 2021:

Entrant organisers must pre-register all individual Participant contact details

TBC Time, Sunday 7 February 2021:

Mandatory Entrants Briefing at TBC Sydney venue which all Entrant organisers must attend for Parade day operations, logistics and safety.

5pm, Wednesday 17 February 2021:

Deadline for individual participants to register themselves, agree T&Cs and provide true and accurate contact details for contact tracing

Saturday 6 March 2021:


Entrant groups will be given staggered times:
- Registration and arrival to Marshalling Area: 4:00pm to 6:00pm
- Parade start time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
- Parade ends: 10:00pm