The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras official after-party has a proud 40-year history and is one of the world’s most celebrated LGBTIQ+ dance events.  

In 2020, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras showed us that the many years of working together to build our community spirit and our community events has made Mardi Gras a treasured national icon. 

We must never forget though, that Mardi Gras belongs to the Australian LGBTIQ+ community and that the volunteer Mardi Gras Board and the Executive, act as caretakers to help guide the management of the event year on year.

Because this event belongs to the community, it is absolutely fundamental that any feedback provided is not only heard but carefully considered and used to inform future decision making for the event. 

Recent media reports have highlighted that while many partygoers had a great time at this year’s Mardi Gras after-party, others were left frustrated and disappointed after experiencing long delays trying to enter into the Hordern Pavilion, one of the five entertainment spaces at the party. 

There is no doubt these queues were long, and it is easy to understand why those affected partygoers have voiced their feelings about it. Mardi Gras, along with our venue partners, agree that these sort of wait times are completely unacceptable and must never occur again. 

While queues and crowd restrictions have always been part of the dance party’s multi-venue precinct experience, Mardi Gras must take into consideration the significant growth of the after-party’s reputation over the years.

The after-party now attracts multiple, prominent acts and performances on the one night. This means that more people now desire to see multiple performers on the night and are less likely to vacate the main pavilion in between performances. 

By understanding changes such as this and the effect that has had on partygoers expectations, Mardi Gras can now make decisions which will help deliver the best possible party experience for the community that are credited for its success.  

We are extremely thankful for your feedback from this year’s after-party. As caretakers of Mardi Gras, we are delivering your after-party, which is why your voice is so important as we review Mardi Gras 2020, and start planning for Mardi Gras 2021. 

Moving forward, we will focus on improving all processes and planning to minimise delays and improve upon the party experience from this year. As a result, we will all see the party event evolve, given changing venue capabilities now and into the future. 


Mardi Gras could not secure the Royal Hall of Industries as one of the multiple venues for this year’s party due to a change in the leaseholder and renovations that were being undertaken. Advice was provided by the venue partners and independent risk assessors regarding safety requirements and patron numbers which resulted in a significantly reduced number of tickets being made available this year compared to previous years.