It’s the most fabulous time of the year!
Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2021 is soon upon us, with a fantastic lineup of events. From the phenomenal parade to poignant talks, dazzling nights of live performance and visual feasts of fancy; no pandemic is going to dampen the queer spirit!
The month-long extravaganza is teeming with exciting events, and we’ve got our eyes set on all of the best ones. So, to help you celebrate, here are the 10 best Mardi Gras 2021 events around Sydney:
Laugh Out Proud
After a sold-out inaugural event in February 2020, Mardi Gras’ comedy gala is back for more with Australia’s best and brightest LGBTQI+ comedians. Hosted by the award-winning Nath Valvo, Laugh Out Proud has loads of comedic talent for one incredible night only – including Geraldine Hickey, Mel Buttle, Thomas Jaspers, Rosie Piper, Margot Tanjutco, Selina Jenkins, Jake Howie and Jay Wymarra.
Picnic For Pinnacle
This Mardi Gras season, why not make your own event whilst also helping a good cause too! Picnic for Pinnacle is a fun-in-the-sun picnic that encourages friends, family and workplaces to raise much-needed funds for young LGTBIQ+ Australians who have been disadvantaged because of the way they identify to reclaim their path. Simply rally up some guests, register your picnic and encourage donations, then showcase your picnic across socials using #PicnicForPinnacle and @pinnaclefoundation.
Mardi Gras Film Festival
With over 90 films in the program and over 50% available to stream on-demand Australia wide, there are so many ways you can experience Queer Screen’s 28th Mardi Gras Film Festival. Highlights include Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci in the moving Supernova; the very timely The Obituary of Tunde Johnson that brings to the forefront the issue of racism and police brutality, and one of the most celebrated films of the last year Suk Suk.
Queer Thinking is Mardi Gras’ program of talks where audiences are invited to unpack a range of issues faced by the LGBTQI+ community both in Australia and abroad in thought-provoking conversations. All the panels have been curated by Julie McCrossin AM, Benjamin Law and Patrick Abboud. They include The Fights Ahead, Raising the rainbow flag: Rising up for ‘GAYRABIA’ and Dating when you’re different – Tips & Tricks with Julie McCrossin & Friends.
Merivale & Absolut Vodka Dining Packages
Hospitality group Merivale and Absolut Vodka have collaborated to bring Sydney a line up of delectable degustations and accommodation packages this Mardi Gras season. Indulge in a three-course menu at the Beresford with a Spice Girls drag show, savour some antipasti and DJ tunes at Bar Totti’s, or stay at one of Merivale’s hotels with a full Mardi Gras package over the parade weekend (which includes tw0 tickets to the Mardi Gras parade). Better yet, the first 500 people to book will receive a free ticket to the Mardi Gras parade at Sydney Cricket Ground.
My Drag Story
From the high-glam era of Les Girls and Capriccios to Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, drag is quintessential to Australian culture. And My Drag Story hopes to de-frock the façades and discover the talent behind seven queens, kings and gender-defying royals, including Amelia Airhead, Cindy Pastel, Nana Miss Koori, and Sexy Galex. Full lineup to come!
Now in its fifth year, Oxford Street’s annual Oxtravaganza is back – bigger and bolder than ever – with celebrations and activations over the full two weeks of the Mardi Gras program. This celebration of Oxford Street will see over 100 local businesses coming together to offer special retail promotions, live music, viewing parties, exclusive performances, outdoor entertainment, art walks, and food and drink deals.
In Bed @ Home
With dancing in bars still off the cards for the time being, Home The Venue in Sydney’s Darling Harbour will be transformed into a queen-sized bedding dancefloor. This is a one-of-a-kind experience with a focus on interactive live music, performance and entertainment. Through exquisite styling with strict COVID Safe practices, these unforgettable events in an unprecedented setting are built around unexpected moments and stunning artistic shows.
Broken Heel Takeover X The Imperial
While the Broken Heel Festival has been cancelled this year, it won’t stop those budding queens from taking to the stage. Uniting the largest drag festival in Australia with Sydney’s home of Priscilla – this will be a frolic not to be missed! Over five jam-packed days, both the Broken Heel Glambassadors and the finest Imperial Drag Divas will serve you a sizzling hot lineup of workshops, shows and events.
An Evening with 500 Queer Scientists
How do queer scientists thrive in the world of science? Well, over a glass of wine and nibbles, you can find out! Spend an evening with 500 queer scientists and see how inclusive, forward-thinking, and viable the science career path can be for young queer minds. The issues are complex, but visibility and role models are part of the solution. Following the success of previous sold-out events, they are proud to bring it to you again in 2021 with an entirely new panel of speakers!
Looking to celebrate the Mardi Gras 2021 Parade at home? Why not treat you and your guests to these two easy to make alternative Cointreau margarita recipes? And, for some nibbles, stress less and get one of these 10 best Australian grazing and charcuterie platters delivered straight to your door!