Will Sydney Mardi Gras be happening in 2021?
The short answer is, we hope so.
There’s still a lot of uncertainty about what’s going to be possible in this new-normal in which we all find ourselves. Lots of things are still unknown, or constantly changing, so it’s difficult to plan anything – especially travel.
However, the dates for the parade and party of the 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras have been confirmed – Saturday 6 March is the key date to have pencilled in your travel wish-list planner for 2021.
In normal times, Sydney’s Mardi Gras is a massive festival, with heaps of parties and events to get involved in. It all builds up to the massive parade that takes over the city.
The 2020 event took place safely before the pandemic took hold, and we’re hoping that we’ll be able to be out in the street to wave our rainbow flag in 2021. We’re hopeful, but cautious.
How is Australia coping with Covid-19?
After seeming to have Covid-19 under control, everything seems to have been thrown up in the air by a recent spike in infections centred on the city of Melbourne.
What that means is that it’s really not clear when Australia might be ready to start relaxing their border controls. At the moment, if you arrive in Australia, you’re going to have to quarantine for 14 days in a hotel and you will have to pay for the hotel. Additionally, the number of international arrivals allowed into Australia at the moment is severely restricted – it’s virtually impossible to get a flight.
The current restrictions on international arrivals are expected to continue until at least mid-October, although there is mounting pressure on the Australian government to try and relax this.
Any relaxation on quarantine restrictions seems a long way off.
Although relatively small in comparison to the experience in other countries, the spike in infections in Melbourne has made everyone hyper-sensitive about large events. If there remains a risk of community transmission, we may see further restrictions imposed on large events such as Mardi Gras.
Is Sydney Mardi Gras worth going to?
Without doubt, Sydney Mardi Gras is a fantastic time to be in one of Australia’s most beautiful and exciting cities.
What began as a protest march has now flourished into a huge cultural festival, embraced by the city and attracting visitors from around the world.
There’s a huge range of events and parties to take part in across the festival, and the main event is the enormous parade filled with marching groups and spectacular floats, cheered on by massive crowds.
Mardi Gras in Sydney is one of the world’s biggest pride festivals. The event has become a firm fixture on the international stage, attracting more than 20,000 visitors to the city and injecting an estimated AUD$30m into the local economy.
This is more than just a single event – Mardi Gras is a month-long festival. There’s heaps of theatre, film, performance, cabaret, discussions, memorials, and parties. Most things will sell-out well in advance, so plan ahead and book your tickets.
A family-friendly fair day held at Sydney’s Victoria Park. You’ll find everything that you could hope for at an LGBTQ fair day - drag queens, entertainment, food stalls, dog shows, and a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
Held at The Ivy in George Street, this is a glamorous venue with a sleek pool playground. Think DJs, cocktails, swim-briefs, and lifeguards. Always popular.
Generally held at Arq in Darlinghurst, this is a big men-only underwear party. The Australia club scene is a bit more conservative than most places in Europe, so don’t expect things to get too wild, but this is a good excuse to show-off your best underwear to your mates.
This is the official recovery party, held in Hill Street in Darlinghurst, outside The Beresford hotel. With DJs and performances, and a huge crowd, this is a great street party.
2020 – The Photos
The best of Sydney’s beaches
Bondi Beach may not be an official LGBTQ beach but it’s highly popular with the queer community. The beach is full of restaurants and cafés that will keep you well fed and hydrated.
If you’re looking for an all-over tan, you’ll be pleased to hear that Sydney has a designated nude beach. Obelisk Beach is a 100-meter-long nude beach that overlooks Sydney Harbour – naturally, it’s popular with the gays.
Sydney has been named as the host city for WorldPride in 2023.
WorldPride is one of the largest global gatherings of LGBTQ people – it’s held every two years and is hosted by a different city each time.
Sydney was selected by the organising committee, ahead of Montreal and Houston. This will be the first time that WorldPride has been held in the Southern Hemisphere.
WorldPride in 2023 will be held during the Mardi Gras celebrations that year.
WorldPride was first held in Rome in 2000. In 2019, the event was held in New York City. WorldPride in 2021 will be jointly hosted by Copenhagen and Malmö.