Sydney Mardi Gras Festival: What is it and when is it celebrated?

The Mardi Gras of Sydney began as a small local parade, but today it is one of the biggest Gay Pride events in the world. This festival, which has become a world reference in gay tourism, lasts about three weeks, between February and March. It organizes sports, artistic and social events, as well as the most popular parade of this type.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

Mardi Gras: reference of gay tourism

Sydney is one of the cities in the world in which the LGBT movement has been given more importance, since this is where one of the most important gay parties in the world is celebrated: Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.

The first parade took place on June 24, 1978 and began as a small march to support the LGBT community. However, it ended with a violent persecution by the police, who came to arrest 53 people.

This had a great media impact, so the number of attendees doubled the following year. Around 1979, Mardi Gras was no longer a simple protest, but a festival of great relevance.

Year after year, the number of attendees has been increasing considerably. In 1984, there were more than 50,000 people who attended the parade and around 6,000 who participated in the exhibition fair and the subsequent party.

Since 2002, this party has gained popularity worldwide, becoming one of the best known. Around 100 different events are organized and 80,000 attendees reach the most important events.

Mardi Gras is quite well valued by the media. Count Nast He has named it among the ten most spectacular costume events in the world, standing next to the Carnivals of Venice and Rio de Janeiro. On the other hand, PlanetOut he has valued it as the biggest gay event in the world.

Festival events

There are numerous events and performances that are held during these days. However, there are some that stand out from the rest for their success and their high number of participants.

He Fair day It is a fun event that takes place in a Sydney park. Around 80,000 people come with friends, family and pets. It is the starting point of the festival, as it marks the beginning of Mardi Gras.

Attendees meet in a relaxed atmosphere: lying on the grass, eating a picnic, visiting the different exhibitors or participating in the large number of activities organized for that day.

It is the ideal time to meet new people, talk casually and have fun. There is live music, performances, competitions, pet competitions, photocalls, etc.

One of the most intense parties is the Pool Party, which takes place in a luxurious pool. Such are its benefits, that music is heard underwater and in the locker room there is a disco.

During these days, there is also a place for sports. One of the most outstanding races is known as Little black dress run. In it, participants are dressed in short black dresses and encourage people to donate money for some association.

What is the parade?

The parade is the main act of these dates. Around 12,000 people participate in it and more than one hundred floats are adorned. Such is his expectation, that you can even get tickets to see it from the best corners of the city, which are equipped with private seats, bars and toilets.

It is an event in which everyone is welcome. Therefore, the organization enables areas for people with disabilities and helps them in every way possible so that anyone who wants to enjoy this moment.

The ride lasts between three and five hours. Each year, several LGBT biker and biker associations open. After these, the different floats begin to pass, in which music is never lacking.

This event is not just a celebration, since a social complaint for the improvement of the conditions of this group. However, the situation has changed over time: now even the police have their own float.

Other groups that participate are foresters, firefighters and the generation of people who started this important party and lived on their skin the first edition: The 78’ers.

After the parade, one of the parties most important of the year, in which internationally renowned artists are presented. Among the musicians who have attended past editions are George Michael, Kylie Minogue and Calvin Harris.


The management of the Sydney Mardi Gras gives the opportunity for those interested to help in the events and the organization actively. Anyone can register to collaborate in the different events of the calendar.

It's a good one opportunity to participate fully in the festival, meet people, practice English and live from within the experience granted by the most important LGBT festival in the world.

There are different areas and events where you can volunteer, you can even be part of the medical team. In addition, they sometimes present offers of paid employment.

Travel to Sydney Mardi Gras

Attending this festival is a good opportunity to travel to Australia and get to know its biggest city: Sydney. Also, when Mardi Gras is celebrated, between February and March, here is summer, so you can enjoy an unbeatable time.

If you do not want to miss this celebration, it is important that you consider the cats that this can entail. As it is a public festival, the vast majority of activities are free, so you do not have to worry about extra spending on tickets.

The key is to organize the trip in advance, as tourist hotels and apartments are usually filled on those dates. Also, airline tickets can be cheaper if purchased several months before the departure date.

This article has been shared 29 times.

Finally, we have selected the previous and next article of the block "Prepare the trip"so you can continue reading:

Leave a Reply