The 2024 Mardi Gras program has been announced, and it’s full of colour, light and life.
Next year will mark the 46th Mardi Gras celebration, with the theme of ‘our future’. It calls on the queer community to write their own future, one characterised by equality and acceptance for all. With over 100 events, parties, markets and more, the 2024 program is set to be big, bold and brilliant.
“For 45 years, the energy, vibrancy, and unity of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has made it a globally significant event. And each year, our commitment to bringing forth an even more fabulous celebration grows,” said Sydney Mardi Gras CEO Gil Beckwith. “In 2024, we embrace our roots and look forward with eager anticipation to our future. Our mission is clear: to echo the voices of our communities, to champion progress and instigate impactful change.”
The program at a glance
The full program and tickets are yet to be released, but Mardi Gras has confirmed the return of all its biggest events, and some intriguing new additions.
A series of talks and presentations exploring everything from arts to politics and history, Queer Futures seeks to spark new ideas and inspire the next generation of strong voices. The event consists of five sessions over two days, all focused on making change.
This day-to-night party is specifically curated for LGBTQIA+ women. It will be held in the National Art School, featuring life performances and DJs across two massive stages. It honours femininity, and the importance of strong women.
Minus18 Queer Formal
The Queer Formal is a celebration for queer youth aged between 12 and 19. The free event encouraging young people to make new friends and surround themselves with their community. They can dress up, bring a date and just enjoy being themselves.
Laugh Out Proud
Hosted by Enmore Theatre, Laugh Out Proud is a night of comedy from some of the best queer comedians in Australia. This event has been sold out for four years in a row, so you better get in quick to reserve a ticket!
One of the most popular Mardi Gras events, Sissy Ball is the biggest vogue ball in the Southern Hemisphere. It is held at Sydney Town Hall, and attracts the biggest vogue houses from across the country as they battle it out in front of a cheering crowd.
Sissy Ball was introduced to Australia in 2018 by Mother of Australian Ballroom, Benji Ra, and has since become a staple of the Mardi Gras season.
The Mardi Gras parade is the most iconic event in the program. More than 200 floats will make their way down Oxford Street, Flinders Street and Anzac Parade, led by Dykes on Bikes, First Nations and 78ers. With over 12,000 marchers, plenty of music and popping colour, everyone is bound to enjoy this joyous night of fun.
Mardi Gras Party
The Mardi Gras party features over 50 artists in 6 venues. This adults-only event is all about thumping music, lights and crowds of 10,000 people. Each stage will host a different style of music, including pop, techno, disco and R’n’B.
Plus, the Entertainment Quarter will facilitate food trucks, bars, and plenty of other entertainment.
A historic year of pride
This year, Mardi Gras will take place between 16 February and 3 March.
“Sydney Mardi Gras is an annual highlight on Sydney’s calendar, and the City of Sydney is proud to support this celebration of protest and pride,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore AO said.
“The Progress Pride Flag will be flown above Town Hall as a symbol of inclusion, acceptance and diversity. The lasting legacy of this year’s Mardi Gras will be the opening of Qtopia: Sydney’s newest museum, dedicated to telling the stories of our wonderful rainbow community.”
In addition to the usual celebration of diversity, inclusivity and love, the 46th Mardi Gras is historic as it marks the opening of Qtopia. Built on the site of the old Darlinghurst Police Station, Qtopia will be a permanent exhibition on the history and stories of the LGBTQIA+ community. The museum will include archival objects, imagery and videos that commemorate the significant individuals and moments in Australia’s queer history.
Tickets for Mardi Gras go on sale online at 10am Monday 20 November.
Featured image credit: 2023 pride parade © Ann-Marie Calilhanna, Jeffrey Feng and Rocket Weijers
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