Merivale And Absolut Vodka Celebrate LGBTQIA+ Community With Launch Of We Are Stardust Campaign


Merivale and Absolut Vodka have teamed up to launch We Are Stardust a campaign that celebrates some of the stars in Merivale’s LGBTQIA+ community who embrace individuality, see beauty in our differences and believe in love and stardust.

The campaign will be brought to life through a series of events, offers and experiences across the group, and culminate at this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gas.

We Are Stardust profiles talented people in the Merivale community, beautifully captured in a collection of vibrant photographs by renowned fashion photographer, Georges Antoni. Each photograph brings to life their individual personalities, reflecting how the universe is made up of tiny atoms of ‘stardust’ – all equal, magical and unique in their own right.

Stars include Decoda Secret – resident drag queen for The Beresford and Absolut; Sveta – world-class DJ at The Beresford and POOF DOOF and recipient of the Mardi Gras Lifetime Achievement Award for her services to the community; Jonny from the Dollar Bin Darlings, who gets the party started at ivy’s Disco Espresso every Friday, and Dai – the Venue Liaison and Community Partnerships Officer at Merivale’s charity partner, ACON.

Paul Flynn, General Manager and Licensee of The Beresford, said: “Merivale is passionate about inspiring people to be the best version of themselves. Everyone is a star in their own right, and what matters most is how you better yourself, the people you love, and the world around you. We encourage inclusivity for all and are proud to continue to support Sydney’s LGBTQIA+ community.”

In the lead-up to the 2020 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Merivale will celebrate We Are Stardust with a spectacular programme of events and experiences at The Beresford and ivy including cabaret movie nights and Bingay (a much more flamboyant take on bingo) in The Beresford courtyard, a Mardi Gras edition of their famed Dog Show, a fabulous We Are Stardust takeover of POOF DOOF, the ‘Big Gay Pool Party’ at ivy’s rooftop mecca, Pool Club, and the ever-popular and almost sold-out Laneway Party.

Here is the full list of Merivale events:

The Beresford

Fair Day Drag Divas – 16 February, 7pm-1am

Beresford Sundays and Absolut are turning it up this Fair Day, with a night of not-to-be-missed drag shows Upstairs, featuring not one, but three of Sydney’s top drag divas doing their thang – Decoda Secret, Minnie Cooper and Jacqui St Hyde.

Free entry. Book a table on 02 9114 7328.

Beresford Dog Show – 23 February, 11am-3pm

Visit The Bero for a celebration of all things doggo. Strut your pooch for your chance to be crowned Best in Show, with special prizes from Dogue.

Better yet, profits from all food and drink purchased between 11am and 3pm will be donated to WIRES Wildlife Rescue. Woof!

Beresford Talks – 23 February, 1.30pm-3.30pm

Equality Australia presents a talk about “Freedom of Discrimination”. This important panel discussion covers issues such as the bill that has been drafted threatening the community’s access to healthcare, along with workplace inclusivity issues, and much more.

This is a free event.

TEAMM8 Takeover – 23 February, 3pm-late

Much-loved Aussie fashion label, TEAMM8 is taking over The Beresford to show off the latest styles to get guests ready for Mardi Gras, alongside giveaways and drag shows.

Mardi Gras movie nights – Monday 24 February and 2 March

Sunset Sydneysiders can head to The Beresford for open-air entertainment in the leafy courtyard.

Monday 24 February: The Bird Cage

Monday 2 March: Hairspray

Minnie Cooper Cabaret Show – Tuesday 25 February, 7pm-late

Minnie Cooper is ready to bring it, with an all new cabaret and drag show, It’s Not Just for Gays Anymore. This two and a half hour spectacular is set to be all things fabulous upstairs at The Beresford. Book to avoid disappointment: 02 9114 7328.

Bingay – Wednesday 26 February, 7pm-late

Bingo? Hell no. Say hello to Bingay – a night of fabulous tunes and crazy-ass rules, with hilariously camp prizes to boot.

Bookings are essential: 02 9114 7328.

Passport Party – Thursday 27 February, 9.30pm-late

The annual Mardi Gras Passport Party will welcome international guests with open arms and show them how we party down under, with a great line-up of DJs and a special performance by drag queen hostess, Decoda Secret. Free entry.

Super Camp – Friday 28 February, 8pm-late

Beresford Sundays, Absolut and DJ Dan Murphy are bringing a super-sized CAMP Party to The Beresford for one night only. Get in and get down to all your favourite camp anthems, from the ’90s onwards. Think Kylie, Tina Arena, The Spice Girls, Mariah Carey, Shania Twain and more. Big production, big energy, drag shows and camp AF DJs guaranteed.

Tickets on sale now: $10 presale from this link.

Mardi Gras Parade – Saturday 29 February, 7pm-late

Revellers can don their wildest attire and join the party at The Beresford for Gay Christmas, where they can watch the parade from the comfort of the leafy courtyard, sip on Absolut cocktails, and dance the night away with friends old and new.

Laneway Party – Sunday 1 March, 2pm-late

Laneway is the traditional closing event of Mardi Gras each year and the ultimate recovery party for 2020. Taking over The Beresford and Hill St laneway, guests can farewell summer with entertainment from day to night including the best local DJs and pop-up performers. Tickets are selling fast, so get in quick to secure a ticket before the event sells out.

Tickets on sale now from: $77.75 – $93.59 | Buy now


We Are Stardust – Saturday 15 February, 10pm – 4am

A very special We Are Stardust inspired POOF DOOF – sponsored by Absolut, headlined by Wollongong legends Unknown Associates. and supported by James Alexandr and POOF DOOF queens, Sveta and Estee Louder. Guests can also look forward to a pop-up on the sky stage from Twiggy Styx!

Tickets on sale now: $25.00 + booking fee | Tickets

Planet POOF DOOF: Welcome Party – Saturday 22 February, 10pm – 4am

Rocket no.9 takes off for planet POOF DOOF ahead of POOF DOOF’s epic annual entrance in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Partygoers can travel in light years on a dance floor adventure to an Intergaylactic Paradise.

Tickets on sale now: $25.00 + booking fee | Tickets

Big Gay Pool Party at ivy Pool Club – Friday 28 February, 10pm – 4.30am

Time to break out the budgie smugglers as POOF DOOF takes over ivy Pool Sydney for the first time ever. Mardi Gras and Sydney house legends DJ Sveta and DJ Kate Monroe set to cause a mad racket of fun by the pool, while Changeroom will be transformed into *cubicle 6*, a dark and dirty techno oasis featuring Australia’s very best techno tastemakers, including tinah, powerhouse Troy Beman, as well as lovely laydehs Estée Louder and Willo Willo.

Tickets on sale now: $35.00 + booking fee |Tickets

Mardi Gras Parade After Party – Saturday 29 February, 9pm-4.30am

POOF DOOF going Intergaylactic at this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade and they’re hosting a POOF DOOF puts on a doof to end all doofs on the biggest queer night of the year.

The Mardi Gras after party kicks on with Alan Thompson, international guests Doppelgang [nl] and DJ Bride [swe], POOF DOOF Melbourne legends Jawbreakers and Jason Conti and of course Sydney’s very own Sveta!

Tickets on sale now: $60.00 + booking fee | Tickets

Further details are available at

DNA is Australia's best-selling LGBTQIA+ magazine. Every month, you'll find great feature stories, celebrity profiles, pop culture reviews and sensational photography of some of the world's sexiest male models in our fashion stories. DNA was launched in Australia in 2000 and is available worldwide in Print (in newsagents and bookstores throughout Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, UK and Europe) and Digital (through DNAstore, Pocketmags, iTunes, and Amazon Kindle).

Copyright © 2022 DNA Magazine.

To Top

Your Cart