Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras Announces Full Festival Program

The Pass, part of the Mardi Gras Festival (Becky Matthews)

It’s that time of year again – gay Christmas! Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras with all its glitter and fabulousness is on despite COVID, and like previous years it includes a full program of talks, live performance and visual feasts of fancy.

Spread over two weeks from 19 February the festival build ups to the iconic Parade to be held at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The 2021 Mardi Gras theme is Rise, a nod to the challenges and hardship faced over the last 12 months. The theme is a call to action – now is the time to rise again through love, compassion, respect and understanding, and to work together to make the world a better place for all.

Patrick Abboud: Queer Thinking (Supplied)

Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger said, “It’s no secret that the last 12 months have been difficult for communities across the globe, and it has been especially difficult for minority groups and those working in the arts and culture industries.

“So while this year’s Mardi Gras Festival may look different than seasons past, we’re incredibly proud to deliver a line-up of events that speak to the queer experience, entertain audiences, and support our incredible LGBTQI+ creatives,” said Kruger.

With everything from Laugh Out Proud comedy night to heartfelt stories and performing arts, the Festival has something for everyone, here’s a summary of highlights:

Laugh Out Proud: A night of stand-up comedy from Australia’s finest LGBTQIA+ stand-up comedians on 26 February at the Enmore Theatre.

Jake Howie, Laugh Out Proud (Supplied)

Talks: Panel discussions over two nights sharing trans and drag stories plus queer thinking on 26 and 27 February at the NSW Teachers Federation Auditorium.

Mardi Gras Film Festival: Featuring over 90 films with over 50 percent available to be live-streamed across Australia screening from 18 February to 4 March at various venues (check website for details).

Performing Arts: Two events, Queer Nu Werk: Werk Harder, a line up of Sydney’s leading queer contemporary and experimental artists to be held on 3 March at the University of Sydney and the Australian premiere of The Pass performed from 11 February to 6 March at the Seymour Centre.  

Visual Arts: SKIN DEEP an interactive exhibition sharing personal stories of LGBTQIA+ people through their tattooed bodies. The exhibition will run from 18 February to 7 March at the National Art School.

The full program and tickets purchases can be made at

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