Mardi Gras is the most glittery event on Sydney’s cultural calendar, and it's back from 16 February to 3 March 2024 with rainbow hues, bottomless brunches, all-night dance parties and, of course, the iconic Sydney Mardi Gras parade.
The Sydney Mardi Gras theme for 2024 is Our Future, looking forward to inclusivity, diversity and authenticity for the LGBTQIA+ community. We reckon if Mardi Gras season in Sydney is anything to judge by, the future is looking bright and bedazzled.
These are the best things to do for Sydney Mardi Gras 2024.
Read on or jump to
- Sydney Mardi Gras 2024 Parties And Events
- Sydney Mardi Gras 2024 Food Specials And Events
- Sydney Mardi Gras 2024 Art And Performance
Festival First Light
Various locations | Friday 16 February, from 6am
Gadigal, Bidjigal and Birrabirragal Rainbow Elders will conduct five simultaneous welcome to country and smoking ceremonies as the sun rises on Mardi Gras this year at the Festival First Light events.
Spanning Bondi Beach, Victoria Park, Taylor Square, Sydney Town Hall and Hordern Pavilion, the Elders will usher in one of the world’s biggest LGBTQIA+ celebrations, representing the longest-continuous queer culture on the planet.
Queer Records Pop-Up Shop
Good Chemistry at Ace Hotel Sydney, | Saturday 17 February, 12pm–4pm
Image credit: Ace Hotel Sydney | Drita Ajredin
Soundtrack your Mardi Gras season with a new acquisition from a vinyl pop-up in Ace Hotel's cafe-slash-bar, Good Chemistry by Melbourne/Naarm-based, queer-owned record store specialising in music by LGBTQIA+ artists, Queer Records.
There'll be new and second-hand records on offer, plus merch including totes and t-shirts to keep you kitted our at all your Mardi Gras events. Queer Records have also curated a collection of 46 iconic albums that hotel guests can browse, borrow and listen to during their stay, and even purchase to take home.
Mardi Gras Fair Day Afterparty
The Bank, 324 King Street, Newtown | Sunday 18 February, from 4pm
Fair Day itself might have been cancelled, but beloved Newtown establishment The Bank is hosting an epic "afterparty" in upstairs bar Waywards to keep the energy rolling from Fair Day, with drinks, drag and DJs long into the night.
The lineup includes DJ heavyweights Rob Jennings, John Pants, Hamo & Sugar Plump Fairy, with live performances by Faux Fur (from Drag Race Down Under), Kalin Klein and Dammit Janet, and entry is free.
Kings Cross Hotel, 248 William Street, Potts Point | Thursday 22 and Thursday 29 February
Image credit: Kings Cross Hotel | Facebook
In the spirit of excess, there will be not one, but two Drag Bingo nights at the King’s Cross Hotel for Mardi Gras. One of Australia's most sought-after live-singing drag queens, Prada Clutch, will take to the stage to host some unforgettable fun in the glow of the Cross' iconic Coca-Cola sign.
Kicking off from 7pm both nights, there'll be guaranteed laughs, inappropriate jokes and plenty of prizes to be won. Gather a group and book your table ASAP.
The Mardi Gras Debutante Ball
Kinselas, 383 Bourke Street, Darlinghurst | Thursday 22 February
Honouring the strength and diversity of the LGBTQIA+ community with a grand event packed with camp, pomp and ceremony, the Mardi Gras Debutante Ball by Johnnie Walker sets to subvert the old-school and binary traditions of debutante balls.
A chance for first-timers to debut their true selves and celebrate with their community, the ball will include a performance from guest of honour Natalie Bassingthwaighte, plus community trailblazers like Mardi Gras 78er and LGBTQIA+ advocate Robyn Kennedy.
Hosted by trans drag queen Aysha Buffet and comedian Jenna Suffern, there'll be performances from DJ Sveta, Nefertiti LaNegra and Marlena Dalí, and a three-level party kicking on until late. Tickets are $25 and all proceeds go to Equality Australia.
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Absolut X The House Of Music And Booze
The House Of Music And Booze, 161 Princes Highway, St Peters | Friday 23–Sunday 25 February
Vodka gurus Absolut are marking Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras with a local instalment of their global dance event series, Absolut X. It will culminate with a three-night, full-venue takeover at The House of Music & Booze honouring the rich tapestry of communities that embody queer nightlife.
Absolut has teamed up with legendary queer event organisers to curate a colourful experience promising to establish an intimate and safe environment, spotlighting the evolving landscape of queer nightlife in Australia. RSVP for free to Heaps Gay's Hot Mess event on Friday here, Angels Only's Saturday party here and Xaddy's Day 2 Night here.
Mardi Gras Dog Show
The Beresford, 354 Bourke Street, Surry Hills | Sunday 25 February, from 11am
Dress up your number-one bestie in their fanciest 'fit for the return of this beloved annual event on the Mardi Gras calendar. The Bero's Mardi Gras Dog Show will be hosted by Justin Hill from Hayu's Loud and Proud and have a pooch parade, loads of treats, and prizes for the best-dressed babes thanks to DOGUE.
Mardi Gras Parade 2024
Oxford Street and surrounds | Saturday 2 March, from 6pm
Image credit: Sydney Mardi Gras | Website
The jewel in the crown of Sydney Mardi Gras is the Mardi Gras parade running along Oxford Street, led by the trailblazing '78ers (who formed the first-ever Sydney Mardi Gras) bus, the Dykes on Bikes, and the First Nations float.
Over 12,000 marchers dressed to match their community's floats will make their way along the parade route to pumping tunes, and you can catch them by lining the streets (BYO milk crate!) or heading to a ticketed viewing point including Club Cindy on Flinders Street (from $60pp), Sideshow on Flinders Street (from $69pp), or Diamond Club in Taylor Square (from $175pp).
Pride In The Yard At The Alex
The Alex, 35 Henderson Road, Alexandria | Saturday 2 March, from 2pm
The Alex is throwing a Mardi Gras parade-day party with a full lineup of entertainment, including a live broadcast of the parade, drag performances by Eli Crawford, James Vidigal, Logan The Drag Queen, Rhea Fend, Sexy Galexy, Tina Bikki, DJs, a basketball competition, games and more.
Pride in the Yard will have a best-dressed dog parade with prizes from Dogs in Town, live painting from artist Jeff McCann and loads more, and entry for all is completely free.
Vic On The Pardi Gras: Tuck Shop Core
Vic on the Park, 2 Addison Road, Marrickville | Saturday 2 March, from 12pm
Image credit: Vic on the Park | Supplied
The Vic on the Park is bringing back the unbridled joy of '90s recess with a rowdy, whole-day celebration of the Mardi Gras spirit. There'll be live DJs and plenty of live entertainment (with a surprise lineup) hosted by the loosest substitute teacher in the inner west, Aunty Jonny.
You won't miss the main event with the parade on the big screen, hopscotch and handball comps, and old-school tuck shop treats, and entry is free.
POOF DOOF Recovery Pool Party
ivy Pool Club and Changeroom Bar, Level 4, 320-330 George Street | Sunday 3 March
Image credit: ivy Precinct | Supplied
For over ten years POOF DOOF has established itself as one of Australia’s favourite queer party brands, putting on drag brunch events, Big Gay Boat Parties, music festival stage takeovers and pop-up shows across both Sydney and Melbourne.
To wrap up their 2024 Mardi Gras celebrations, the POOF DOOF crew are hosting a massive Recovery Pool Party at the rooftop ivy Pool Club in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, headlined by queer and club culture legends Horse Meat Disco.
Four Pillars Fab Lab
410 Crown Street, Surry Hills | Friday 16 February–Sunday 3 March
Image credit: Four Pillars | Supplied
Four Pillars Sydney is painting Surry Hills rainbow, transforming their Gin Lab into the Fab Lab to celebrate Mardi Gras with an epic event every weekend, and a Parade Day Party with POOF DOOF DJ Daphne Gaye hosting drag entertainment and serving up delicious limited-edition cocktails.
The Four Pillars x RAJA weekend collab (Friday 23 and Saturday 24 February) will see contemporary Indian food meet outrageously good gin cocktails that you can walk in to try. The venue will be dressing up for the occasion with glitter and disco balls galore until 3 March, and a portion of proceeds from every Pretty In Pink cocktail sold in the bar will go to supporting Queer Screen.
Oxford Street Bar Crawl With A Drag Queen
Oxford Street and surrounds | Friday 16–Saturday 24 February
Local Sauce Tours has teamed up with fabulous Sydney drag queen, Kiama Blowhole, to offer an exclusive Mardi Gras tour, Oxford Street Bar Crawl. Kiama Blowhole will take you on a four-hour guided bar tour, stopping off at iconic LGBTQ+ friendly venues on Sydney’s pride heartland of Oxford Street.
You can hang out with Kiama for $70 a head (including a drink). After the glamour-filled bar crawl, guests will receive a map linking to all the fabulous places visited throughout the night, along with some extra hotspots to explore to warm you up for Mardi Gras.
Jane, 478 Bourke Street, Surry Hills | Weekends until March 3
Stunning Surry Hills spot Jane is celebrating Mardi Gras with a bottomless lunch themed around on-stage icons of the queer community: George Michael, Queen and Kylie.
For $130pp you'll get up close and personal with a shared set menu (featuring the famous duck, potato and whey dish), a 90-minute bottomless beverage package including Australiano cocktails, and an Ice Qween dessert crafted in collaboration with Rivareno. It all goes down with a curated soundtrack of Gaga, Bowie, Cher and the like, and bookings are available from 12pm each Saturday and Sunday during Mardi Gras.
Ms.G’s Spot Drag Brunch
Ms.G's, 155 Victoria Street, Potts Point | Saturday 24 February, from 11.30am
You can't have Mardi Gras without a few bottomless brunches, and mod pan-Asian restaurant Ms Gs is bringing the goods at theirs, with an Absolut Rizz Fizz cocktail on arrival, a menu of crowd-pleasers including cheeseburger spring rolls, ‘strange flavour’ burrata and mini banh mi, plus a three-hour drinks package.
DJ sets and games will get you in the party mood, as well as drag performances from Coco Jumbo (RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under), Kalin Klein and Dammit Janet. Ms G's Spot Drag Brunch is $125pp (including a donation to Bobby Goldsmith Foundation and ACON).
Bottomless Brunch And Rainbow Cocktails
The Waratah, 308-310 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst | Saturday 2 March, 12pm or 2.30pm
Image credit: The Waratah | Supplied
Inner-city newcomer The Waratah is hosting its first bottomless brunch in honour of Mardi Gras parade day, priming you for a fun-filled, colourful day out. The bottomless brunch includes pastries, taramasalata and roe-topped potato scallops, and a choice of avocado bagel or veggie salad, plus a drinks package with bottomless wine and beers for $99pp, or $119pp with their ruby-hued house spritzes.
The rainbow drinks lineup will also be available in The Waratah's downstairs public bar, with those who Drink The Rainbow by trying all four scoring a spin of the wheel for the chance to win free drinks and prizes valued at $500.
Drag Bingo And Bumps
Bar Morris,412 Pitt Street, Haymarket | Saturday 2 March, 12pm–2pm
Chic Italian spot Bar Morris is bringing the ball-dropping fun with a cheeky afternoon of bingo and (caviar) bumps. Join drag royalty Dakota Fann’ee for 10 rounds of drag bingo for $25pp, with epic prizes on offer.
You can order up whatever snacks, sips and sweets you feel, including a special rainbow semifreddo dessert, or, for those going all out, there'll be $36 caviar bumps and frozen Tilde vodka shots.
Lucky Prawn at The Bob Hawke Beer and Leisure Centre, 8-12 Sydney Street, Marrickville | Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 March
Image credit: Lucky Prawn | Supplied
When Mardi Gras meets yum cha it's Mardi Cha, obviously. Fab queen Jackie Daniels and friends will roll out a special Mardi Gras edition of Lucky Prawn's monthly yum cha sessions over the festival's final weekend—so you can either warm up on parade day, or nurse your hangover with $12 Bloody Marys on Sunday. Seatings are available at 11am, 1pm or 3pm here.
Mardi Gras Film Festival
Various Sydney locations | Thursday 15–Thursday 29 February
Queer Screen is back in Sydney with its 31st Mardi Gras Film Festival. With over 150 LGBTQIA+ films screening at venues including the Sydney Opera House, Dendy, Event, OpenAir and the Ritz, the festival will host world and Aussie premieres, and celebrate the best of queer storytelling.
Don’t miss the Sydney premiere of British neo-noir thriller Femme, Australian director Goran Stolevski’s new picture Housekeeping For Beginners, and Sydney-based Sahela, which follows a second-generation Indian-Australian as he navigates his sexuality and parents’ expectations.
The festival is also heading to the Opera House for the first time for a night of iconic queer films (including Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) and the Westpac OpenAir Cinema is hosting a special screening of new sensation All of Us Strangers with Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott.
The Vanguard, 42 King Street, Newtown | Sunday 18 February
After a sold-out debut at last year’s Sydney Fringe Festival, The Rapture is returning this month for a special Mardi Gras show with magic, art, sensuality and soul. This intimate evening of queer and gender-diverse excellence is hosted by the bespoke daddy of pole dance, Cleo Rapture, alongside exquisite displays of acrobatics, sideshow, burlesque, drag, and more.
From humble beginnings in a dive bar in Newcastle/Muloobinba, The Rapture has enjoyed consecutive sold-out shows, with tickets from $56pp.
Laugh Out Proud
Enmore Theatre, 118-132 Enmore Rd, Newtown | Friday 23 February
Laugh Out Proud returns to the Enmore Theatre for its fifth year of side-splitting humour. This much-anticipated comedy gala, hosted by Zoe Coombs Marr, features a line-up of queer comedy stars including Aurelia St Clair, Wandi Cao, Steven Oliver, Michelle Braiser, Eli Matthewson (NZ), Bob Downe, and AJ Lamarque.
Get ready for an uproarious evening with beloved and emerging queer comedic talents, with tickets available from $65pp.
Queer Art After Hours
Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Road, Sydney CBD | Wednesday 28 February, 5pm–10pm
A favourite night of the Mardi Gras season, AGNSW is bringing back Queer Art After Hours for 2024 across both of its buildings.
The program is a testament to Sydney's vibrant LGBTQIA+ culture and creatives, and is co-created with key community members to celebrate diversity and resilience, with elements of performance art, live music, workshops and demonstrations and more. There'll be pop-up bars and food options, and entry is free.
Aesop Queer Library
Aesop, 3038/500 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction | Wednesday 28 February–Sunday 3 March
Image credit: Aesop | Supplied
Aesop Queer Library returns to Sydney this month, showcasing 45 LGBTQIA+ authors at Aesop Bondi Junction. The activation champions queer storytelling’s transformative power and amplifies marginalized voices by showcasing titles that delve into perspectives of BIPOC, trans and gender-non-conforming communities.
Aesop will remove all their regular products from the store’s shelves and replace them with selected books sourced from queer, independent and local bookstore Hares & Hyenas. Visitors are welcome to browse Aesop’s activation and collect a volume free of charge.
Show Us Ya Tips
The Abercrombie Hotel, 100 Broadway, Chippendale | Thursday 29 February
Sydney-based queer collective Angels Only is heading to Chippendale’s Abercrombie Hotel for a special Mardi Gras edition of their Show Us Ya Tips performances for a great cause, with DJs keeping the fun going until late. Clothes are optional, phones are banned, but bringing the queer, sex worker and local communities together is a guaranteed.
The event raises money for SWOP—Australia's largest and longest-established community-based peer education sex worker organisation—with part of the entry fee given back to you as tipping cash for the professional and amateur performers if you pre-purchase your ticket.
Keep the party going with
Main image credit: The Beresford | Supplied
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