Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade to take place March 6, 2021
Organizers are hoping that the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade will become the first major international event to take place, exactly one year after COVID-19 struck everything down. It’s scheduled to take place on Saturday March 6, 2021.
In order to ensure the safety of parade participants, spectators and the community at large, the 2021 Parade will be held at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), where a capacity of 23,000 audience members will watch on as community groups unite in an extravagant show of pride and passion. Parade partner SBS will also broadcast the entire event live, so viewers from across Australia can tune-in to be a part of the celebrations from the comfort of their homes.
Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger said, “Mardi Gras has always been the epitome of creative expression through art and culture; two things severely impacted by COVID-19 this year. So it was important to Mardi Gras that we rise to the occasion and to give the community the creative platform to express their pride to the world. The 2021 Parade may look different to how it has been in the past, but we feel very lucky to be able to give this opportunity to our communities during these times.”
“The team at Mardi Gras have worked tirelessly with NSW Health to develop a COVID Safe event plan to ensure the Parade can go forward and we’re excited by the prospect of staging the event at the SCG. Not only is the SCG close to our spiritual home of Oxford Street, but it also provides the safest venue for us to hold the event and meet requirements of physical distancing and contact tracing. With a greater focus on community, our 2021 Parade will move away from large floats, centering instead on the outlandish pageantry of costumes, puppetry and props that make it such a phenomenon to witness.”
After the most recent Mardi Gras celebrations, the organisation executed a comprehensive community consultation process to better understand how the LGBTQI+ community would like to see Mardi Gras represent them in the future. The outcome of this process has formed a new vision, ‘Always On’, that will see Mardi Gras develop year round initiatives to provide a platform for LGBTQI+ people, community groups and partners to celebrate, share experiences and provide support, no matter where they are.
“Always On will see us commission and support the development of queer performance and content, support more events beyond Oxford Street, extend our voice to highlight social injustice and support major campaigns, and support community and grassroots organisations year round,” said Kruger. “These are just some of the initiatives that make up the foundation of our Always On vision.”
The 2021 Mardi Gras theme is ‘RISE’ a poignant message during the challenge and hardship that 2020 has presented, and a nod to the direction Mardi Gras is moving towards with their Always On vision. The theme is a call to action that 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.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said, “It is poignant that this year’s parade was the last major event held before we had to go into lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. I know many in our community, myself included, have held onto our happy memories of Mardi Gras 2020 to get us through this challenging year.”
Tickets for the live Parade spectacle go on sale, Monday 9 November at www.mardigras.org.au. Mardi Gras members will receive two complimentary tickets to the Parade event.
What: 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade
Where: Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) + live broadcast on SBS
When: Saturday 6 March, 2021
Tickets: Adults $20, Group bookings of four $50, Children under 15 or concession $15
Mardi Gras Members receive two complimentary tickets
Tickets on sale, Monday 9 November
More info/bookings: www.mardigras.org.au
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.