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Mardi Gras Announces Luminous Lineup Of Scorching Summer Events

November 30, 2013 LGBT No Comments Email Email

From the bright, sparkling and saturated to the mixed, blurred and occasionally understated – the 2014 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is poised to deliver festivalgoers a kaleidoscope of colourful experiences, with a jam-packed program of cultural and community events running from Sunday February 9 through to Sunday March 2, 2014

11090519013_a0853a3509 Tickets for the 2014 Mardi Gras program went on sale today as festival organisers unveiled the first round of talent, icons and events that will headline the world’s biggest, and most spectacular, celebration of LGBTQI pride and diversity. 

Based on the creative concept of ‘kaleidoscope’, the three-week festival will offer up a slather of celebratory selections, with an array of free and ticketed events including fabulous parties; world-class cabaret, theatre and musical performances; premiere film screenings; all-inclusive community, social and youth events; interactive panel discussions; and unforgettable art exhibitions.

Mardi Gras Co-Chair, Siri Kommedahl,, says the kaleidoscope concept reflects notions of diversity and difference, which the festival has become synonymous with since its inception 36 years ago.

11090415224_273a98da1b“Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is a truly special time when the world focuses on the LGBTQI communities, and when people from these communities get a chance to showcase and celebrate what makes them special – in a uniquely positive and empowered way,” she says.

Mardi Gras Co-Chair Paul Savage added “Much like the infinite colours in a kaleidoscope, our communities are made up of a uniquely diverse mix of people. Of course, personal and group characteristics sometimes overlap or find commonality – but at the end of the day, absolutely no one is the same.

“This is the core idea of the kaleidoscope; the kaleidoscope is the filter and the lens that makes colours and – in our case people – so unique, visible, vibrant and fabulous.” 


Whether you’re an all-night party-hardy, arts and culture connoisseur, out-of-towner visiting Sydney shores for the very first time, or an everyday local wanting to see the city in its most luminous form, Mardi Gras 2014 has it covered with an unmissable festival experience for all!

11090369194_5f3e61229bKicking off the events calendar on February 9 2014 will be Fair Day – one of the festival’s most-loved and highly anticipated community celebrations. As in previous years, Fair Day will welcome people and pets from all walks of life to Victoria Park – bringing more than 70,000 families and friends together for a free picnic in the sun with fantastic food, live music, roaming drag talent, community stalls, kids’ activities, and the world-famous DoggyWood dog show for pampered pooches!

For festivalgoers looking for a slightly more cerebral Mardi Gras experience, Queer Thinking 2014 will be an event not-to-be missed! Hitting the Seymour Centre on Saturday February 15, the day-long set of talks and discussions will present a queer-tinged fusion of stories, ideas, literature and academia with LGBTQI leaders, activists and artists – all of whom will challenge the status quo and share their thought-provoking insights and experiences. Saturday February 22 will see legendary British DJ and producer Joey Negro headline Harbour Party 2014, a must-attend al-fresco experience for any festivalgoer who thrives on a casual boogie, cool cocktail and picturesque party surroundings. One of only two parties to be held on Sydney Harbour each year, Harbour Party will deliver a buzzing mix of quality house music, surprise performances, lavish open-air spaces and truly international party-pals in one of the world best and most spectacular waterside venues!

Water babies come partygoers would also be wise to block off Monday February 24 as the Pool Party hits the Ivy Pool Club from 2pm onwards. One of Sydney’s most extravagant outdoor drinking destinations, The Ivy Pool Bar will deliver a piping-hot party experience in an oasis of style – with shady palms, delicious cocktails, private cabanas, poolside DJs, pumping sounds, underwater speakers and gorgeous lifeguards in scantily clad trunks. The Pool Party is the ultimate temptation to take off yet another Mardi Gras Monday!

Harbourside celebrations are set to continue on Wednesday February 26 with the Sunset Cruise, hosted bySydney drag superstar Summer Salt. Offering a very Mardi Gras take on a must-do Sydney experience, Sunset Cruise will see festivalgoers get up-close-and-personal with some of Australia’s most iconic landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, with a glass of champers in hand, hilarious live commentary and killer music to boot!

Female icons, thought-leaders, frontrunners and innovators will go under the spotlight when Women Say Something: Dancing On The Ceiling (WSS) takes over Sydney Town Hall on Friday February 28. Former WSS panelists have included Lord Mayor Clover Moore, UK lesbian actor and musician Heather Peace, feminist icon Dr Eva Cox and Australian actress Claudia Karvan. After selling out in 2013, the event returns in 2014 to celebrate the achievements of women from all communities in an evening of insightful dialogue, top-notch entertainment, engaging film, fine food and wine, lavish spectacle and inspiring stories.

Saturday March 1 will see the festival’s most famous and anticipated event kick off as the official Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras hits Sydney streets. The centerpiece of the Mardi Gras season, the parade will bring thousands of festivalgoers together in a glittering display of outrageous floats, fabulous costumes, stunning designs and dance galore!

Following the parade on March 1 will be the official Mardi Gras Party at Playbill Venues and Entertainment Quarter Moore Park. With a piping hot lineup of DJs and musical acts from across the globe including Kim Ann Foxman, Dan Slater and Yo! M.A.F.I.A., the Mardi Gras Party will be the only place to be to keep celebrations kicking long into the night.

Rounding out the official festival program on Sunday March 2 will be the much-loved The Laneway event, a Mardi Gras institution that has provided the backdrop for decades of partying, fun and fabulousness! The event will offer an eclectic lineup of DJs, surprise guests, pop-up performances and entertainment across an expanded venue footprint that includes The Flinders, The Beresford and the connecting Hill St Laneway – giving partygoers more outdoor space to dance, relax, mingle and soak up the sunshine!                                                            

Aside from the staple festival events, Mardi Gras 2014 will offer a plethora of don’t miss entertainment and community events across the city, ensuring that every Sydneysider and visiting friend has an opportunity to revel in their own Mardi Gras highlight!


Presented by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in partnership with Sydney Theatre Company, Courtney Act will bring her hit cabaret show, Boys Like Me to Sydney audiences for one night only on Tuesday February 25, direct on the back of sold out seasons in New York and Los Angeles. Airing hysterical dirty laundry from her alternative sex life, including the angry text from that straight boy’s girlfriend – Courtney will share her observations of life on the gender divide, her journey through masculinity and femininity, and how all of these elements manifest when “boys like her”!

Cabaret fans will rejoice as beloved gay icon Bob Downe returns to the Sydney Theatre for two shows onWednesday February 26 and Thursday February 27. Bringing audiences his new production Bob, Sweat and Tears, Australia’s Prince of Polyester is finally manning up, performing a brand new bunch of classic hits and offering up a laugh-a-minute roller-coaster ride of shocks and frocks!

Direct from his sell-out West End run, and performances across Europe and the UK, cabaret star Trevor Ashley is bringing Liza home to Sydney for one night only on Friday February 28 in his internationally-acclaimed stage showTrevor Ashley is Liza (on an E). From her marriage to Australia’s song-and-dance darling, Peter Allen, to her notorious pill-popping and ubiquitous showbiz family, ‘Liza (on an E)’ will dish the dirt on Liza’s extraordinary life like never before! 

Other musical theatre highlights include Everything I know I learned from Madonna, a real and riotous comedic drama told through some of the material girl’s most famous lyrics; Oprahfication, a side-splitting multi-award winning cabaret about the world’s richest and most beloved talk-show queen; and Falsettos, a wickedly funny Tony Award-winning musical about the original modern family!


Lovers of visual art are also in for a sensory treat as the Day for Night exhibition runs from Thursday February 13 to Saturday February 15. Part exhibition, part performance art go-go, and part T-dance, Day for Night is a collaboration between Performance Space and Mardi Gras which places Australia’s boldest queer artists in a durational performance wunderkammer, showcasing unique creative works before transforming into a large-scale dance party once the sun goes down.

Artistic highlights also come in the form of Ross Watson’s new exhibition, which contains celebrated artworks of seriously sexy surf twins, tri-athletes and gay icon Tina Arena; Inverto, a street art project along the backstreets of Darlinghurst featuring black and white photographs of an individual’s physical transition from female to male; andOuting Disability, a photographic exhibition celebrating sexuality, sex and gender diversity in the lives of people with disability. 


Sure to be on the radars of all cinema-lovers will be the 21st edition of the Mardi Gras Film Festival, Australia’s leading selection of LGBTQI films. Presented by Queer Screen, the 2014 Festival will once again celebrate the best in queer filmmaking, offering up a diverse selection of Australian premieres and top-notch flicks from across the globe. 


More of a muso than a film buff? Bertie Page presents: Pussy Love! will hit the Spectrum on Friday February 28with their electric mix of glam punk rock, frock, feathers and leathers! The show will feature the launch of the band’s brand new album ‘Too Loud Too Naked’, as well as a litter of Brisbane’s best burlesque kitties, with more slink, strut and sexiness than you can throw an old boot at!


Festivities will stretch as far as the New South Wales South Coast, with Jamberoo Goes Gay kicking off onSaturday February 15 at Jamberoo Action Park. Providing a sun-soaked, wet and wild Mardi Gras experience like never before, the outdoor party will see festivalgoers treated to DJs, live music, mouthwatering food, delicious drinks and an unlimited selection of fun-filled rides.

In addition, there will be a truckload of indoor and outdoor treats throughout the festival including the six kilometreRainbow Run on Saturday February 8The Progressive Dining Walk along Sydney’s top inner-city bars and restaurants; and the fabulous Mardi Gras Disco Climb atop the historic Sydney Harbour Bridge!


Peppered throughout February will also be a host of youth events, aimed at empowering young people and providing platforms for expression, education and inclusiveness. Key aspects of the 2014 Mardi
Gras youth program will include the not-for-profit Club Camp queer dance party on Saturday February 22, the free Glitterball dance party on Thursday February 13 and The Youth History Walk, which offers a guided tour of sites of cultural significance for LGBTI people within the Kings Cross, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills and Paddington areas.

Tickets to Mardi Gras’ jam-packed calendar of summer events can be purchased at

For tickets to the one and only Mardi Gras Party, head to

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