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Group of people fronted by a drag queen stand outside the Stonewall Hotel on Oxford Street
Photograph: Supplied/Sydney Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is giving away $100,000 in grants to venues hosting parade viewing events

Venues anywhere in Australia are eligible

Alannah Maher

The Sydney Mardi Gras Parade is going to look a little different in 2021 – not only on the ground at the new parade location, but also at the numerous parade viewing events and parties that would usually twirl on into the wee early hours. While the traditional parade spectacle isn't possible, organisers are still determined to make sure that there’s plenty of ways to celebrate and get amongst the joy of Mardi Gras this year, so they’re offering grants to venues all over Australia to host fabulous (and CovidSafe) parade viewing events.

The $100,000 grant fund is offered as part of an ongoing partnership between Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Facebook Australia as an initiative to support hospitality venues, small businesses, and LGBTQI+ artists and performers who have been impacted over the past year. There have been fewer opportunities for queer artists to perform (and be paid for it) since Ms Rona rolled up, so this is an especially exciting initiative for many drag queens, kings and stage trolling folks around the country.

“Despite border closures and changing restrictions, it is our intention to continue to support the hospitality and arts and culture sectors and ensure the Mardi Gras Parade is as accessible as possible,” said Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger.

“We encourage all venues across Australia, particularly those in regional and remote parts of the country, to apply for these grants and celebrate their local LGBTQI+ community. We have plans to announce the full list of participating venues in the coming weeks and I encourage everyone to check out the line-up, support your local venue and LGBTQI+ artist, and enjoy a Covid-safe night out.”

Submissions are now open and close 11:59pm Sunday, January 31. To apply for an individual grant of up to $3,350 head to

Want more Mardi Gras? Here’s the best events coming up for this year’s festival.

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