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Woman in the Mardi Gras parade in 2018
Photograph: Cassandra Hannagan

Sydney has just won the bid to host World Pride

Written by
Ben Neutze

Sydney already has one of the biggest LGBTQI pride events in the world in our annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, but the entire city will be painted every colour of the rainbow come 2023. Sydney is set to host to WorldPride, an enormous pride event held every two years, drawing participants from all corners of the globe.

The event will be held from February 24 to March 4 in 2023, coinciding with the 45th anniversary of Mardi Gras. This will be the first time WorldPride is held in the Southern Hemisphere, having formerly been to Rome, Jerusalem, Toronto, London, Madrid and New York earlier this year, where around five million people attended, making it the world's largest pride event ever.

So we've got a lot to live up to, but it seems we've got the confidence of the InterPride committee, having won 60 per cent of the vote against the other two cities vying for hosting rights, Montreal and Houston.

WorldPride is designed to tackle issues affecting LGBTQIA people on an international scale, but is of course also a fabulous and epic festival with fabulous and epic parties attached.

It’s estimated that the Mardi Gras attendance figures will leap from around 700,000 to more than 1 million in 2023, and the event will make between $600 million to $1.1 billion for the state.

Mardi Gras is planning to expand the annual parade to allow 80,000 members of the LGBTQIA community to march, hold a massive concert on Bondi Beach for 30,000 people, and an international conference on health and human rights issues for queer people across the Asia Pacific and the world.

Read about Sydney's rich drag history and head to one of our city's best queer bars and clubs.

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