The biggest party of the year will look a little different again in 2022, but we’re gearing up for a gay old time nonetheless. Former Savage Garden frontman Darren Hayes is coming home to headline the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. He’ll be in good company with another Aussie legend, Vanessa Amirosi, and a bunch more talented performers.
The annual LGBTQIA+ pride march, the pinnacle event of Sydney’s Mardi Gras festivities, will again be diverted from its traditional route down Oxford Street, through the heart of Sydney’s queer nightlife district, and replaced by a ticketed event at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SGC) on Saturday, March 5.
Over 6,500 marchers will be united across more than 160 glittering floats, with crowd favourites like the Dykes on Bikes revving up to join the action. An electric energy always fills the city on parade night (or “Gay Christmas”). Everyone is sparkling, the outfits are risqué, and queer extravagance fills the night with possibilites.
This will be the 44th Sydney Mardi Gras Parade, and it's quite a feat that it's going ahead at all. The 2020 festival was the last major event before Sydney went into its first lockdown, and we’ve managed not to cancel a Mardi Gras since. With ongoing restrictions on dancing and indoor gatherings meaning organisers had to make the tough decision to cancel the main Mardi Gras after party again, all the entertainment will be rolled into one with this arena spectacular.
Also joining the entertainment line-up this year are ARIA-nominated singer-songwriter Mo’Ju, musical theatre stars Timothy Springs and Prinnie Stevens, local DJ’s KILIMI, Charlie Villas and Division 4, and a whole bunch of fabulous drag queens including Charisma Belle, Carmen Geddit and Hollywould. Rumour has it, we might even find out the new cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under on the night.
Tickets range from $10-$15 a pop, and 1,500 free tickets were also allocated through a Covid-19 hardship ballot.
For those who cannot attend in person, the Parade will be broadcasting live from 7.30pm AEDT on the ABC and streaming live on iview. As always, Sydney will be spilling over with parade viewing parties, and there will be plenty more events including the return of Mardi Gras Fair Day when the festival kicks off from February 18. Time Out Sydney will keep you updated.