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Photography: Supplied/David Li | Pre-Game at Pullman Sydney

Where to party in Sydney this Mardi Gras

These venues will be hosting 2023 Mardi Gras Parade parties during Sydney WorldPride

Written by
Maxim Boon
Alannah Maher
Alice Ellis

Sydney’s sparkliest night of nights will be bigger and sparklier than ever, thanks to the huge Sydney WorldPride event that envelops it. The 45th annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade is on Saturday, February 25, 2023. No more Sydney Cricket Ground diversions – this year, it returns, in all its rainbow glory, to Oxford Street.

You don’t need to be at the actual parade to get amongst the Mardi Gras magic. The rainbow will be shining all over Sydney, there are plenty of venues throwing parties where you can have a colourful time all day, watch the ABC’s live parade coverage on a big screen in the evening, and boogie on down into the wee hours with DJs, drag and queer performers.

Ready to celebrate LGBTQIA+ pride? Here's where the best parties are coming out.  

Looking for more fabulous fun? Check out our round up of the best things to do throughout Sydney WorldPride.

The best Mardi Gras Parade day and night parties in Sydney

Parade night at the Imperial is a multi-level celebration of queer diversity. For the best seats in the house, the Up Bar is hosting a VIP Parade Viewing Party, which includes a delicious drink on arrival, an Italian grazing feast, and a five-hour bottomless beverage package (5-10pm). Your host is none other than Drag Race’s “glamour bug bitch” Etcetera Etcetera. Not feeling very important? Never mind, there’s a Basement Parade Viewing Party too, with Imperial grande dames Farren Heit and Doreen Managini (5-10pm), a Drag N' Dine event, an Impy Gras Party – and, for the next day, a Recover, Reheat & Repeat party. It's going to go off on every level.

  • Hotels
  • Darlinghurst

From 4-9pm on Mardi Gras night, the entire hotel lobby of the Pullman Sydney Hyde Park – which is located just minutes from the Oxford Street parade action – will be transformed into an entertainment hub filled with arts and performances. They're offering up a five-hour food and beverage package. There'll be live music, drag performances from Kara Zmatiq and Vybe, and DJs Leow and Ben Fox will get you through till 9pm. Out-of-towners (who aren't intending on staying out all night) can make a full night of it with a stay at the Pullman.


One of the true MVPs of Sydney’s queer clubbing scene, POOF DOOF is putting on a rave to remember hot on the heels of the Mardi Gras parade. They promise this one will go down in history as their biggest serve yet. A legendary line-up of DJs from our shores and abroad (including UK stars Absolute, Josh Harrison and Ty Sunderland) will be helping you doof until dawn. It runs from 8.30pm on parade night, all the way through until 6am.


Get ready to dust yourself with glitter and catch all the action of the parade at this notoriously queer-friendly Darlinghurst pub, where the furniture is as eclectic as the locals. The Darlo Bar fam will be welcoming peeps in from midday, while the DJs and entertainment – hosted by Raquel Feltchwill – kick off from 4pm. Entry is free and they're not taking bookings, so just head on in and join the party.

The gentlemen of Surry Hills and their fashionable dogs often congregate at the Bero, and this pub always pumps it up for Mardi Gras season. On parade day, they're throwing an extra special live screening of the parade in the courtyard on their huge screen – just a few strides away from all the action in Taylor Square. Rock up for a drink between floats, walk in after the parade, or join them beforehand (the party starts at 2pm). No bookings required – just walk on in and join the party.


With drag shows on perennially, you could argue it’s always Mardi Gras as this Oxford Street club. The festive flair is turning up for parade night, with a party featuring an all-star cast: Eli Crawford, Tina Bikki, Shanny T Bone and Champagne. The party starts at 8pm and tickets are just $20 at the door. DJ Adam Love will be on the decks from 5-10pm, while Division 4 will have you dancing from 10pm through to close.

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  • Coogee
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Get in the Mardi mood before the parade at the Pav. They'll be serving up three hours of free-flowing drinks, roaming canapés and Poof Doof talent as the entertainment. It's on from 11am to 2pm, so make sure you pace yourself if you're going to kick on all night.


When Queer Christmas comes to town, the big ol' pub at the centre of the Cross goes full camp. Their ground floor will convert to a Pride Pub, with a free-entry Parade Viewing Party from 6pm. If you venture up to levels one to four and the rooftop beyond, you'll enter a range of mystical queer clubbing parties, all with a slightly different flavour.

  • Things to do
  • Fairs and festivals

The Star Sydney has transformed into Rainbow Central for WorldPride. Think drag queen performances, disco dancing and rainbow cocktails, a spectacular acrobatic aerial show, and it's all free entry. On parade night, Beverly Kills will be performing from 9pm.

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