We can expect more glitter, pride and passion in the coming weeks as the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival returns in 2022. The two-week program is packed with a diverse range of events including community gatherings, panel discussions, parties, theatre and of course, the highly anticipated parade.
The 2022 theme is 'United We Shine', highlighting that LGBTQIA+ communities shine bright together and that when they collectively stand up against adversity, "the message of love and inclusion is heard louder."
“Our theme this year is a reminder of all that we can achieve when our communities rise as one," Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger said in an official statement.
"It is a call to stand united against the inequalities LGBTQI+ people continue to face, and empowers us with the strength that our history shows: that we have the power to create a more equitable society.
“For over 40 years we have fought for equality, allowing us to live openly and authentically, free from stigma. A lot has changed for the better and the new generation of LGBTQI+ Australians are growing up in a more accepting time."
With celebrity performances and no doubt many a sparkly costume on display, there are plenty of reasons to get excited. Here's everything we know about the 2022 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
When Is It?
The Mardi Gras Festival takes place across two weeks from Friday, February 18 to Sunday, March 6. There's a wide range of events catering to art enthusiasts, comedy lovers, partygoers and those ready to cheer on the parade floats. The program highlights include:
Partnered events include Queer Art After Hours presented by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and the Art Gallery of New South Wales on March 2 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, as well as Queer Screen’s 29th Mardi Gras Film Festival from February 17 to March 3 that will showcase the best LGBTIQ+ films to cinema screens across Sydney and on-demand Australia wide.
Where Is The Parade?
With extravagant floats, latex costumes and plenty of pride cheer, the iconic parade is one of the most talked-about events and definitely a highlight of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival.
The parade will take place at the Sydney Cricket Ground for the third year in a row, after moving from its iconic Oxford Street location back in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. More than 160 floats are expected to roll out with over 6,000 people participating in the march.
Who Is Performing?
While the complete list of floats hasn't been released, crowd favourites such as 78ers, Dykes on Bikes and First Nations are all returning for the parade in 2022, as is the W Sydney float.
Other floats include I Just Want To Be Me, Mrs Finger and her Prize Pig, PEACOCK MORMONS, Princesses Of Mardi Gras 2022, The Fabulous Wonder Mama, The Itty Bitty Titty Committee, Rainbow Rebellion, P-TYE (Parents for Transgender Youth Equity), Everyday Ability and Free Gay and Happy. Wafia will be headlining the TikTok float, singing her hit song 'I’m Good'.
The entertainers confirmed to take part are Darren Hayes, Mo'Ju, The Wiggles, Vanessa Amorosi, Timothy Springs, Prinnie Stevens, KILIMI, Charlie Villas and Division 4.
Where Can I Watch The Parade On TV?
After being broadcast on SBS for the past eight years, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade has a new on-screen home. It will be broadcast on March 5 ABC iView from 6:30pm AEDT and ABC TV's main channel from 7:30pm AEDT.
TV journalist Hamish Macdonald will be joined by ABCQueer’s Mon Schafter and comedian Steven Oliver (he/him) to present the parade on TV. Courtney Act, Casey Donovan and ABC NEWS presenter Jeremy Fernandez will be supporting on on-the-ground hosts.
The action will also hit the airwaves with a radio broadcast on ABC Local Radio Evenings from 7:00pm and on triple j, including the triple j and ABC listen apps.