Here’s Everything We Know About The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras 2024

Supplied/Dan Gosse
Get your glitter ready because the 46th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival 2024 has started.
Following on from the huge success of last year's Mardi Gras and World Pride celebrations, this year's festival is set to be the biggest yet.
It all kicks off on February 16, with a two-week event schedule packed full of unique entertainment and cultural experiences plus once-in-a-lifetime parties, and culminates with the iconic Sydney Mardi Gras Parade on March 2.
This year's theme is 'Our Future', which is all about honouring local LGBTQIA+ legends and trailblazers, and calling on festival goers to imagine a bright future for everyone.
“For 45 years, the energy, vibrancy, and unity of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has made it a globally significant event. And each year, our commitment to bringing forth an even more fabulous celebration grows,” Sydney Mardi Gras CEO Gil Beckwith said in the media release announcing the festival lineup. “In 2024, we embrace our roots and look forward with eager anticipation to our future. Our mission is clear: to echo the voices of our communities, to champion progress and instigate impactful change.”
“Beyond the individual events, and there are many, the 2024 festival underscores our commitment to inclusivity, unity and remembrance. The 2024 Festival celebrates our past, our present and most crucially, the promising future we’re building. Here’s to another unforgettable Sydney Mardi Gras."
English singer-songwriter Sophie Ellis-Bextor is headlining the festival, performing at the iconic Bondi Beach Party on February 24. The festival includes events for all age groups and interests, with plenty of opportunities for Sydneysiders to get out and support the LGBTQIA+ community.
Here's everything we know about the 2024 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

When Is Mardi Gras 2024?

The 46th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival kicks off on Friday, February 16 with the celebrations continuing through until Sunday, March 3.
The two-week festival celebrates the entire LGBTQIA+ community and features over 100 community events, parties, concerts, drag shows, sporting events, family activities, markets, and comedy gigs, culminating with the iconic Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday, March 2.
This year's theme is 'Our Future', which calls on participants and festival goers to imagine a bold future for themselves and their community and bring it into fruition together. The line-up includes a wide range of events for all ages and tastes including comedy lovers, art enthusiasts, foodies, sports fans, families and those who can't wait to cheer on the floats during the parade.

Mardi Gras 2024 Highlights

Here's a wrap-up of some of the festival highlights:
- The 2024 Mardi Gras will commence at dawn on February 16 with Festival First Light, featuring a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony led by Aunty Nadeena Dixon in Taylor Square. The ceremony will be followed by a performance from the Buuja Buuja-Butterfly Dance Group. If you can’t make it to Taylor Square, you can also attend a Welcome to Country led by a queer First Nations elder at Bondi Beach, Victoria Park, Sydney Town Hall or Hordern Pavillion.
- Sophie Ellis-Bextor headlines the iconic Bondi Beach Party on Saturday, February 24.  The lineup also includes Slayyyter, Jay Jay Revlon, Lagoon Femshaymer, Corey Craig, Tyoow, Mama de Leche, and Beth Yen.
- Hot Trans Summer sets sail on Thursday, February 22. Curated by trans and gender diverse people for trans and gender-diverse people, this luxury party cruise features an all trans and gender diverse lineup including Neesha Alexander, Victoria Anthony, Yvngcweed, Bluberry Bakla, Fetu Taku and Willow Ick.
- The Queer Screen’s 31st Mardi Gras Film Festival will run from February 15 to 29, with 161 films and events held across the city at Event Cinemas (George Street and Hurstville), Ritz Cinemas Randwick, Dendy Cinemas Newtown, the Bearded Tit, Hayden Orpheum Cremorne, Westpac OpenAir Cinema, the Sydney Opera House and the State Library of NSW.
- Darlinghurst's Oxtravaganza will feature performances every night of the week including drag shows, cabaret, book readings, plus art exhibitions, nude drawing classes, design markets and more. There will also be a dedicated 'Family Zone' offering a range of activities including drag story time, painting and art making.
- The Minus18 Queer Formal returns in 2024 giving LGBTQIA+ young people the opportunity to dance the night away with their community and make new friends.
- Sveta Gilerman and Jess Hill are once again curating Ultra Violet, a day-to-night party for LGBTQIA+ women, featuring DJs and performances across two stages on Saturday, February 17.
- Laugh Out Proud returns to Enmore Theatre on February 23, with a fabulous lineup of queer comedians including AJ Lamarque, Aurelia St Clair and Steven Oliver.

Where Is The Parade?

The parade kicks off on Saturday, March 2 at 6pm at Hyde Park and finishes at Moore Park around 11pm.
Over 200 floats and 12,000 marchers will participate in the parade this year led as always by the beloved community elders and protectors -- Dykes on Bikes, the First Nations Community Float, and the 78ers.
You can find out more about the ticketed, free and accessible viewing areas on the Mardi Gras website.

Who Is Performing?

This year's official Mardi Gras Party will feature over 50 artists, 6 venues, 10,000 partygoers and 10 hours of dancing.
The entertainment includes an incredible lineup of local and international talent such as CeCe Peniston, Ultra Nate, Adam Lambert, Slayyyter and Cub Sport.
Australasia's biggest overnight LGBTQIA+ party will span six venues across Sydney's Entertainment Quarter and will feature house, techno, pop, electronica, nu-disco, club and R’n’B.
Outside of the main party, 'Murder on the Dancefloor' singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor will headline the Bondi Beach Party on Saturday, February 24.

Where Can I Watch The Parade On TV?

The ABC has the official broadcasting rights to the 2024 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Hosts Courtney Act and Mon Schafter, and presenters G Flip, Remy Hii, Mel Buttle and Jeremy Fernandez will be broadcasting live from the parade from 7:30pm on ABC TV and ABC iView.
You can plan your visit to the 2024 Mardi Gras celebrations here
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