Everything you need to know about Mardi Gras 2024 - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Everything you need to know about Mardi Gras 2024

In Sydney for Mardi Gras? Here's everything going down.

Summer = festivals, and they’re in full swing RN. If you’ve stepped foot anywhere near a festival site this year, then you’ve probably had your fair share of long days, food truck grub, and poor quality shut-eye. But Mardi Gras, well that’s a whole other ball game.

Sydney will once again be transformed into a rainbow city this year to host the 2024 festival, which has become one of the biggest events in the Australian calendar spanning various different events, venues and landmarks. Running from February 16 through to March 3, organisers are adamant on maintaining a similar scale and range of events to enjoy what’s affectionately known as ‘queer Christmas’ – a celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community.


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As always, at the centre of festivities is the Mardi Gras parade. However, it’s not the only way to surround yourself with community: with over 100 events planned, here’s a selection to get involved with this Mardi Gras. Think international icons such as CeCe Peniston and Ultra Nate, as well as other celebrities like Adam Lambert and Slayyyter.

Check out our ultimate guide below.

Festival First Light

At dawn on February 16, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras will begin in Taylor Square with a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony led by Aunty Nadeena Dixon and followed by a performance from the Buuja Buuja-Butterfly Dance Group. You can also attend a Welcome to Country led by a queer First Nations elder at Bondi Beach, Victoria Park, Sydney Town Hall and Hordern Pavillion.

Find out more here.

The Mardi Gras parade

The most iconic of events, the official Mardi Gras parade, is something you have to see at least once in your lifetime. Make your way to Oxford or Flinders Street on Saturday March 2nd and you will see numerous floats with statement-making outfits and dance moves making their way down the main thoroughfare with a bunch of different viewing options open for the general public. It’s a bucket list moment.

Find out more here.

Official Mardi Gras party

As the last stiletto walks the parade, the Mardi Gras energy kicks on at the official Mardi Gras Party. This adult party playground is taking over Hordern Pavilion and five more surrounding venues at The Entertainment Quarter from 10pm to 8am on Saturday, March 2.

Grammy-nominated pop superstar Adam Lambert has been confirmed to lead the Mardi Gras Party lineup, joined by a whopping 150 other artists showcasing a hypnotic fusion of house, techno, pop, electronica, nu-disco, club, and R’n’B.

Find out more here.

Laugh Out Proud

Queer comedy’s night of nights comes in the form of Laugh out Proud – and it’s been a sell-out for the past four years in a row. Hosted by Zoë Coombs Marr, it’s night guaranteed to leave you in stitches thanks to the talents of comedians such as Aurelia St Clair, Eli Matthewson and Michelle Brasier.

Find out more here.

Queer Screen’s 31st Mardi Gras Film Festival

Screening 161 films across 77 programs from some of the most beloved cinemas in Sydney, every cinephile will find something to love at the 31st Mardi Gras Film Festival. The festival will open with the Sydney première of British neo-noir thriller Femme, and closes with Queer Lion winner Housekeeping for Beginners by acclaimed Australian filmmaker Goran Stolevski.

Find out more here.


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Bondi Beach Party: Sophie Ellis Bextor will headline this event on February 24.  Slayyyter, DJs Jay Jay Revlon, Lagoon Femshaymer, and Corey Craig along with Tyoow, Mama de Leche, and Beth Yen are also due to perform.

Sissy Ball: Now in its 6th year, Sissy Ball is always a Mardi Gras highlight and the biggest vogue ball in the Southern Hemisphere. Originally founded by Bhenji Ra, it’ll take place at Sydney’s Town Hall, and be led by Curator and Godmother of Australian ballroom, Kilia.

Hot Trans Summer: Curated for trans and gender diverse people, by trans and gender diverse people, and featuring an all trans and gender diverse lineup – set sail to to Glass Island on February 22. With music from Neesha Alexander, Victoria Anthony, Yvngcweed, and performances by Bluberry Bakla, Fetu Taku, and Willow Ick, this is one not to miss.

Ultra Violet: Sveta Gilerman and Jess Hill have curated a lineup designed by and for LGBTQIA+ women taking place at the National Art School on February 17. Headlined by MAY-A and featuring Estée Louder, DJ Sveta, Gemma, Kinky D, BVT, Jacqui Cunningham, Mirasia, and Kilimi.

Xaddy’s Tardi Gradi Big Boat Party: Xaddy’s Doorlist will host his annual (and sold out) boat party on February 17. Featuring artists like Ketia, Kilimi B2b Mirasia, Stev Zar, Haus of Ralph, Lynn, House of Silky and Habibitch.

Show Us Ya TipsNo phones, no shame, clothing optional. Angels Only presents Show Us Ya Tips with routines by professionals and amateurs, performing for tips. Bringing the queer, sex worker and local communities together at the Abercrombie February 29 to raise money for SWOP.

Mince OpenAir: House of Mince is linking up with the Ace Hotel for a sold out laneway dance on Sunday, March 3, featuring COZi, Boris, Kevin Aviance, MikeQ and Mince Angels.

Heaps GayHeaps Gay returns to Manning Bar for its Mardi Gras party on March 2.

Pavlovabar Mardi Gras Closing Party: Get your ass to Kinselas from 10pm, Sunday, March 3 and dance to Bashkka, Bertie, Boris, Goat Spokesperson, and Mykki Blanco.

Heaps Gay x GiRLTHING: Head to the Abercrombie for post Fair Day festivities. From 4pm until 2am.

Unknown Pleasures: There are still tickets left to House of Mince’s Mardi Gras party on March 2 at UTS. Featuring Baschoe, Deepa, Gillielove, Deep Faith, House of Juicy Sle, and more.

What is Mardi Gras and why is it celebrated?

Now a month of pride in Australia, where the LGBTIQA+ community can celebrate love, community and queerness without shame or fear, the history of Mardi Gras hasn’t always been so bright,

After a collection of global anti-LGBTQIA+ attacks, American activists called for an International Day of Gay Solidarity on June 24, 1978. Australian activists joined, and mobilised to orchestrate a day of marches and in the evening police met the protesters with violence.

In the months following, more protests and arrests continued, until April 1979, when the Parliament of New South Wales repealed the NSW Summary Offences Act legislation that had allowed the original arrests to be made. It was a huge win for civil rights in Australia, and every year since the Mardi Gras celebrations have only increased.

What date is Sydney Mardi Gras in 2024?

In 2024, the 46th Sydney Mardi Gras celebrations will kick off on Friday, February 16 and continue through to Sunday, March 2.

Find out more about the official Mardi Gras Party and get tickets over here.

This article was originally published on Womenshealth.com.au.

By Nikolina Ilic

Nikolina is the former Digital Editor at Men's Health Australia, responsible for all things social media and .com. A lover of boxing, she has written for Women's Health, esquire, GQ and Vogue magazine.

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