Mardi Gras, Sydney
Sunset on Saturday March 6th 2004 and a crowd of 600,000 lines the Golden Mile of Oxford Street cheering drag queens, dykes on bikes, leather bears, buff boys, gay parents with their kids, gay and lesbian school children and many more as, for this night of nights, we take over the city and celebrate the diversity of gay, lesbian transgender and bisexual life and culture...
...by 11pm you are on the dancefloor with 17,000 friends at the biggest gay and lesbian dance party in the world. Renowned for it spectacular shows, astonishing lighting and very friendly crowds. A Party with something for everyone.
Held in March annually, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is something of a spectacle for both straights and gays alike. The parade is always one of the most over the top and elaborate of any parade held throughout the world, and usually filled with political statements also. You need to get in early and find a spot to watch before the crowds converge, but if you find a decent viewpoint it is something, though at times unsual to see. Sydney's party scene lifts up a notch on this one night of the year and revellers can be found whistle blowing and dancing the streets long after the actual parade.
This is a definate must see for people of all sexual orientations. (though I would probably leave my kids at home)
The parade is a night time parade, loads of fun and crazy costumes.
Afterwards there is a dancing in a fairgrounds with 4 or 5 different venues featuring different themes and types of music. There are huge production stage shows, light shows and some big name pop stars.
Don't expect to get home before 4pm the next day.
If you can, try to plan your visit around the Sydney Mardi Gras, end of February every year. Its a fantastic event, the parade is full of colours, fantastic outfits, and just general happiness! Then there are the after parties too. Good viewing all the way down Oxford Street of the parade.
If you're travelling to Sydney around the start of March, this is definitely a top priority on your 'must-see' list! Held on the first Saturday in March. The parade officially starts at 7:45pm.
The parade on Oxford Street is simply amazing, but be warned - the street fills up quick and getting prime position is of utmost importance! (otherwise you'll be watching the back of someone's head all night!)
If you hate crowds, perhaps this is not the place for you. It has become a very popular event not just in Sydney but also around Australia and worldwide!
There's singing and dancing and loud music and best of all thousands of people donning weird and wonderful costumes and exciting floats of a variety of colours and shapes.
After the parade there is an after-party at Fox Studios (reservations needed). But you can also party right on Oxford Street as tennants set up huge speakers on their balcony and the crowd dances through the night!
A word of advice: bring your own food/drink as the pubs and restaurants get filled up quite fast as soon as night starts to fall. And if possible take a plastic chair and/or stool! (Or pay AU$10+ for one at the parade!)
I'd reccommend to arrive in the afternoon some time to secure a seat (around 3-4pm), but bring along some food and drinks and good friends so you can pass the hours away in a friendly atmosphere. Don't forget the sunglasses!
If you are in Sydney in late February - early March, you need to see the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. This, supposedly, is the largest festival of it's kind in the world.
This is an amazing event and worth seeing. In recent years, they have estimated that there have been more than half a million spectators.
For about a month, there are all sorts of things to celebrate diversity in general and the homosexual culture specifically. There are fairs, films, live theater and street performances, and all sorts of things. The end of this is a gigantic parade down Oxford Street that lasts for hours. It's a spectacle - floats, dancing, "dykes on bikes". Parents will march with their gay kids, kids march with their gay parents - whatever. It's inspiring -- not to mention a hell of a party -- no matter whatever orientation you are.
The glamorouse underbelly if Sydney show's it's well made-up face every March.
Nearly one million people - gay, straight, families, grandmothers and tourists alike - line Oxford Street to see the parade which can include up to 10,000 people.
It's loud, fun, witty and very, very Sydney.
It's the biggest party in the world and the best!
This is one of the biggest Mardi Gras celebrations in the world, outdoing even Rio. This year it drew half a million people. Don't miss it! I had the amazing good fortune to be in Sydney for it. I didn't plan it, it was just sort of a coincidence, but I'm so glad I was. It was truely amazing to be at the biggest party in the world. It was such a sensory experience. Don't be turned off by the whole LBG thing. It was an extremely diverse crowd with persons of ALL sexual orientations well represented. I have two words of advice: milk crates!