One of the last big events in memory, before the pandemic shut everything down, was the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade. And now it’s fitting that Mardi Gras will also be the first internationally significant event to return post-pandemic.
Although 2021’s Mardi Gras is going to look a bit different. In order to ensure the safety of all involved, the parade will be held at the Sydney Cricket Ground on March 6, 2021. The event will be capped at 23,000 audience members who will be seated in accordance with social distancing measures.
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Mardi Gras will take over the @scg for our COVID-Safe PARADE on Saturday 6 March 2021.
Applications open and ticket sales start Monday! #MardiGras2021
— Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras (@sydneymardigras) November 5, 2020
“The team at Mardi Gras have worked tirelessly with NSW Health to develop a COVID Safe event plan to ensure the Parade can go forward and we’re excited by the prospect of staging the event at the SCG. Not only is the SCG close to our spiritual home of Oxford Street, but it also provides the safest venue for us to hold the event and meet requirements of physical distancing and contact tracing.” Said Albert Kruger, Mardi Gras CEO.
“With a greater focus on community, our 2021 Parade will move away from large floats, centring instead on the outlandish pageantry of costumes, puppetry and props that make it such a phenomenon to witness.”
Tickets go on sale on Monday November 9 from the Mardi Gras website, starting at $20 per adult. That is next Monday folks, so get in quick because tickets are sure to be hot property. For those who can’t make it in person, SBS will once again be broadcasting the entire parade live.
The theme for 2021 is ‘RISE’ to reflect the challenge and hardship that 2020 has brought upon us all. Mardi Gras is using this theme as a call to action to rise again through love, compassion, respect and understanding.
Mardi Gras is working with NSW Health on new COVID-safe plans to see if other popular events, such as Fair Day, can take place in 2021. Mardi Gras has also formed a new vision out of the pandemic titled Always On. It will see Mardi Gras develop year-round initiatives to provide a platform for the LGBTQI+ community to celebrate, share experiences and provide support.
“While we are well known for our main annual event in Sydney, our surveying of the community has shown us that we can be so much more than a parade,” said Kruger. “Our vision of Always On will see us rise to community expectations and provide year-round opportunities for the LGBTQI+ community to have their voices heard.”
Anyone interested in entering or volunteering for the Mardi Gras can apply from November 9.