Mardi Gras Sydney 2022: What’s On, and How to Watch the Parade at Home

Mardi Gras Sydney 2022: What’s On, and How to Watch the Parade at Home
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It’s that fabulous time of year again, friends. Mardi Gras season is upon us and Sydney’s iconic celebration of LGBTQIA+ pride is here. Sydney’s Mardi Gras festival for 2022 is back again, so if you’re wondering how you can get involved, we’re here to help with insights on everything from floats to live stream details.

Here’s your guide to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras events for the year:

The Mardi Gras Parade: When and where is it being held?

2022 sydney mardi gras parade
Sydney Mardi Gras Parade. Image supplied

The Mardi Gras Parade for 2022 will follow the course of 2021’s event. Instead of your standard floats with glitter-coated (sustainable, please!) audiences lining Oxford Street, the parade will be set at Sydney Cricket Ground again.

On Saturday, March 5 the ticketed event will see a group of performers fill the stadium with colour, costumes and stunning props. This year, 5,800 marchers across 161 parade entries will take to the field as an audience of 40,000 spectators cheer them on.

The festival theme for 2021 is UNITED WE SHINE, described as a message “signifying that LGBTQIA+ communities shine brighter together and by standing up against hate and inequality as a collective, the message of love and inclusion is heard louder”.

Which floats are appearing this year?

2022 Sydney Mardi Gras parade
Image supplied: Mardi Gras Parade, live stream

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade has shared a list of highlights from the upcoming parade’s floats. Here’s what they’ve got on offer so far.

Dykes On Bikes   Dykes On Bikes is Australia’s longest-running female-identified motorcycle club and one of the countries oldest LGBTQIA+ community groups since 1987. With over 40+ motorcycles, this group is set to roar in this year’s Parade with their impact and presence. Dykes on Bikes have been a long-standing leader and supporter in the LGBTQIA+ community who are always open to welcoming a diverse range of people to participate in their events.

First Nations ACON’s Aboriginal Project and BlaQ Aboriginal Corporation present the community-led First Nations entry, which will again lead the Parade’s opening. A favourite every year, the First Nations float is always a brilliant showcase of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQIA+ community.

I Just Want To Be Me   Schondelmaier, aka Marcia Switch, is an 80-year-old transgender woman who has dedicated her life to giving guidance and assistance to the LGBTQIA+ community. Switch has taken part in the Parade for many years, and this year is no different! Wearing a fibreglass dress, Marcia wants to break the age barrier and set an example within the younger generation that age is just a number!

Mrs Finger and her Prize Pig (Second Place) A regular Parade participant since 1994, Drag Queen Superstar Cindy Pastel and celebrated artist Gareth Ernst will walk the Parade as fabulous Mrs Brown from Bong Bong, showcasing her Prize Pig. This performance piece honours the pigs, ponies, cows, and sheep paraded at the Royal Easter Shows of past years.

PEACOCK MORMONS Peacock Mormons objective “Dare to do Different” embraces diversity and move the hearts of the entire community, regardless of religion, class, ethnicity and sexual identify or gender. Celebrating a powerful message “LOVE SHINES” this year, the group will walk the Parade dressed in 36 Pink Angels/Drag queens alongside Brad and Scott Harker (Founders) in a spectacular Pink Wedding attire and a massive train.

Princesses Of Mardi Gras 2022 Having participated in the last eight Mardi Gras Parades, Nurul Darlene Illyana will walk the Parade with six participants dressed in sequins, rhinestones and ruffled ballgowns. Representing the six colours of the LGBTQIA+ flag, Princesses of Mardi Gras 2022 will represent the LGBTQIA+ community to the world, letting them know “We are here and we shall not be unheard of anymore”.

The Fabulous Wonder Mama Wonder Mama is an all-round drag persona that has done many charity events and community events since 2014. This year, Wonder Mama will be wearing her classic superhero costume, bringing courage, joy, love and acceptance as their message through “SHINE LIKE HEROS”. Flying solo in the Parade, Wonder Mama will be entering the parade riding her three wheeled mobile scooter – The Mama Mobile.

The Itty Bitty Titty Committee A crowd favourite throughout the years, this friend group are ready to unite the love of Australians for ABBA, and a lesbian’s love for labia. Celebrating lesbian sexuality, the Itty Bitty Titty Committee will shine in stunning costumes and perform ‘SOS’ by ABBA while saluting the extraordinary emergency and frontline workers who have carried us through the pandemic.

Rainbow Rebellion Rainbow Rebellion is the Australian arm of Extinction Rebellion’s LGBTQIA+ group. Dressed up in red as politicians (including Scott Morison) and fossil fuel companies, the Rainbow Rebellion aims to highlight and unite queers and activists across the climate movement to take action NOW to prevent the worst effects of climate change. This year’s float is CODE RED for Humanity, which stems from the 2021 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5th report assessing the effects of climate change. The entry will feature queer activists from the environmental movement.

P-TYE (Parents for Transgender Youth Equity) P-TYE is a protest organisation of a group of parents and carers of transgender youth who seek to achieve equity for transgender kids through policy and legislative changes. This year’s float stands out with the key message “HELP US” and “PROMOTE TRANS YOUTH EQUITY”. The Parade will see mostly middle-aged parents in full black with white print stating “SUPPORT TRANS YOUTH”.

Everyday Ability   Everyday Ability Pty Ltd are an LGBTQIA+ owned business offering services on the Central Coast of NSW. Working on a solid policy of inclusion in their recruitment and programs, they deliver catering directly to LGBTQIA+ participants with disabilities; this year’s float focuses on “Rise and Shine Everyday”. Dressed up as mirrors in reflective clothing showcasing their ability to look back and shine a light on the past while we all still march forward, Everyday Ability is ready to face a new day!

Free Gay and Happy Free Gay and Happy (fgnhappy) is a social group of friends and friends of friends. Starting out as three fluffy bunnies on a stormy Parade day, wholly mesmerised, fgnhappy now have over 1,100 members. The group promotes the importance of mental health and the celebration of self. Parade participants will be dressed in personalised superman costumes, with each dancer carrying a Daily Planet Newspaper with the headline “Superman… I’m Coming Out!”

Who will be performing at the event?

There are a bunch of exciting performances slated for the 2022 Sydney Mardi Gras Parade. The organisers have announced that Darren Hayes will headline the event and is set to be joined by Vanessa Amorosi, The Wiggles, Mo’Ju, Timothy Springs, Prinnie Stevens, and local DJ’s KILIMI, Charlie Villas and Division 4.

How do I get tickets to the Sydney Mardi Gras?

Tickets for the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade are on sale now, you can get your hands on some for yourself here. Just maybe bring a raincoat, yeah?

How to live stream the Sydney Mardi Gras parade in 2022

Mardi Gras Sydney 2022: What’s On, and How to Watch the Parade at Home
Sydney Mardi Gras Parade live stream. Image Supplied

If you aren’t able to attend the parade this year, don’t panic. You can still tune into the glamour and glory of it all by watching the Mardi Gras via live stream at home.

The ABC will be airing the event across the below platforms:

  • ABC iview from 6:30 pm AEDT
  • ABC TV from 7:30 pm AEDT
  • triple j, including the triple j and ABC listen apps
  • ABC Local Radio Evenings from 7:00 pm

Hamish Macdonald will be joined by ABCQueer’s Mon Schafter and comedian Steven Oliver in anchoring the parade for your telly live stream of the 2022 Mardi Gras Parade.

ABC’s hosts presenting from the Parade itself include drag icon and TV personality Courtney Act, Australian Idol winner and performer Casey Donovan and ABC NEWS’ Jeremy Fernandez.

What other events and promotions are running?

Mardi Gras events
Big Rainbow Project. Image supplied: Tinder

Those familiar with Sydney Mardi Gras will know the event spans far beyond the parade alone. There are loads of exciting celebrations and activations across Sydney in the lead up to, and in some cases after, the big parade. Here are some standouts.

  • ‘The Adventures of Priscilla’ Drag N’ Dine: From now until March 6, The Imperial Hotel in Erskinville is hosting ‘The Adventures of Priscilla’ themed Drag N’ Dine events with a cast that includes Philmah Bocks, Art Simone, Jojo Zaho, Vonni, Polly Filla, Shelita Buffet, Hara Papoulias, Pashion Couture and more. Tickets for the dinner and show event start at $69.
  • The Taphouse and Elm Rooftop Bar all-day Mardi Gras party: The Taphouse and Elm Rooftop Bar in Darlinghurst, Sydney will be hosting an all-day event on March 5 starting with Drag (bottomless) Brunch at 11:00 am and culminating in a Parade watch party at 6:00 pm, followed by DJs and circus performances at 9:00 pm.
  • Queens Cross Hotel: Kings Cross Hotel has become the Queens Cross Hotel in honour of Sydney Mardi Gras and it’s celebrating the event with Maxi Shield Gayer than Gay trivia and Mardi Gras Bingo with Felicity Frockaccino. On Saturday, March 5 you’ll be able to watch the parade from the venue followed by an afterparty. Then, on March 6, partygoers can recover with the Queens Cross Hotel’s Golden Hour event.
  • Absolut and Heaps Gay present The Roast: What’s better than a classic Sunday roast? A queer Sunday roast. Absolut and Heaps Gay have become the dream team to present a Sunday filled with queer food, drinks, comedy and theatre from some of Sydney’s most iconic LGBTQIA+ talent. The menu boasts a four-course banquet curated by the award-winning chef, Anna Polyviou, with drinks curated by Absolut. The Roast is the perfect way to keep the celebrations going post-parade at The University of Sydney’s The Refectory on March 6. What’s even better is that 100% of ticket sales will be donated to ACON. You can get your tickets here.
  • Tinder’s Big Rainbow Project: Adding to the list of ‘big’ things across Australia, Tinder has unveiled its Big Rainbow Project landmark in Sydney Harbour. This is a temporary home for the Rainbow, with the dating app announcing a national call out to help decide where this installation should live permanently. This initiative will be paired with a $100,000 donation to regional community organisations to support programmes for the regional LGBTQIA+ community, also. Visit the website before April 10 to vote.
  • Spotify’s Voices of Mardi Gras: Spotify is spotlighting some of its leading podcasts and playlists fro the LGBTQ+ community, so if you’re need of something for your ears you can find a long list of entertaining options from pride-inspired playlists, to podcast episode selections curated by the likes of Mitchell Coombs, Bambi Fairy and Gassbagging.
  • Fairy ANZ partners with Minus18 and In The Round House: In an effort to encourage families to discuss sexuality and gender more openly, In The Round House has launched a new range of plates with conversation-starting quotes on them. Per a release on the collection, “the range contains four plates with questions printed on them, all aiming to encourage family discussions about important LGBTQIA+ topics and provide families with the support they need to engage in meaningful discussions”. Families can claim a free plate by visiting the website here, and for every plate claimed, Fairy will donate $20 to Minus18 to go towards its mission to improve the lives of LGBTQIA+ youth.
  • The Loud & Proud range at Dan Murphy’s and BWS stores:  Get yourself a tipple for a good cause. Dan Murphy’s and BWS has announced a new range of brightly-coloured drinks (spanning from wine to seltzer) called the Loud & Proud range. All profits from purchases within this range go to the Pride Foundation Australia.
  • Darrell Lea Loves Allsorts-inspired Lipstick: If you’re a fan of the Darrell Lea Liquorice All Sorts sweet treat, you can now take that love to a new level by wearing it on your face. Darrell Lea has paired up with The Lip Lab and has released a range of All Sorts inspired lipsticks. The limited-edition collection is available in 2 packs, each with three lipsticks and can be purchased on The Lip Lab website for AU$65.00. The best part is a portion of every lipstick pack sold will be donated to QLife, a free and anonymous Australia-wide LGBTIQ+ phone and webchat service for people who need support on issues including sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings and relationships.

Happy Mardi Gras, friends!

This article on the Sydney Mardi Gras for 2022 has been updated since its original publish date.

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