Sydney Mardi Gras: United together in style
By JESSICA BAHR
Revellers at the Mardi Gras Parade in Sydney. Photo: Anna Kucera
It’s time to dust off your brightest outfit, grab some glitter and get ready to boogie: Mardi Gras is back!
On Saturday, March 5, the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) will once again be lit up by a dazzling celebration of pride and self-expression for the world-famous Parade, the centrepiece of Mardi Gras season.
“For me, Mardi Gras is all about our community coming together, to reflect on our history, to showcase our talent, our culture and diversity, and to stand as one in support of those in our community who need us,” said Creative Director Travis Conneeley.
“To me, this is what Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras helps facilitate… I simply love the Festival, respect the history and seeing our community together shining bright each year.”
Each year, the iconic Parade both acts as a powerful protest and an electric celebration of a powerful and diverse community who come together to stand up for equal rights, showcase talent and demonstrate their passion.
Sydney Mardi Gras Creative Director Travis Conneeley
After a tough two years of events being constantly restructured, postponed, and even cancelled, for many members of the community the opportunity to come together is more important now than ever.
“I think like last year, you'll see this in the energy of our community and in the appreciation of being able to connect and express ourselves again,” Travis said.
“It's so important for us to come together like this, and recent events I feel have given us all a new appreciation for the festival.”
While some events, such as the famous Party have sadly been cancelled this year due to the pandemic, the team has worked to ensure the festival is bigger and better than ever, while still being as safe as possible.
This has included again hosting the Parade at the SCG rather than the traditional Oxford St, and postponing the glamorous Sissy Ball and pool parties until April.
“While both the organisation and I can't wait for the Parade to be back on the street, being in the SCG does present some unique opportunities, particularly for a Creative Director,” Travis said. “I'm super excited about the night and can't wait for all our community to shine bright, in the stadium and broadcast across the nation and world.”
Sissy Ball. Photo: Sydney Mardi Gras
Sydney’s Mardi Gras celebrations have certainly come a long way from humble beginnings in 1978, when a small group of protestors formed to contribute to the international Gay Celebrations.
The historic night became an iconic moment for both the LGBTQI+ community and Australia’s cultural heritage. In the years that followed, the event evolved into a world-famous celebration, and community members and allies began flocking to Sydney from interstate and overseas to partake.
This year’s packed program has spanned across theatre, visual arts, parties, community gatherings, panel discussions and more, featuring a combination of regular favourites and exciting new additions.
In 2022, the theme is ‘United We Shine’; a rallying call to stand up against hate and inequality, and a reminder that rising as a collective promotes a louder message of love and inclusion.
“This can be demonstrated in our history, in how we come together each year, and in the opportunity that coming together brings us in achieving positive outcomes for all our community,” Travis said. “I encourage you all to connect with your beautifully diverse community, be open to meeting new people and hearing their stories and perspectives. Stand up for each other. Only together can we make the future brighter for all our community.”
For more information about upcoming events including the popular Sissy Ball and pool parties, visit mardigras.org.au