butch mardi gras events
Image: BUTCH (supplied).
Entertainment

Sydney Mardi Gras events announced amid pandemic cancellations

The upcoming Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival season is set to include a host of exciting events, although some have been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the Mardi Gras flag-raising ceremony on Friday 19 February, fashion show and entertainment extravaganza BUTCH will celebrate masc-identifying women and non-binary and transmasculine people.

Comedy gala Laugh Out Proud will be held on Friday 26 February at the Enmore Theatre, showcasing a lineup of hilarious LGBTIQ+ performers.

Discussion sessions Queer Thinking, My Trans Story, and My Drag Story will be held both in person and online, featuring ideas and stories from people representing diverse parts of the community.

Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival will offer over 90 films, most of which will be available to watch online.  

Anticipated events that have had to be scrapped are The Party, Laneway, Pool Party, Kaftan Party, Sissy Ball, Family Fun Day, and Queer Art After Hours.  

“While we had looked towards the new year with hope that we could stage these events in a safe format, the reality is that hosting any dance party events would pose too much risk to the health and safety of our community if they were to go ahead,” organisers announced this week.

However, the events are only “paused”, with plans to bring them back to the season lineup in the future when safety permits.

The beloved highlight of the festival, this year’s Mardi Gras Parade will be held at the Sydney Cricket Ground instead of along its traditional Oxford Street route.

Limited capacity and physical distancing will help protect revellers from potential coronavirus transmission.

The 43rd annual parade will be held on the evening of Saturday 6 March and broadcast live nationally on SBS.

It will see 5,000 participants from over 100 LGBTIQ+ community groups showing off colourful costumes, puppetry, and props.

This year’s theme is ‘RISE’, calling on the community’s spirits to soar after the many challenges faced in 2020.

Mardi Gras organisers are planning additional events for later this year, with details to be revealed in the coming months.

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