Since 1978, Sydney has been celebrating the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. It has become an iconic and beloved series of events that encourages visitors from near and far to participate and celebrate.

In 2018, the program is full of joyous festivities and thought-provoking exhibits. Here are some of the highlights.

If you have come to Sydney to celebrate #MardiGras40, tweet us @7travel to tell us what is the highlight for you!

Thursday 15 February - Thursday 1 March: Queer Screen Film Festival

Celebrating its 25th year, Queer Screen is showing an incredible variety of international films as well as classic LGBTQI films. Many of these films have premiered to excellent reviews at other renowned festivals, such as Cannes. Whether drama, comedy, documentary, or something in between appeals to you most, we recommend checking out the entire roster to find the right film to challenge or inspire you.

Friday 16 February - Sunday 4 March: Museum of Love & Protest

Sydney’s own National Art School in Darlinghurst hosts an immersive exhibition displaying 40 years of protest, pride and passion. The exhibit itself is an expertly curated collection of rarely-seen video footage, artefacts, music, storytelling, and more.

On Friday and Saturday nights, the exhibit takes on new life as Mardi Gras personalities entertain and educate visitors on the history of Mardi Gras. And on 3 March, a special Parade Day Bar will be open and serving from 12-6pm.


Monday 26 February: Pool Party

The ultimate end-of-summer celebration, the Pool Party at Ivy Pool Club is a glamorous, raucous celebration. From cabana lounges to signature cocktails to an array of DJ sets, this party is like a summertime fantasy come true.

Saturday 3 March: Parade

The pinnacle event! The Mardi Gras Parade is a celebration in technicolour. With more than 200 groups and floats putting their messages of love, pride, respect on display and performing with tangible passion, this is a show that’s not to be missed.

Catch the Parade from 7-11pm. While the VIP viewing experiences are sold out already, head to Darlinghurst’s Oxford Street early and snag a spot on the sidelines.

Sunday 3 March: Party

This year, the guest of honour is none other than LGBTQI icon herself Cher. She will be joined by other international and local DJs and performers. The Party takes place at the Playbill Venues - Fox Studios in Moore Park and keeps the energy up and running until after sunrise Sunday morning.

Photo Credit: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Facebook