Things to do

9 ways to make the most of Mardi Gras

Sydney's biggest LGBTIQA+ celebration takes over our city in style from 16 February.

Mardi Gras Image: Photographer, City of Sydney. E.g. Juanita Nielsen Community Centre. Image: Katherine Griffiths, City of Sydney.
MardiGras18-highres-0744 (Large)

1. Festival First Light

As the sun peaks over the horizon on the first day of the 2024 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival, Rainbow Elders from Gadigal, Bidjigal, and Birrabirragal land will conduct 5 simultaneous Welcome to Country and Smoking ceremonies.

Friday 16 February
Various locations around Sydney
Free Event

2. Queer Screen

With over 155 LGBTIQA+ films screening in cinemas across Sydney, including at the iconic Sydney Opera House, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Expect world, Australian and Sydney premieres with plenty of conversation-starting and continuing films.

15-29 February
Various locations around Sydney

3. Catch a superstar at the Sissy Ball

Sissy Ball is Australia’s largest vogue ball. This celebration of self-expression and identity is inspired by New York City’s vogue ballroom scene. Entrants will compete to take out titles for dance, movement, fashion and flair. There’s live music, DJs and performing artists.

Saturday 24 February
Sydney Town Hall
Tickets start from $75

4. Oxtravaganza

Supporting small business, this 2-week celebration of Oxford Street will be jam-packed with performances every night of the week from drag shows to cabaret, book readings to sweaty disco nights. Experience art exhibitions, life drawing classes, design markets and more.

16 February-2 March
Free and ticketed

5. Laugh Out Proud

From start to skit this is a night of guaranteed laughs so don't dilly dally on tickets to queer comedy's night of nights where you'll hear from some of the community's favourite names in comedy.

Friday 23 February
Enmore Theatre
Tickets from $69

6. Queer Futures

Queer Futures is a collection of talks and ideas, discussions and keynotes designed to make you think about the challenges of our present and the opportunities of our future.

Over 2 days of passionate conversation, we’ll explore bold new possibilities, ancient wisdom, bright ideas and avenues for creative collaboration. With conversations ranging from sport to the arts, politics and education, Queer Futures will inspire with diverse voices and LGBTIQA+ innovation.

24-25 February
National Art School
Tickets start from $39

7. Rainbow families storytime

Come and join us for an inclusive event featuring singing and storytelling to celebrate Mardi Gras highlighting LGBTIQA+-themed stories of love, family, community, and friendship.

The storytime will be led by our library team and followed by a craft activity for all to enjoy.

13 and 27 February at Kings Cross Library
22 February at Green Square Library
6 March at Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre
Free but bookings essential

8. The Two Queers Comedy Festival

Your funny gals the Two Queers (unofficially known as Brendan Hancock and Jenna Suffern) are putting on a dang queer comedy festival for the festival.

Friday 16 February
Paddington Town Hall
Tickets from $37

9. Stake a spot and watch the parade

Make your way to Oxford or Flinders Street early to secure a good spot to see the parade in person! Over 200 floats from every corner of our communities will fill Oxford Street, Flinders Street and Anzac Parade with music and magic.

Saturday 2 March
Oxford St, Darlinghurst

That’s just a taste of what’s on this Mardi Gras.

Published 1 February 2024, updated 22 February 2024