2021 Mardi Gras Parade to be held at SCG

Participants take part in the 42nd annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday, 29 February, 2020. Photo: AAP Image/Paul Braven.

The 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade will be a ticketed event held at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in deference to Covid-19 safety for parade participants, spectators and the community at large, Mardi Gras organisers have announced.

While the SCG has a capacity of 48,000, the audience will capped at 23,000 and will stay seated to help ensure safety, while SBS will broadcast the event live, it was announced today. 

Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger said the theme of next year’s Mardi Gras, ‘Rise’, was borne out of the organisation’s response to the Covid-19 crisis.

“Mardi Gras has always been the epitome of creative expression through art and culture; two things severely impacted by Covid-19 this year,” Kruger said.

“So it was important to Mardi Gras that we rise to the occasion and to give the community the creative platform to express their pride to the world.”

Kruger said Mardi Gras had worked tirelessly with NSW Health to develop a Covid-safe plan to ensure the parade could occur, and that the SCG was an ideal location for the event.

“Not only is the SCG close to our spiritual home of Oxford Street, but it also provides the safest venue for us to hold the event and meet requirements of physical distancing and contact tracing,” he said.

“With a greater focus on community, our 2021 Parade will move away from large floats, centring instead on the outlandish pageantry of costumes, puppetry and props that make it such a phenomenon to witness,” he added.

Promotional video for the 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. Video: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras/YouTube.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore echoed Kruger’s sentiments.

“Mardi Gras will look different in 2021 but importantly it will give us the opportunity to come together safely and celebrate,” she stated in a media release today.

“Of course I look forward to the day when tens of thousands of Sydneysiders and visitors from around Australia and the world can gather on Oxford Street once more.”

Tickets to the 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade will go on sale at mardigras.org.au this Monday, 9 November. Tickets will cost $20 for adults, and $15 for concession tickets and children under 15, while Mardi Gras members will receive two complimentary tickets to the parade. 

Parade entry and parade volunteer applications will also open on Monday. 

Kruger today also announced a new Mardi Gras initiative called ‘Always On’. The plan will see Mardi Gras develop year-round events beyond the Oxford Street precinct. 

“While we are well known for our main annual event in Sydney, our surveying of the community has shown us that we can be so much more than a parade,” said Kruger. 

The Sentinel understands that ‘Always On’ will see future Mardi Gras events held in suburban Sydney and even regional NSW.

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