Out & About Sydney: March 2021

The Sydney St Patrick's Day Festival will take over The Rocks on Sunday, 21 March – one of many big events to be held in Sydney this month. Photo: Sydney St Patrick's Day Parade & Festival/Facebook.


March signals the beginning of autumn, but as every Sydneysider knows, it’s the best season in our fair city. Yes, even better than summer! For a start, Sydney bursts in sparkling celebration as the whole city is taken over by Mardi Gras – Australia’s biggest LGBTQI+ celebration which culminates in a parade that, this year, will be held at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

And that’s just the tip of the cultural iceberg. March also features International Women’s Day, St Patrick’s Day celebrations, Sydney’s vibrant Greek Festival and of course March is Art Month in Sydney! So let’s get stuck into our curated list of highlights from the bevy of exciting events on offer.

Amazing art & exhibitions

Thursday, 4 March – Sunday, 28 March, 2021
Various locations, Sydney

March is Art Month in Sydney. Art Month is a city-wide, not-for-profit festival of contemporary art produced by the Australian Art Events Foundation, that celebrates art, artists and galleries through a rich and diverse program of exhibitions, workshops, panel discussions, artist studio visits, tours, precinct nights, parties and more. Explore Sydney’s thriving creative spaces and connect with and support our city’s diverse community of artists.

More info & full program:

Until Sunday, 18 April, 2021
The Museum of Sydney, 10 Macquarie St, Sydney

In Narcissus Garden by Yayoi Kusama, one of the most significant artists of the 20th century, mirrored balls reflect each other and their onlookers, creating an infinitely recurring web in which the surrounding visible world is trapped and perpetuated. Evoking the mythological figure of Narcissus, this work allows viewers to see themselves and the world around them.

More info & bookings:

Narcissus Garden (detail), Yayoi Kusama, 1966/2002. Photo: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA/Sydney Living Museums/Facebook.

National Art School, Cnr Burton & Forbes Streets, Darlinghurst
Until Sunday, 7 March, 2021

SKIN DEEP is an interactive exhibition that presents intimate and personal stories of LGBTQI+ people through their tattooed bodies and stories, celebrating diversity, defiance and body art. The exhibition is made up of several unique components, presented as one integrated audience experience or as separate experiences. LGBTQI+ community participation is central to all components of SKIN DEEP – as narrators, models, story tellers and performers. This exhibition is restricted to people aged 18+ and contains nudity.

More info:

Classes, talks & workshops

Sydney Park Pavilion, Euston Road, Sydney Park
10am – 12.30pm Sunday, 13 March, 2021

Whether it’s just a sunny window sill, a tiny patch of garden or an apartment balcony, If you’ve ever wanted to activate what little space you’ve got into a beautiful and practical garden, these are the workshops for you! Sydney City Farms is an initiative in collaboration with the City of Sydney which aims to create enjoyable and functional green spaces in our urban jungle. Tickets are $75 to attend and include all materials – so get your green thumbs ready! And if you can’t make it to the Sydney Park session this month, there will be another one at Green Square Library in June.

More info & bookings::

11 Cliff Rd, Epping, NSW 2121
Various dates, March – October 2021

Learn how to make vegetarian/vegan dumplings (named momos in Tibet) at this fun cooking class in Sydney! Suitable for beginners, this class will guide you step-by-step in how to make matcha vegan dumplings, which are both healthy and delicious! You will learn the various wrapping techniques to ‘wow’ your family, loved ones and friends. All the handmade vegan dumplings will be served with tomato chutney. Best of all, at the end of this fun and hands-on class, you can feast on your delicious vegan dumplings! Bookings are $70-$85, and payment in instalments is available through AfterPay.

More info & bookings:

Learn how to make Tibetan vegan dumplings (pictured) at this fun cooking class in Sydney. Photo: Class Bento.

Festival fun

From 6.30pm Friday, 5 March, 2021
Enmore Theatre, 118-132 Enmore Road, Newtown

For the first time in its 39-year history, Sydney’s iconic annual Greek Festival is going indoors. Covid restrictions means an outdoor festival of its usual scale can’t go on, but the show certainly can. A massive (and free!) celebration of all aspects of Greek culture, this year’s festival will be held at the Enmore Theatre, with live music, an unveiling of the 2021 arts and cultural programme, and performances by George Doukas (and the D Strings) and Iho Nyx.

Bookings: https://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=GREEKFES21&fbclid=IwAR2SAI2k8y–qZFoek-8DYm0oKry7vscvwCIsfAkK_Dx_FPANWCFAKCqbc0

The Rocks, Sydney
11am-6pm Sunday, 21 March, 2021

To be sure, to be sure, the St Patricks Day Festival celebrates the patron Saint of Ireland with a parade, market stalls and heaps of fun activities that centre around The Rocks. Enjoy live music, entertainment and traditional Irish dancing right in Sydney’s heritage heart. There’s traditional fare and cold Green Guinness on tap. Then head to the park to enjoy the official festival bar, live entertainment, traditional foodie fare, craft stores and more. Be sure to secure a seat early, as most people arrive and stay the whole day!

Full program & bookings:

The Sydney St Patrick’s Day Festival and Tourism Ireland will partner to turn the famous Sydney Opera House sails green on St Patrick’s Day, Wednesday, 17 March. The official Sydney St Patrick’s Day Festival will be held several days later in The Rocks on Sunday, 21 March. Photo: Sydney St Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival/Facebook.

International Women’s Day

Sydney Opera House, Sydney
10.30am – 8.15pm Sunday, 7 March, 2021

The All About Women event celebrates ideas and themes around feminism and empowerment for women both in Australia and internationally. Celebrate International Women’s Day with an unmissable one-day program of talks, panels, films, workshops, and contemporary art exploring themes of identity, history, technology, resilience, feminist futures, sex work, mindfulness, power, cinema and more as they intersect with the female experience.

More info & bookings:

All About Women 2021 will be held on Sunday, 7 March. Video: Sydney Opera House/YouTube.

Various Locations in Sydney
Monday, 8 March, 2021

Sydney celebrates International Women’s Day with diverse program of events including exhibitions, workshops, meetups, conferences, parties and social gatherings and a whole lot more.

Full program:

Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras – plus related celebrations, parades, parties & protests

The Red Rattler, 6 Faversham Street, Marrickville
From 7pm, Thursday 4 March, 2021

Join Pride In Protest on the Thursday night before their big protest march on Oxford Street, and experience a stunning night of performance by queer artists and allies to raise funds for the march where they’ll be demanding our rights loudly and proudly on the afternoon of Mardi Gras.

If you can’t make it to the fundraiser, or missed out on tickets but still want to contribute, you can donate online to their Chuffed fundraiser.

More info & bookings:

From 2pm, Saturday 6 March, 2021
Oxford Street, Darlinghurst/Surry Hills

This bold political march aims to take over the hallowed Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade route of Oxford Street, campaigning around a number of key concerns, including: the so-called Religious Discrimination Bill, mandatory detention and forced deportation of refugees, black deaths in custody, alleged over-policing of queer and Indigenous communities, and calls for the full decriminalisation of sex work in every Australian state and territory. Organisers say their action represents “pride without compromise, created for and by the community”, promising a peaceful yet vocal Mardi Gras season protest bearing the message, “No Cops, No Corporations, No Conservatives”, targeting organisations and ideologies they say oppose the values and interests of queer communities.

The event is free and open for anyone to attend and participate, however it is strongly recommended that you register your participation (for Covid safety reasons) here: https://forms.gle/Kz777sUembiqvzgj7

From 6pm Saturday, 6 March, 2021
Sydney Cricket Ground, Driver Avenue, Moore Park

Take your seats for a spectacular celebration of pride, protest, passion and diversity. Experience one of Sydney’s most iconic and notorious events – Mardi Gras – like you’ve never seen it before, in one of our most iconic venues. For the 43rd Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, the Sydney Cricket Ground will be transformed into a sparkling Covid-safe showcase of LGBTQI+ culture, community and corporate floats. Witness a colourful cavalcade starring 5000 paraders from over 100 LGBTQI+ community groups, with a crowd of over 40,000 cheering them on!

More info & bookings:

The 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras media launch at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Sunday, 8 November, 2021. Photo: Ann-Marie Calilhanna.

From 6pm, Saturday 6 March, 2021
Cafe Freda’s, 191-195 Oxford St, Darlinghurst

An indoor/outdoor seated soireé offering food, wine and loads of performances! Dress your best and come celebrate Mardi Gras on Oxford Street, the spiritual home of the Mardi Gras Parade. This Mardi Gras viewing event occurs as part of an ongoing partnership between Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Facebook Australia; an initiative that will support hospitality venues, small businesses and LGBTQI+ performers. Bookings are essential. Outdoor seating must be purchased as a table of four which includes a bottle of pétillant naturel and a gourmet food platter. Food and beverages are not included with the indoor tickets.

More info & bookings:

7.30pm – 11.30pm Saturday, 6 March, 2021
The Moshpit, 642a King Street, Newtown

QAF is back with yet another interstellar, world class line-up of queer/gender diverse talent to celebrate Mardi Gras! With epic live performances from queer electro-rock stars Gaia Rising; grunge goddesses Second Idol; solo sets from RavxN, Bradd Edwards, Martin Charles Badway and Beck Fielding; plus drag performances from the likes of Antonio Mantonio, Euthanasian, Greta Garbage, George Dykeal and Dorian Blue – and a very special guest solo performance from the spectacular Ms Bianca River Moon. Tickets to the physical event are sold out, but you can still reserve your live streaming pass to watch this fantastic night of entertainment.

All funds raised go to Twenty10, providing specialised services for LGBTIQ+ young people 12-25 including housing, mental health, counselling, and social support.

More info & live-stream tickets:

5pm – 10pm, Sunday 7 March, 2021
Darlo Bar Rooftop, Darlo Bar, 306 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst

So you’ve celebrated Mardi Gras, but you still have plenty of party left in you? Well then this could be the perfect event for you. Darlo Bar is a gem, and the perfect post Mardi Gras place to reconvene with your mates and shake off that glitter.

More info:

From 6.30pm Sunday, 7 March, 2021
Home Nightclub, 101/1–5 Wheat Street, Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour, Sydney

Featuring unexpected moments, stunning artistic shows and more than a few laughs, IN BED@HOME is a groundbreaking event for the Sydney nightlife scene, in which an entire nightclub is being transformed into an immersive, daring dreamscape of interactive live music, performance and entertainment. This is a nightclub like you’ve never seen, with queen size beds for guests to recline, relax and enjoy dazzling entertainment custom-choreographed for the event, complete with champagne and bedside service. Hosted by club chameleon and creator of Obsessed Boylesque, Rhys Lightning, Pretty Masc features a knockout lineup of entertainers, including the jaw-dropping pole stylings of Blue Phoenix, the drag sensation Twiggy Styx, unforgettable circus performances by Marlena Dalí and much more!

More info & bookings:

Terrific theatre & performance

Until Saturday, 6 March, 2021
New Theatre, 542 King Street, Newtown

When Jonathan Harvey wrote this tender, open-hearted play about two damaged boys and the love that heals them, the age of consent for gay sex in the UK was still 21, it was illegal to ‘promote’ homosexuality in schools, and civil unions and same-sex marriage weren’t even on the radar.

Yet, nearly 30 years on, it still holds remarkable power, because so much of what it explores is timeless: discovering your sexuality, finding love and acceptance, fighting your demons, surviving against the odds, being an outsider and the importance of community.

What better way to celebrate Mardi Gras than with this funny, irreverent, deeply human coming-of-age story, an urban fairy tale for our times?

More info & bookings:

Until Sunday, 23 May, 2021
Capitol Theatre, 13 Campbell Street, Haymarket

It’s without doubt that Disney animation Frozen is an international phenomenon loved by children and adults alike. This film has been beautifully translated to the stage in a huge production, packed full of the Broadway-style hits and visuals, sure to captivate and entertain. If you’re a fan of the film, you’re going to love this show!

More info & bookings:

Frozen The Musical promo video. Video: Disney Australia & New Zealand/YouTube.

Joynton Avenue Creative Centre, 3a Joynton Avenue, Zetland
From 6pm various Fridays, until 26 March, 2021

The Sydney Improvised Music Association has joined forces with 107 Projects at Zetland’s Joynton Avenue Creative Centre and together they are fielding a bunch of brilliant artists at a pop-up live music club spread across five steamy Friday nights across February and March in the brand new Green Square precinct.
Friday, 12 March: Eamon Dilworth and Crawfish Po’ Boys
Friday, 26 March: Mary Heart Trio
Cost: $10–$15

More info & tickets:

Until Saturday, 27 March, 2021
Hayes Theatre Co., 19 Greenknowe Ave, Potts Point

Hayes Theatre Co. presents the Australian premiere of this brilliantly kooky musical comedy, adapted by comic genius Mel Brooks (The Producers, Blazing Saddles) from his 1974 American comedy horror film. Scientist Frederick Frankenstein – grandson of the infamous scientist – travels reluctantly to Transylvania where he has inherited his family estate. Before long, he finds himself back in the mad scientist shoes of his ancestor, and with the help of hunchbacked sidekick Igor and yodelling lab assistant Inga, he brings to life a new creature to rival his grandfather’s. But this time, when the monster escapes, absolute hilarity ensues.

Young Frankenstein has all the panache and quick-fire humour of the screen sensation, with a little extra theatrical flair. Featuring songs like ‘The Transylvania Mania’ and the immortal ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’, Young Frankenstein is scientifically proven, monstrously good entertainment.

More info & bookings:

3pm Sunday, 14 March, 2021
The Performance Space @ St Aidan’s, 1 Christina Street, Longueville

Did you kiss your mum goodbye today? Some goodbyes are more permanent than others. Deeply touching, hilariously dark at times and with beautifully sung original music, See You Later Mum is a cross generational love letter about hopes, dreams and destiny told through the lives, loves and loss of three women. See You Later Mum is a 55 minute original theatre work written and performed by Christine Firkin and Kay Proudlove, and directed by Brent Thorpe. Check it out in this show near Lane Cove before it formally premieres in the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

More info:


Promotional image for See You Later Mum. Photo: Exist Images/supplied.

Wednesday, 24 March – Sunday, 28 March, 2021
Darlinghurst Theatre Company, 39 Burton St, Darlinghurst

Winner of the Green Room Award for Cabaret, Reuben Kaye is what happens when you tell your children they can be anything. This firecracker of an artist isn’t just filthy, funny, smart and gorgeous – he is as talented as they come. Kaye’s offering is part runway show and part mental breakdown in his journey to the centre of attention, featuring divine costumes, makeup, a band and excessive amounts of glitter. This theatrical work for Darlinghurst Theatre is a ‘statement piece’ about a world where experts are derided and it’s not so in vogue to have smarts. The show is a rich cultural critique layered with word play, double and single entendre all delivered at the speed of a corporate entity co-opting pride (i.e very fast!). An absolute must see!

More info & bookings:

Unique cinema

Various venues
Until Thursday, 4 March, 2021

Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival is back again in 2021 featuring 60+ cinema screenings at the Randwick Ritz, Hayden Orpheum, Event Cinemas in George Street and Hurstville and even special Moonlight Cinema screenings in Centennial Park. In fact, it began there on February 18 with Irish comedy Dating Amber at Moonlight Cinema.

In a big change this year, dozens of films will also be available on-demand, meaning people not only in Sydney but across Australia will be able to take many of the films online. 

Festival highlights include The Thing About HarryAmmoniteTwo of UsBring Down The WallsNo Hard Feelings and the Australian premiere of Milkwater, presented by the Sydney Sentinel at Event Cinemas George Street, to name just a few. Check out the brilliant program to find out all about them and more.

More info & full program:

Trailer for the 2021 Mardi Gras Film Festival. Video: queerscreen/YouTube.

2 – 10 Darling Drive, Darling Harbour, Sydney
Until Sunday, 21 March, 2021

Darling Harbour becomes a lavish floating cinema on the water with Mov’in Boat, boasting a diverse program of hit films shown on the waters’ edge on a 4K 15-metre HD screen. Rent your own rowboat to watch from (for two to four people) for $119.90, or comfy day beds on the floating pontoon (2 people for $99.90, 3 for $109.90), or if you have your own boat it’s $50 to watch from there.

More info:

Full program & tickets:

Ritz Cinemas, 45 St Paul’s Street, Randwick
Until Thursday, 24 March, 2021

The Jewish International Film Festival (JIFF) celebrates extraordinary Jewish-themed film in a diverse program from around the globe, including the opening night feature film Incitement – an exhilarating award-winning drama about the assassination of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin; Holocaust-era film Persian Lessons, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival; the Australian Premiere of the first three episodes of the new season of Shtisel; and rousing documentaries about Jewish changemakers Menachem Begin, George Soros and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

More info & full program:

Ritz Cinemas, 45 St Paul’s Street, Randwick
Friday screenings until 4 June, 2021

Ritz Cinemas Randwick will be celebrating the extraordinary, multiple Academy Award-winning Coen Brothers with a bonanza retrospective of their films, including their biggest hits Fargo and No Country for Old Men. Screenings are on Friday nights, with a massive season from 5 February all the way through to 4 June, 2021.

More info & full program:

Official trailer for the 1996 cult classic Cohen Brothers film, Fargo. Video: OldSchoolTrailers/YouTube.

North Sydney Oval, 5 Fig Tree Lane, St Leonard’s Park, North Sydney
Until Saturday, 3 April, 2021

Beautiful vistas offered by the historic North Sydney Oval form the backdrop for screenings at Sunset Cinema. Gates open at 6.30pm, with screenings commencing at sundown and a range of food and beverages available. 

It’s a wonderful program of new hits and loved cult classics. Program highlights include include Wonder Woman 1984Roald Dahl’s The WitchesPromising Young WomanStar Wars (the original) and Spirited Away, to name just a few.

Tickets range from $14 to $20 with add on options. Screening Wednesday to Saturday till 3 April, 2021.

More info & full program:

Belvedere Amphitheatre, Broome Avenue, Centennial Parklands, Centennial Park
Until Sunday, 4 April, 2021

A BYO event, you can pack you own picnic blanket and basket of goodies to enjoy on the lawns, or partake of the offerings of the food trucks and licensed bar on site. There are also bougie Good Class options with waiter service right to your plush bean bag. Posh!

There are a stack of great film hits to choose from to suit anyone. Notable are the Steven Spielberg retrospective series and special screenings for the Mardi Gras Film Festival.

More info & full program:

Please note: all details believed correct at time of publication. It is recommended that you check details online before attending events. The Sentinel assumes no responsibility for errorsevent cancellations, time and/or date amendments, or any other inaccuracies or changes.