A Sydney Sundaylicious at last

Cass Greaves (pictured_ will be playing and spinning at Sundaylicious. Image: supplied.

Sundaylicious is a monthly queer event in Melbourne that has garnered countless avid fans. Now, after 12 years of begging, organiser Julie MacKenzie has heeded the call to bring the event to Sydney. She spoke with arts and entertainment editor Rita Bratovich about what we can expect.

When Julie MacKenzie launched an all-female event called Pinkalicious in Melbourne over 12 years ago, she felt the vibe was so awesome it simply had to be shared with a wider audience. So Pinkalicious morphed into Sundaylicious, all genders were invited, and the event became a block-out day on queer calendars across the city and beyond.

It begins at 3pm with mood music and an easy feel, then ramps up to high energy beats until midnight.  

“We have acoustics on at the start, so people can come and enjoy a drink with their friends, chill out, have some great acoustics that they can listen to,” explains MacKenzie. “We put DJs on after that and it sort of builds into something where they can dance the night away.”

Julie MacKenzie, Sundaylicious creator and organiser. Image: supplied.

If you don’t want to dance the night away, you can still chat the night away with your friends in the beer garden. 

Sundaylicious has become so popular that people come from around the country to experience it. Sydney will be the first city outside Melbourne to host the event, but it doesn’t look like being the last.  

“Other cities are coming to us and requesting that we go to them,” says MacKenzie. “We want to take the look, the feel, the vibe that we created in Melbourne and duplicate the experience we have here there … It’s very eclectic, and that’s something I’m really proud of and very happy with. We cater to the whole community, so we have girls that are as young as 18 coming out, and we have people that are in their late 50s and 60s enjoying a drink with their mates – and everyone else in between.”

Sundaylicious has a core group of loyal customers who have been coming to the event for many years, but it also has a steadily increasing number of newcomers. 

Last year’s lockdown may have slowed the momentum, but it did have a bright side.

“There was a real opportunity to stop and re-assess what was really important,” says MacKenzie. “People want to be connected with like-minded people, and it’s the passion for me to bring that back the way that we have … I think we’ve hit the ground running with bringing Sundaylicious back and bringing everyone back together again…

“To have an event that’s growing out of Covid and to see people enjoying it, geez that’s what gets my heart fluttering, that’s for sure.”

Sydney’s version of Sundaylicious will retain all the esoteric elements of the Melbourne event while forging its own identity, beginning with its quintessential location: Cargo Bar. 

Cass Greaves blends saxophone and decks – a first for Sundaylicious. Image: supplied

“We wanted something that had an inside/outside area. Darling Harbour is just a beautiful area, so that sort of got a massive tick. And then being right on the water was something that we couldn’t go past,” says MacKenzie.

Add to that a line-up of the best local talent. 

Jazz acoustic duo, The Cassettes, featuring saxophonist/vocalist Cass Greaves, will set the tone. The talented Greaves will also be mixing it up on the decks before handing over to DJ superstar Sveta and crowd favourite, DJ Hamo. 

Ticket sales are already very strong and it promises to be a spectacular debut for Sundaylicious Sydney. For MacKenzie, it’s a gift that keeps on giving.

“I suppose my reason for being in it: I honestly love bringing people together and seeing people have fun. And I’m just as excited today as what I was on day one creating the event. And I’m so excited to be coming up to Sydney!”

Sundaylicious will be held from 3pm till late on Sunday, 13 June at Cargo Bar, 52-60 The Promenade, King Street Wharf, Darling Harbour, Sydney. For tickets ($20.98 including free glass of bubbly between 3pm and 4pm) visit https://www.eventbrite.com.au. For more info, visit sundaylicious.com.au.