Mardi Gras: Paradiso Pool Party to cap off April festivities

The Paradiso Pool Party will be held at the ivy Pool Club on Sunday, 24 April, 2022. Photo: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras/Facebook.

While the iconic parade is behind us, this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festivities are continuing well into April – with the Paradiso Pool Party still to come, reports Brandon Bear.

The impact of Covid-19 on the 2022 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras included the postponement of several events that bring LGBTQI+ communities together. As we move through April, we’re being treated to these events, pushed back from the main festival period earlier this year – with the Paradiso Pool Party still to come. The Sentinel takes a look back at the Kaftana Pool Party and Sissy Ball, held earlier this month, while exploring what revellers can expect from the upcoming Paradiso Pool Party.

On the scene

Set above the city at the ivy Pool Club, the Paradiso Pool Party is considered by many the place to see and be seen – and this ANZAC Day long weekend will be no exception. Poolside cabanas, an outdoor bar and the Changeroom are being transformed into the ultimate Mediterranean fantasy to make Paradiso the best place to turn a Sunday afternoon cocktail into a night of dancing with friends old and new.

Party planners promise an event that is “bigger and brighter than ever before”, spread across two dance spaces, with a scorching line-up of DJ talent plus Ibiza-style vocals and performances.

Revellers will be inspired from their first mimosa through to their last cocktail by a team of DJs including Amanda Louise, Jarred Baker, James Alexander, DJ ENN, Dom de Sousa, Jonny Marsh, L.O.U and DJ Hamo.

As with all Mardi Gras events this year, the Mardi Gras team is working with NSW Health to ensure a Covid-safe party. In line with the health orders around large-scale events, all participants, including staff, will be required to show proof of vaccination or a valid medical exemption – ensuring you can party safely with peace of mind!

The Paradiso Pool Party will be held at the ivy Pool Bar, 330 George Street, Sydney from 12pm to 8pm, Sunday, 24 April, 2022. For tickets ($79) and further details, visit

The Paradiso Pool Party is considered a highlight of the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival. Photo: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras/Facbook.

Retro unrealness

The Paradiso Pool Party follows another successful Mardi Gras event at the ivy Pool Club, held on Saturday, 2 April: the Kaftana Pool Party, which proved to be a decadent afternoon of retro-inspired extravagance.

The ultra-relaxed vibe featured revellers donning kaftans, muumuus and kimonos in kaleidoscopic colours, with oversized hoop earrings and poolside cocktails the order of the day. The vibe was sunset meets camp, with DJs Queen Shirene, Kate Monroe and Division 4 laying the funky foundation for performances by the likes of Joyce Maynge and Peach Fuzz.

Kaftana was well regarded as a safe and body positive space, where a wide cross section of LGBTQI+ communities came together to bask in a diverse, fabulous atmosphere.

Click here to see Ann-Marie Calilhanna’s Kaftana Pool Party photo gallery.

The Kaftana Pool Party was a huge hit earlier this month. The event was also held at the ivy Pool Club. Photo: Ann-Marie Calilhanna.

Serving it

Ballroom culture continues to explode globally, and this year’s Sissy Ball – another Mardi Gras event held in April – was proof that demand for floor battles and serving face and body is not going anywhere.

On Sunday, 3 April, Sissy Ball took over the opulent Sydney Town Hall, where participants upped the ante and served incredible looks.

Godmother of the House of Slé, Kilia Pahulu, curated the event, which saw queens delivers their fiercest looks across a variety of categories, cheered on by a raucous audience. Competition categories included Butch Queen Tag Team, Femme Queen Face, Hands Performance, Big Body Sex Siren and Virgin Vogue.

Some of Australia and New Zealand’s biggest names in ballroom graced the event with their presence, including Ella Ganza, Jamaica Moana, Kiki Dévine Oricci and New Zealand’s legendary mother of House of IMAN, Jaycee Iman.

Click here to see Ann-Marie Calilhanna’s Sissy Ball photo gallery.

A drag showdown for the ages, this year’s Sissy Ball was a hit with the audience. Video: Ballroom Australia/YouTube.

Always on

Sydney is never the city to let the glitter settle and these parties are a welcome addition to the scene in April, with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras delighted to be able to host the events, which were originally scheduled for February.

“It was incredibly difficult to postpone these fantastic events back in February, but it was the right thing to do considering the situation at the time,” Jesse Matheson, co-chair of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, told The Sentinel.

“Everyone has worked so hard on Kaftana, Sissy Ball and Paradiso Pool Party, so we’re incredibly excited to bring these events to everyone in April. The Mardi Gras fun never stops – we’re always on!”

Brandon Bear is the queer editor of the Sydney Sentinel.

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