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Sydney Mardi Gras announces return of popular events to the festival program in 2022

Sydney Mardi Gras announces return of popular events to the festival program in 2022
November 10, 2021

After two challenging years of limited contact, and with the theme UNITED WE SHINE, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival program will see the return of its popular events running from 18th February – 6th March 2022.

Much-loved Mardi Gras events making their grand return in 2022 include: the annual flag raising at Sydney Town Hall, all-day community spectacular Fair Day, the official Mardi Gras Party, Laneway recovery party, the glam Paradiso Pool Party, queer comedy gala Laugh Out Proud, breathtaking ballroom extravaganza Sissy Ball, retro soiree Kaftana Party, Mardi Gras Film Festival and Queer Art After Hours – joining the previously announced Parade for next year’s Festival program.

Mardi Gras Chief Executive, Albert Kruger enthused “we’re so excited to bring back some of our most cherished events in 2022. Our Festival has always served as a platform for self-expression through art and culture, and after two challenging years of limited contact, 2022 is an opportunity for us to not only unite, connect and be entertained; but also celebrate the diversity and creativity of our wonderful communities and share our pride to the world.

“The 2022 Mardi Gras theme is UNITED WE SHINE, signifying that LGBTQI+ communities shine brighter together. It is a reminder of all that we can achieve when our communities rise as one. It is a call to stand united against the inequalities LGBTQI+ people continue to face and empowers us with the strength that our history shows: that we have the power to create a more equitable society.”

Mardi Gras Festival events returning in 2022 are:

Progress Pride Flag Raising
18th February 2022
Sydney Town Hall
Presented by the City of Sydney
The Progress Pride flag will rise at Sydney Town Hall on 18 February 2022 to mark the beginning of the Festival season. In the spirit of this season’s theme, UNITED WE SHINE, leading community members will come together as the international symbol of LGBTQI+ pride shines from one of Sydney’s most iconic buildings. The flag will fly until the end of the 2022 Festival.

Fair Day
Proudly presented in partnership with American Express
20th February 2022
Victoria Park
The all-day rainbow extravaganza that kicks off the Mardi Gras Festival is back with all the events and activations the community knows and love - as well as a few surprises. Bask in the sunshine with a picnic, wander through the community stalls with your pooch in tow or kick off your heels and dance the afternoon away as Fair Day turns into night. In 2022, Fair Day will put the spotlight on emerging, ground-breaking and culture defying LGBTQI+ artists, musicians, and organisations. Mardi Gras is accepting stall registrations until 2pm AEDT Monday 15th November.

Kaftana Pool Party
23rd February 2022
ivy Pool
Steam your muumuus and dust off your chunky costume jewellery, Kaftana Party is back. The iconic ivy Pool will be transformed into the ultimate retro summer daydream for this poolside afternoon of extravagant fabulousness. Sit back and sip on a Pink Lady and celebrate with a camp smorgasbord of special guests, DJs, and live performances.

Laugh Out Proud
25th February 2022
Enmore Theatre
The queer comedy event of the year, Laugh Out Proud is a one-night-only showcase delivering a melting pot of fan favourites, funny faithfuls, and rising stars in the Australian queer comedy scene. Following sold-out shows in 2020 and 2021, get in quick to snap up your tickets to this night of bent belly laughs.

Sissy Ball
26th February 2022
Sydney Town Hall
Join the fierce icons and rising stars of the Australian ballroom scene and soak in the essence of queer culture, art and expression at Sissy Ball. This year's glam throw down finds a new home at the regal Sydney Town Hall. Celebrating identity, fluidity and finesse with legendary house battles, live music, DJs, phenomenal performing artists, and VIP viewing gallery.

Paradiso Pool Party
28th February 2022
ivy Pool
Sydney-siders and the global community unite for Paradiso Pool Party. We’re turning the iconic ivy Pool and Changeroom into the epitome of Mediterranean sun kissed glam for the final day of summer. Escape the work week, pop on the out-of-office and pull up to a poolside cabana as the cocktails flow and the DJs, live vocalists and musicians turn day into night.

5th March 2022
Sydney Cricket Ground
A powerful protest and glittering celebration of diversity, Mardi Gras Parade is the centerpiece of the Festival season. The iconic event brings together LGBTQI+ people from all over to share their passion, champion equal rights and show their pride to the world. In 2022, the Parade returns to the Sydney Cricket Ground where tens of thousands of spectators will cheer on as marchers take to the field in a display of colour, community and love. The Parade will be broadcast live on ABC so audiences from across the country can tune in and be a part of the celebrations. Mardi Gras is accepting parade registrations until 1pm AEDT Monday 15th November.

5th March 2022
Hordern Pavilion, Max Watts, Watsons & Entertainment Quarter surrounds
Step into a party playground of sensual celebration and joy as the largest LGBTQI+ party in the Southern Hemisphere celebrates its 40th edition at the Hordern Pavilion. This year, the official Mardi Gras Party goes back to its roots with dance floors, chill-out spaces and quirky corners to explore. Plus, everyone’s favourite local and international DJs, pop-up shows and performance artists, just like it used to be.

6thMarch 2022
The Beresford and Hill Street
Wrap up the Mardi Gras weekend with the campest curb-side tradition. Spread across both levels of The Beresford and spilling out onto Hill Street, Laneway is the perfect way to bid farewell to Mardi Gras 2022. For the ultimate glam experience and exclusive access to the upstairs dancefloor, DJ and performances treat yourself to a Laneway VIP ticket.

Partnered Events:
Queer Screen’s 29th Mardi Gras Film Festival
17th February – 3rd March 2022
Queer Screen’s 29th Mardi Gras Film Festival will bring the latest and best LGBTIQ+ films to cinema screens across Sydney and on-demand Australia wide. Full Program announced on 12th January.

Queer Art After Hours
Presented by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and the Art Gallery of New South Wales
2nd March 2022
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Witness the wonders of colourful camp artistry as the Art Gallery of New South Wales comes to life for Queer Art After Hours. Inspired by this year’s theme UNITED WE SHINE, this is your chance to hear the queer and salacious stories behind the Gallery’s collection. Discover the godly, the glamorous and the ground-breaking at this explosion of innovative performance art, installations, music and gallery tours – served with champagne till late.

And more to be announced.

Tickets to Mardi Gras Festival events and Parade go on sale 12pm AEDT, Monday 15th November.

For more information and bookings go to

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras are now accepting event registrations for the 2022 Festival, with Premium Event Registrations and Associated Event Registrations closing on 10th December 2021 and 7th January 2022 respectively. To find out more, visit

From 11am AEDT, Friday 12th November Mardi Gras members will get presale access to all ticketed events and American Express Card Members will receive 72 hours of pre sale access to purchase Parade and Party tickets from 11am AEDT, Friday 12 November. Visit for more information.  

A Hardship Ticket Ballot presented by Principal Partner American Express has been established to provide the community with 3,000 complementary tickets to enjoy the Parade. The ballot is for anyone who is experiencing financial strain and cannot afford a ticket to Parade, with registrations opening on Monday 15th November and drawn at random in early January. 78ers will receive four complimentary tickets to the Parade, and Mardi Gras members will receive two.

Image top: Sydney Mardi Gras FairDay Credit Markham Lane; image centre Paradiso Pool Party; image above: Mardi Gras Parade SCG

Related Articles

14th October 2021 - Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras organisers announce return of parade to SCG in 2022

29th July 2021 - Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras appoints First Nations and Community Engagement Officer

17th May 2021 - Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras launch new event

14th April 2021 - Mardi Gras partnerships deliver $248,000 to LGBTQI+ community groups in 2021

7th March 2021 - Sydney Cricket Ground hosts safe and spectacular Mardi Gras event

2nd February 2021 - Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras release full festival program for 2021

7th December 2020 - 2021 Mardi Gras Parade can now welcome an additional 23,000 spectators

5th November 2020 - Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras moves to SCG in 2021 to ensure COVIDSafe celebrations

1st March 2020 - 2020 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras celebrated what matters

24th February 2020 - Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade to celebrate all that matters

8th November 2019 - Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras celebrate What Matters in 2020 program

2nd March 2019 - Sydney Mardi Gras receives funding boost to bid for WorldPride 2023

27th February 2019 - Sydney Mardi Gras community parade grant helps to raise artistic levels of parade entries

19th November 2018 - Sydney Mardi Gras urgently needs new workshop space

4th March 2018 - Record numbers celebrate 40 years of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

12th February 2018 - Cher to headline 40th Anniversary Mardi Gras party

6th March 2016 - Sydney Mardi Gras Parade marks a momentous year for LGBTI community

9th March 2015 - Homophobia in sport a focus of Sydney’s Mardi Gras parade

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