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The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Is Moving Its 2021 Parade to the SCG

It'll be a ticketed event, with the audience watching a pageant of costumes, puppetry and props.
By Sarah Ward
November 05, 2020
By Sarah Ward
November 05, 2020

We've reached the point in 2020 where, after the hectic developments of this year, it's becoming clear that 2021 won't be as normal as we'd all like either. So, after watching this year's events from March onwards adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, we're now seeing next year's start to do the same — including the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade.

In 2021, the famed event will undergo a significant COVID-safe change. As announced today, Thursday, November 5, it won't be taking to the streets as normal, but will instead host its signature festivities at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). And, when it happens on Saturday, March 6, it'll be a ticketed affair — so prepare to sit down, watch a pageant of costumes, puppetry and props, and just generally celebrate queer art and culture. Tickets will set you back $20 for an adult or $50 for a group of four.

Tickets go on sale on Monday, November 9, with 23,000 available — in line with New South Wales' current capacity limits for stadiums, which came into effect in early October. If that cap eases, more tickets for the SCG will become available. Either way, for those who can't make it along, the entire event will be broadcast on SBS on the evening.

"Mardi Gras has always been the epitome of creative expression through art and culture — two things severely impacted by COVID-19 this year," said Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger, revealing 2021's plans. "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. The 2021 parade may look look different to how it has been in the past, but we feel very lucky to be able to give this opportunity to our communities during these times."

Jeffrey Feng

In another big change, there'll be less of a focus on large floats — which makes sense given that 2021's event will no longer be a street parade. Although it'll all take place at an oval, expect all the colour and liveliness the parade is known for, of course. Performers will be responding to the year's theme, 'rise', which Mardi Gras describes as "call to action that now is the time to rise again through love, compassion, respect and understanding, and to work together to make the world a better place for all".

Also reflecting the changed world we now live in, Mardi Gras has announced a new 'Always On' program. As the name suggests, it's a year-round suite of activities and events for the LGBTQI+ community, which'll include queer performance and content, more events beyond Oxford Street, plus increased efforts to highlight social injustice and support major campaigns — and helping out community and grassroots organisations, too.

And if you're wondering about the other big events that usually fall within Mardi Gras' usual dates, such as Fair Day, it's working on a plan for those for 2021 — with details still to come.

The 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade will take place at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday, March 6, with tickets on sale from Monday, November 9. For more information, head to the Mardi Gras website.

Top image: Jeffrey Feng

Published on November 05, 2020 by Sarah Ward
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