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Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2020

As well as the parade, this year's jam-packed program features pool parties, balls, colourful after-dark art and Sam Smith.
By Jasmine Crittenden
January 22, 2020
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Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2020

As well as the parade, this year's jam-packed program features pool parties, balls, colourful after-dark art and Sam Smith.
By Jasmine Crittenden
January 22, 2020
  shares

Inspired by the theme "what matters", the 2020 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is promising more than colourful, queer and fearless events and a slew of international artists running across 17 days. In addition to the signatures — including the Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday, February 29 — there's a bunch of new happenings this time round.

One of the most anticipated is the return of the Kaftan Party to be held at the Ivy on Wednesday, February 19. Don your favourite kaftan or hottest moo-moo and spend the day kicking back to the Sugar Fed Leopards and various DJs. There'll be prizes for Best Kaftan, Best Cabana Lounging Ensemble and Most Outrageous Summer Accessory.

Meanwhile, the Sissy Ball is back for another round, after selling out last year. Taking over Enmore Theatre on Saturday, February 22, this NYC ballroom-inspired event centres around vogue battles in the categories of dance, movement, fashion and air. In between watching acts of unabashed self-expression, you'll be kicking back to live music and DJs.

Jeffrey Feng

Luna Park will transform into a rainbow wonderland for Family Fun Day and the AGNSW will once again host its free Queer Art After Hours session, while Newtown's Seymour Centre will host the festival hub. Head down there to catch theatre, music, dance, circus, cabaret, burlesque shows and late-night parties from Thursday–Sunday. Among the headliners is the world premiere of Fuck Fabulous — "an unforgettable night of debauchery" — and Hot Brown Honey: a genre-defying show about colour, culture and controversy.

Expect a big injection of Eurovision talent, too, especially when 2014 winner Conchita Wurst joins Aussie cabaret star Trevor Ashley for Conchita Wurst and Trevor Ashley in Concert. The pair will play the State Theatre with a full orchestra in tow to deliver a night dedicated to their greatest hits.

Sam Smith

And the chuckles will be flowing freely when Laugh Out Proud pulls together a sparkling lineup of homegrown and international acts into one side-splitting variety comedy event. Hosted by Nath Valvo, this one features appearances from the likes of Rhys Nicholson, Cassie Workman, Zoe Coombs Marr, Geraldine Hickey and Myra DuBois.

You can look forward, too, to the return of longstanding favourites, including Fair Day at Victoria Park on Sunday, February 16; Pool Party at the Ivy on Monday, February 24; and Laneway – the Parade's official recovery party – on Sunday, March 3 at The Beresford in Surry Hills. And, of course, the Mardi Gras Party on Saturday, February 29 at Hordern Pavilion, which this year has a host of special guests: Dua Lipa, Kesha, Pabllo Vittar and Sam Smith. You'll be 'Dancing With a Stranger' to 'New Rules' and 'Tik Tok'ing the night away.

Top image: Jeffrey Feng

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