The theme of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2019 has been announced as FEARLESS.

Having celebrated its 40th edition this year, Mardi Gras says that FEARLESS reflects the LGBTI activism of the past, as well as a call to action for the future.

The festival kicks off on Friday February 15 and runs through to Sunday March 3, culminating with the Parade, the official Mardi Gras Party, and recovery events like Laneway.

Mardi Gras 2019 features over 100 community events, dance parties, theatre, music and family focused fun.

“This year we bring together over 400 artists, creatives and thought leaders from across the world to join in a truly global discussion of diversity, social justice, human rights and equality,” said Mardi Gras CEO Terese Casu.

“Being fearless is more than making a lot of noise, it’s also about acknowledging a person’s own vulnerability, and being able to express who they are, even if it’s not bold.

“We invite everyone to join Mardi Gras this season to celebrate diversity and creativity, and to champion the fearless voices within our community,” she said.

A new feature of 2019’s festival will be the inception of ‘Mardi Gras Central’, which will transform The Seymour Centre into a hub of events, from performance through cabaret.

Mardi Gras Central will also host the Festival Club, which will feature nightly parties as the official post-show venue for Mardi Gras events.

“In 2019 we shine the spotlight brightly on what’s happening in our world today and in the future, as we celebrate our fearless trailblazers,” said Creative Director Greg Clarke.

“Our diverse and inclusive program is an exploration of sexuality, gender, body image, power, fearlessness, vulnerability, celebration and desire.”

Some event highlights include Club Briefs, Paul Mac in The Rise and Fall of St George, Bent Burlesque which features the stars of the Vienna Burlesque Festival, the world premiere of Shaun Parker’s KING, and UK shows The Butch Monologues and Cake Daddy.

“With incredible LGBTQI artists coming from all over the world, and from all around Australia, the program at Mardi Gras Central is going to truly be something very special for everyone to enjoy,” said Clarke.

Recent additions to the festival like Koori Gras, Queer Art After Hours and the Sissy Ball will return, alongside new events like the Strictly Kaftan Party and Requiem Mass: A Queer Divine Rite by American composer Holcombe Waller.

Carriageworks will also host Queer Thinking and My Trans Story – The Next Generation, featuring activists, advocates, academics and more, and the National Art School will shine a light on works by queer visual artists from Dr Dick Quan’s collection and an international exhibition of queer artists from India.

Trevor Ashley’s Mardi Gala returns to the Opera House, featuring Rhonda Burchmore, Tim Campbell, Tom Ballard and Sydney legends Shaun Jensen and Minnie Cooper, with more to be announced.

Mardi Gras Fair Day returns on Sunday February 17, shining a light on queer musicians changing the game like Mojo Juju and Electric Fields.

The full slate of events are on sale now, alongside Mardi Gras Party, Laneway, Pool Party tickets and more which went on sale last month.

To explore the program, head to the Mardi Gras website: www.mardigras.org.au

© Star Observer 2019 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.