Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) has launched its 2012 Sydney Mardi Gras Festival Guide, Parade Entry Kit and more information about the line-up for the 2012 Harbour and Mardi Gras parties.

The festival includes more than 60 events from February 12 to March 4, culminating in the Mardi Gras party and parade.

The festival guide is a pocket-sized edition and will have four alternative covers featuring faces from Sydney’s LGBTI community.

The first of these, featuring Sydney drag entertainer Summer Salt, will be available from this weekend in local bars and clubs. The other three covers feature Mardi Gras 1978 organiser Ron Austin (pictured), Sydney Bear community member Ross James, and Oxford Hotel functions manager Tia Lee, and will appear around Sydney over the coming week.

The guide is an overview of key events, so look out for the full festival line-up in an upcoming calendar and on Mardi Gras’ website.

A new event featured is The Year of Magical Wanking, presented in association with the Sydney Theatre.
Featuring one of Ireland’s most incendiary performers, Neil Watkins, this piece of theatre will take audiences through a wilderness of queerness.

Younger LGBTIs will have a safe place to party at a Queer Prom, presented by Twenty10 and Camp Out, while Queer Thinking returns with speakers including Professor Sara Ahmed, artist Gary Carsley and lawyer Alyena Mohummadally.

The parade will have the same eligibility criteria as this year’s parade, with eligibility based upon each group’s message and LGBTI status.

The Entrant Criteria specify that entries must be either “LGBTQI individuals, groups and organisations communicating a message” or “non-LGBTQI individuals, groups and organisations communicating a clear message of support or celebration for LGBTQI people”.

SGLMG will also hold a Parade Entrants Open Day in the Velvet Room of the Bank Hotel, Newtown, 1-4pm on December 18 to talk to the Parade Creative team about entries.

“This year’s Parade Entry Kit features the same simple criteria that we established last year,” SGLMG CEO Michael Rolik said.

“The Entrant Criteria ensure that our Parade is a platform for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex community to celebrate their diversity and express themselves.

“Whether this is your first time taking part, or you have marched in the Parade for years, we hope you’ll get involved in making the 2012 Parade an unforgettable and electrifying night.”

SGLMG will provide additional funding for community floats thanks to funds raised through this year’s Big Gay Weekend, and will double the funding allocated to its in-house floats.

SGLMG has announced that Lee Dagger of Bimbo Jones, Andy Butler and Wayne G will be among the big acts performing at the Mardi Gras Party, dubbed Mardigrasland in which the Entertainment Quarter will be transformed into a theme park of music, dance and electrifying acts.

SGLMG also announced the ticket options available for the party.

For the first time, general admission tickets can be purchased as a bundle of four, for $99 per ticket, plus booking fee.

A $99 ticket will also be available to youth and concession party-goers, plus booking fee.

Premium tickets will include express entry, access to specially reserved seating in the Hordern Pavilion, access to the express bar lane in the RHI and the Hordern, access to a designated premium lounge with comforts such as couches, a complimentary cloak room, premium toilets, a souvenir welcome pack and a premium wristband for identification.

Tickets are available from Ticketek at

The iconic Harbour Party has been named Harbour ’12 Cool Change and will be held on February 25, with acts including Lee Dagger, Kate Monroe, Troy Cox and Olivian DJ, and moves from its traditional Sunday setting to a Saturday after feedback from partygoers.

Tickets are $105 plus booking fee.

“Harbour ’12 is the cool change you’ve been waiting for. We can’t wait to see even more local and international guests join us on the Saturday for this must-do Mardi Gras event,” Rolik said.

In related news, the venue for a December 17 information night on SGLMG’s recent name and logo changes has been changed from the ACON building to Darlinghurst’s Heffron Hall at 34 Burton St.

The event will still take place from 10am until noon.


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