Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras have announced their formal bid for WorldPride 2023, with support from the state government, ANZ, Tourism Australia, and Qantas.

This week an Australian delegation will travel to key international destinations to present the case to InterPride for Sydney playing host to the major LGBTI festival in 2023.

WorldPride is the largest gathering of LGBTI communities globally, and is held ever two years in a host city.

If Mardi Gras is successful, it would mark the first time WorldPride has been held in the Southern Hemisphere. It would also bring over one million visitors to Sydney from around the globe and generate an economic footprint of between $600 and $800 million dollars.

’78er and Mardi Gras Board Member, Robyn Kennedy, is part of the committee leading the bidding process.

“We’re excited by the potential of WorldPride in Sydney 2023,” she said.

“It’s the largest and most important LGBTI festival in the world.

“We feel bringing this to Sydney will have a positive impact on the Asia Pacific region with regards to social justice and equality for LGBTI communities.”

NSW Minister for the Arts, Don Harwin, said the world looks upon Sydney each year as it lights up the southern hemisphere for Mardi Gras.

“It’s exciting to think we could be bringing the world to Sydney for WorldPride 2023 where we can showcase our beautiful global city to the world,” he said.

“Sydney is renowned for our inclusive and welcoming culture for all LGBTI visitors and I can’t think of a better way to demonstrate this than by hosting WorldPride 2023.”

Earlier this year, Mardi Gras announced that the NSW government had committed $192,000 dollars to support its bid for WorldPride.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Sydney and NSW to host yet another world-class event that has the potential to attract thousands of visitors to the city and make a significant economic and cultural impact,” said Mardi Gras CEO Terese Casu.

“This event would not only boost the international profile of the Mardi Gras festival, it would also showcase the iconic surrounds of Sydney and NSW as a premier tourist destination.”

WorldPride was first held in Rome in 2000, with events since hosted by Jerusalem, London, Toronto and Madrid, with New York hosting the 2019 WorldPride to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

The bid’s outcome will be decided by InterPride members at the AGM in Athens in October 2019.

If successful, WorldPride 2023 would include additional major events such as an 80,000-person pride march down the iconic Oxford Street in Darlinghurst, an international LGBTI human rights conference, a Bondi Beach concert for 30,000 people and many more major events accompanying Mardi Gras’ usual programming.

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