Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore was driven into Town Hall on a motorbike by one of the Dykes on Bikes last night, in a stunning launch of the 2020 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras program.
The event—a riot of costumed attendees, drag performers, laser lights and music—saw the 19th century Town Hall transform into a Bacchanalian wonderland, in scenes its Victorian-era founders could scarcely have imagined.
Even modern-day Sydneysiders were stunned.
“If you had told me a couple of days ago that I would have seen the Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore being ridden … by one of the Dykes on Bikes or that I would have seen three women jumping up and down naked on trampolines in Sydney Town Hall, I would not have believed you,” attendee William Brougham told the Star Observer.
A who’s who of LGBTQI+ Sydney heard the Lord Mayor deliver an address, while Mardi Gras co-chairs Giovanni Campolo-Arcidiaco and Kate Wickett spoke to the crowd about the program and Sydney’s plans for WorldPride 2023, which will be held in conjunction with that year’s Mardi Gras.
The 2020 festivities will kick off on 14 February and run until 1 March, featuring a diverse program of parties, theatre, music, workshops and family fun, culminating with the world famous parade on Saturday, February 29.
A key component of the 2020 Mardi Gras—which carries the theme ‘What Matters’—will be the Mardi Gras Festival Hub, which is returning to the Seymour Centre with an expanded program.
Mardi Gras Arts interim CEO Grant Lowe said: “From ground-breaking queer artists to trailblazing thought leaders, Mardi Gras 2020 is an opportunity to visit the next destinations on our journey of diversity, inclusion and social justice.
“With Sydney named as the host city for WorldPride 2023, there has never been a more pertinent time to celebrate LBGTQI+ culture and uplift every shade of the rainbow,” he said.
Mardi Gras creative director Kat Dopper said she was thrilled with the forthcoming expansion of the Mardi Gras Festival Hub
“The Festival Hub will showcase fifteen eclectic events including incredible local and international queer performances, inspiring discussions, side-splitting comedy, theatre, music, dance, circus, burlesque and drag all under the roof of Sydney’s Seymour Centre, plus the late-night Festival Club from Thursday to Sunday each week,” Dopper said.
Mardi Gras performers and events at the Seymour Centre and elsewhere will include Trevor Ashley, Conchita Wurst, Tom Ballard, Rhys Nicholson, Koori Gras and Queer Thinking.
The Mardi Gras Party, meanwhile, will be headlined by international pop superstar Dua Lipa.
Tickets to the party, which will take place directly after the iconic street parade on Saturday, 29 February, are available for $187.20 plus booking fee from mardigras.org.au.
Tickets and further information on the festival season will also be available from 10am on Monday, 11 November at www.mardigras.org.au.