The countdown is on to the 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and even though most of the big ticket party events (think the after party, as well as Laneway, Pool Party and Fair Day) have been cancelled this year, the biggest party ticket of them all, the parade, is still going ahead with a stellar line up of entertainment headlined by UK sensation Rita Ora.

Ora, the only international name on the roster and responsible for chart toppers like Anywhere, Your Song and the sure to be club banger (if there was only some way to bang like we did in the old days), Big, will lead a veritable feast of otherwise Aussie talent including electronic duo Electric Fields, ARIA Award-winning art-pop songwriter Montaigne and indie pop darling G Flip.

It’s Mardi Gras, But Not As You Know It

This year’s parade is being held at the SCG instead of the customary swanning down Oxford Street and though the scenery for the marchers will be of an adoring crowd cheering from the grandstands (hey, like the sports!) instead of them cheering from the streets, you can be sure that the atmosphere will be once-in-a-lifetime electric and one that will (hopefully) never have to be repeated!

Hosted again by comedy superstar Joel Creasey, Network 10 Presenter Narelda Jacobs, stand-up genius Zoë Coombs Marr and drag icon Courtney Act, the parade is sure to be entertaining and fabulous as well as hilarious in the slow bits with this crew onboard.

Featuring a very special Welcome To Country curated by Ben Graetz and featuring John Leha, singer/songwriter Scott Hunter, plus Koomurri dancers, NAISDA dancers and Buuja Butterfly dancers. The parade itself will then be kicked off by Dykes On Bikes, who have been riding in the parade since 1988 and leading it since 1991, followed by the First Nations and 78ers floats.

“The Parade is such a special event for the community,” said Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger. “It is a loud, proud and welcoming celebration of community spirit and connectedness.”

 “The move to the SCG has presented us with a unique opportunity to add to the spectacle of the parade with some truly awe-inspiring performances and we are thrilled to have a world-wide superstar in Rita Ora join this once-in-a-lifetime parade. As always we have a few more surprises in store for the night, so keep an eye out!”

Geo Block Removed

SBS is hosting the festivities on the box for those of us unable to make it in the flesh, with live and free coverage to audiences across Australia and around the world from 6pm AEDT on SBS On Demand which will have the geo-block removed, much to the delight of the international LGBTQI community. The parade will also be broadcast across Australia on SBS and NITV from 7.30pm AEDT.

Even better, if you feel like being social this year you might be able to venture out to catch the parade and associated festivities from your local! A variety of locations in Queensland, New South Wales or Victoria are holding offical Mardi Gras parade viewing parties – click though to the guide here!

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