City Of Sydney Considers $300K Grant To Beautify Oxford Street For WorldPride 2023

City Of Sydney Considers $300K Grant To Beautify Oxford Street For WorldPride 2023
Image: City of Sydney Committee Meeting, October 17. Image: Screengrab

After an unanimous vote in last week’s committee meeting, the City of Sydney is set to provide Sydney WorldPride with an additional $300,000 grant, in hopes of getting Oxford Street ready in time for the one million visitors who are estimated to attend the 17-day festival. 

This would bring the City’s total grant support to over a million dollars. 

For years, Oxford Street has seen a steady decline, plagued with high vacancies and aggressive vehicle traffic.

Pride Villages

The grant would specifically assist Sydney WorldPride with the glamming up of the Oxford Street neighbourhood during the duration of the festival. 

This includes the activation and beautification of vacant shops as well as the installation of environmental lighting to “enliven” the street.

This will be done through Sydney WorldPride’s Pride Villages program.

As part of this program, Sydney WorldPride will create Pride Villages by closing down Oxford Street to vehicle traffic, from College Street to Flinders Street, for the last weekend of the festival, March 4 – 5.  

For nine days starting on February 24, Crown Street, from Oxford Street to Campbell Street, and Riley Street, from Oxford Street to Goulburn Street, will also be shut down.

“Oxford Street is an iconic part of Sydney’s LGBTQIA+ culture and intrinsically linked to Mardi Gras. That’s why Sydney WorldPride chose Oxford Street and the surrounding streets as the home of Pride Villages, the biggest street party this part of Sydney has ever seen,” Sydney WorldPride Chief Operating Officer Gabriel Pinkstone said.

These Pride Village street parties will include stalls, performances, dining, community spaces, etc.  

Pride-themed floral displays and Pride-themed lighting of the Taylor Square fountain will be installed. The rainbow crossing will be repainted and refreshed. 

Oxford Street

Pinkstone added, “We also have a grant under consideration by the Council to breathe life into currently vacant shops on Oxford Street, creating opportunities to reinvigorate these spaces during the festivities. We’re excited to be working with the City of Sydney to support their ongoing strategy to revitalise the Oxford Street precinct and hope to provide more information on this exciting work later in the year.”

The City is also encouraging retail businesses to decorate and dress up their shop fronts with rainbows and pride banned and flags. 

Lord Mayor: Local Artist to decorate Large-Scale Construction Sites

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore at the 2022 Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras.

According to Lord Mayor Clover Moore, “The City of Sydney is committed to making sure Oxford Street is as attractive as possible during World Pride – we are working closely with the community to ensure the fabulous strip is operating at its maximum potential through this important event.

 “City staff are working closely with Sydney WorldPride and event organisers to support the activation of Pride Villages in and around Oxford Street. 

“With the proposed additional funding we will support World Pride’s work with local property owners to create pop-up activations during the event, for exhibitions and activities consistent with the festival.”

When it comes to the ongoing construction and development of Oxford Street, Moore said the city is working to ensure construction hoardings are wrapped “creatively and attractively, with artwork that helps Oxford Street sparkle.”

Moore explained, “We have commissioned a local artist to develop artwork to decorate large-scale construction sites, using their canvasses to help bring colour and life to Oxford Street and tell the story of its rich LGBTIQA+ history.” 

The City of Sydney will officially pass this measure at the General Council Meeting on October 31.

Sydney WorldPride 2023 takes place from February 17 to March 5, 2023, with over 500,000 people expected to take part in the 17-day celebration.

WorldPride started in 2000 in Rome. Since then it has been held in London, Toronto, Madrid, New York, and, most recently, Copenhagen. This is the first time, however, that WorldPride will be held in the Southern Hemisphere.

For information on Sydney WorldPride 2023 go to

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