Sydney Mardi Gras 2021 to welcome 23,000 more spectators

Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras has announced that thousands more people will be able to attend the 2021 parade, which is set to look very different due to COVID-19.

The team announced in November that the 2021 parade will be held at the Sydney Cricket Ground due to health precautions, initially releasing 23,000 tickets to join the celebration.

Eased restrictions in New South Wales means the SGC can now be filled to capacity, with 23,000 more tickets announced, with 2,000 free tickets for those experiencing hardship.

“We understand that 2020 has been a challenging year for many members of our LGBTQI+ communities, and in response to those who are experiencing financial hardship as a result, we announced Mardi Gras would hold a free ticketing ballot for the Parade back in November,” said Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger.

“We are extremely pleased that the easing of restrictions means we can extend our offering to 2,000 free tickets in total, ensuring that as many people as possible can celebrate their Pride with us in person on the night,” said Kruger.

While the parade usually attracts an audience of around 200,000, a maximum of 46,000 will be able to get tickets to the 2021 event.

The event will be a move away from the large floats that have been seen in recent years. The theme for the 2021 will be Rise.

“Mardi Gras has always been the epitome of creative expression through art and culture; two things severely impacted by COVID-19 this year,” Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger said in November.

“So, it was important to Mardi Gras that we rise to the occasion and to give the community the creative platform to express their pride to the world.

“The 2021 Parade may look different to how it has been in the past, but we feel very lucky to be able to give this opportunity to our communities during these times.”

The first Mardi Gras parade was held in 1978 and has been commemorated every year. The 2020 parade was one of the last major events to occur in Australia before COVID-19 saw the cancellation of most public events. Sydney is scheduled to host World Pride celebrations in 2023.

“The team at Mardi Gras have worked tirelessly with NSW Health to develop a COVID Safe event plan to ensure the Parade can go forward and we’re excited by the prospect of staging the event at the SCG,” Kruger said.

“Not only is the SCG close to our spiritual home of Oxford Street, but it also provides the safest venue for us to hold the event and meet requirements of physical distancing and contact tracing.

“With a greater focus on community, our 2021 Parade will move away from large floats, centering instead on the outlandish pageantry of costumes, puppetry and props that make it such a phenomenon to witness.”

The event will be broadcast across by SBS television.

OIP Staff

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