Kicking off Friday 15 February and running for two weeks until Sunday 3 March 2019, the Mardi Gras program is bigger, bolder and more diverse in its representation of queer people. Jam-packed with over 100 community events, dance parties, theatre, music and family focused fun, the Festival culminates with the iconic Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday 2 March 2019.
2019’s theme is FEARLESS – a poignant acknowledgment of the way LGBTQI people across the globe courageously express who they are. Fearless honours the past and those LGBTQI advocates, activists and individuals who have stood up for who they are and who they want to be. Fearless is also a call to action for the future, it calls on the LGBTQI community to be strong, live brave, be proud and unite at Mardi Gras 2019 to celebrate fearlessly.
“This year we bring together over 400 artists, creatives and thought leaders from across the world to join in a truly global discussion of diversity, social justice, human rights and equality,” said Mardi Gras Arts CEO, Terese Casu. “Being fearless is more than making a lot of noise, it’s also about acknowledging a person’s own vulnerability, and being able to express who they are, even if it’s not bold.”
“We invite everyone to join Mardi Gras this season to celebrate diversity and creativity, and to champion the fearless voices within our community,” added Casu.
New in 2019, Mardi Gras will present an exciting program of local and international queer performance, theatre, music, dance, burlesque and cabaret all under the one roof. The Seymour Centre will be transformed into Mardi Gras Central featuring the awesome Festival Club.
Program highlights include the phenomenal circus cabaret Club Briefs, Paul Mac in The Rise and Fall of St George, the inaugural Bent Burlesque featuring the stars of the Vienna Burlesque Festival, the world premiere of Shaun Parker’s KING and direct from the UK, The Butch Monologues and the brilliant Cake Daddy.
Over the last two years Mardi Gras has had phenomenal success with terrific new events such as Queer Art After Hours at the Art Gallery of NSW, Luna Park Family Fun Day, Koori Gras and the awesome Sissy Ball at Carriageworks. These are events that have expanded the Mardi Gras program, reached new and diverse audiences, and have become very popular.
All return in 2019 alongside exciting new events, including the Strictly Kaftan Party featuring New Zealand’s Topp Twins and the Requiem Mass: A Queer Divine Rite by American composer Holcombe Waller at the City Recital Hall. This remarkable choral work is a remembrance for those who have suffered persecution for their sexuality or gender expression.
At Queer Thinking and My Trans Story – The Next Generation at Carriageworks audiences will meet awe-inspiring activists, advocates, academics, role models and young people speaking up. The visual arts will also have a focus at Queer Contemporary at the National Art School featuring an exhibition of work by queer artists from the collection of Dr Dick Quan and an international exhibition of work by LGBTQI artists from India.
“In 2019 we shine the spotlight brightly on what’s happening in our world today and in the future, as we celebrate our fearless trailblazers,” said Mardi Gras Creative Director, Greg Clarke. “Our diverse and inclusive program is an exploration of sexuality, gender, body image, power, fearlessness, vulnerability, celebration and desire.”
“With incredible LGBTQI artists coming from all over the world, and from all around Australia, the program at Mardi Gras Central is going to truly be something very special for everyone to enjoy,” added Clarke.
Tickets for this superbly curated program, bursting with bravado, passion and personality are now on sale. The 2019 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras runs 15 February – 3 March. For more information and full program, visit: www.mardigras.org.au for details.
Image: Shaun Parker & Company presents KING – photo by Prudence Upton