Explore four decades of Mardi Gras fabulousness with this interactive timeline

In the spirit of tolerance and equality, every year numerous Pride events take place and parties are celebrated. With parades, live music and artistic performances, diversity is celebrated at the Gay Pride in rainbow colors.

Next year’s Mardi Gras will mark 40 years since the glittery event first made its way down Sydney’s Oxford Street. To celebrate this historic 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 2018 the Festival will pay tribute to the “unsung heroes” who began the fight for equality amongst Australia’s LGBQTI community, and a more than fabulous program that is bigger than ever, reflecting on four decades of amazing evolution, momentous achievements and extraordinary individuals.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival kicks off on Friday 16 February 2018 with seventeen sparkling days, jam-packed with parties, performance, exhibitions, family and community events that culminate with the iconic Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday 3 March 2018.

“This Festival we celebrate all the amazing activists and leaders, including our 78ers, who have fought tirelessly for our rights over the last four decades,” says Mardi Gras Arts CEO, Terese Casu. “We also invite and welcome new friends to join the festivities to celebrate 40 years of fabulousness.

“Mardi Gras is for everyone and this year you will see new spaces and events for more of our community and families to enjoy and share – from our Museum of Love & Protest exhibition at the National Art School Gallery, the inaugural SISSY BALL at Carriageworks to our fabulous Family Fun Day at Luna Park and an exciting performing arts program at the Seymour Centre” says Casu.

Mardi Gras Creative Director Greg Clarke adds: “The opening weekend of the celebrations features Trevor Ashley’s Mardi Gala at the Sydney Opera House and the wonderful Fair Day back at Victoria Park. Other special events not to be missed include Queer Thinking and Koori Gras at Carriageworks, Queer Art After Hours at the Art Gallery of NSW and the Pool Party.

“The 40th anniversary Parade looks set to be the best yet, with a sparkling procession of hundreds of jaw- dropping floats and 12,000 revellers will dance till dawn at the Mardi Gras Party, Australia’s biggest LGBTQI party of the year.”

Tickets on sale 3 November – Members tickets on sale 30 October. Full details coming soon HERE

In this special anniversary year, the 2018 Festival focuses on the theme ‘40 YEARS OF EVOLUTION’. 40 years on from the original 1978 street Festival turned protest, the program and parade have been carefully curated to reflect and celebrate four decades of love, protest, diversity, acceptance, activism, pride, family, passion, creativity, drama and satire.

Today Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is one of Australia’s most famous and well-loved events, bringing tens of thousands of visitors to Sydney to join in the celebrations.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras may have started life as a protest, but these days it’s a different kind of riot as hundreds of thousands of marchers and supporters annually make it one of the biggest and most fabulous LGBTQI celebrations anywhere in the world.

Discover four decades of Mardi Gras love, protest, diversity, acceptance, activism, pride, family, passion, creativity, drama and satire, now revealed online told with photos and videos, as an interactive Timeline on the Google Arts & Culture platform celebrating Australia’s unique life-affirming kaleidoscope of LGBTQI self-expression.

You can now visit the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras’ 40th Anniversary Timeline on Google Arts & Culture here:

 

Musical performances designed to reduce stigma around mental health, an Indigenous film festival and  a project that will commemorate next year’s 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras a project telling the story of the struggles of the first Mardi Gras participants and volunteers during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and early ‘90s are among the many community programs that will benefit from the City of Sydney’s latest round of cultural and creative grants.

Thirty-two cultural and creative projects will receive almost $645,000 for activities and events that support cultural events and boost the local economy.

“Our grants and sponsorship program is all about supporting Sydney’s cultural and creative life and helping local artists and creatives to get projects that might not otherwise happen off the ground,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.