Mardi Gras heads to Sydney Cricket Ground for 2021 parade
The 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade will be moved from its usual Oxford Street to the Sydney Cricket Ground due to the pandemic.
Announced yesterday, the annual event is scheduled for Saturday March 6, with a maximum seated capacity of 23,000 people available.
The event will still be broadcast by SBS and applications for parade entries will continue to be accepted. However, Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger said next year’s parade will move away from large floats and more towards “outlandish pageantry of costumes, puppetry and props”.
“Mardi Gras has always been the epitome of creative expression through art and culture; two things severely impacted by COVID-19 this year. 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,” he said.
“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 2021 theme is ‘Rise’, which a statement described as “poignant” considering the challenges this year has presented. Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore commended the festival on being able to adapt to a COVID-safe operation.
“It is poignant that this year’s parade was the last major event held before we had to go into lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. I know many in our community, myself included, have held onto our happy memories of Mardi Gras 2020 to get us through this challenging year,” she said.
“Mardi Gras will look different in 2021 but importantly it will give us the opportunity to come together safely and celebrate. Of course I look forward to the day when tens of thousands of Sydneysiders and visitors from around Australia and the world can gather on Oxford Street once more.”
This year’s Mardi Gras hosted performances from Sam Smith, Dua Lipa and Kesha.
Tickets for the 2021 Mardi Gras parade go on sale November 9, the same day as the festival begins accepting applications for parade entries.