The Rainbow Precinct In Sydney – New Name, Same Love And Inclusivity

Oxford Street and Taylor Square in Sydney are becoming one and will henceforth be known as The Rainbow Precinct – a place where acceptance, diversity and pride reign supreme.

The Rainbow Precinct - Image © Robert Knapman

Oxford Street and Taylor Square hold a storied legacy spanning decades, and a new strategy will see this history acknowledged and celebrated, as crowds begin to flood back in a post-pandemic world ready to get the party going all over again.

“Everyone has a story about Oxford Street, it’s the original night-club area of Sydney,” long time resident, business owner and Chair of Rainbow Precinct Inc, Shane Warren says. “Always a place to go out, have fun and meet like-minded people.”

With a history that includes bohemians, artists and gangsters, Oxford Street in Darlinghurst is once again reinventing itself. Clubs and crowds are gravitating back to the area and a long anticipated three city-block renovation is about to be unveiled.

“I’m calling it our ‘Madonna moment’,” Warren continues. “After years of lockdowns and lock-outs, there’s a new energy coming back. So we thought with a new look, why not a new name too?”

The precinct is home to lively bars, restaurants, clubs, and art, as well as unique retail experiences. It's a place for everyone.

Rainbow Precinct 2023 1

Plus, it's part of Uptown – a programme recently announced by the New South Wales Government which aims to help districts in Sydney to promote their unique offerings, their vibrancy, and their diversity.

“The Rainbow Precinct is a testament to the power of culture, diversity, and acceptance,” 24-Hour Economy Commissioner (NSW) Mike Rodrigues says. “We are proud to elevate this important Sydney story through our Uptown Program, an initiative designed to celebrate the unique identities of local areas all across greater Sydney.”

Venues and experiences aside, many view The Rainbow Precinct, of course, as the birthplace and home of the Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. This annual extravaganza has grown from its humble beginnings into a spectacular event that draws visitors from all corners of the globe, showcasing the resilience and strength of the LGBTQIA+ community and celebrating that acceptance into the wider community.

But it's also proof of the enduring power of queer businesses and organisations. They've played a pivotal role in nurturing a sense of belonging, and providing safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ individuals.

“My role is to bring these threads together and collaborate with our amazing community, businesses and government to ensure this precinct continues to thrive as a beacon of acceptance and celebration,” Rainbow Precinct Co-Ordinator Lorraine Lock says.