The two-day extravaganza, which takes place during Sydney Solstice, features four events guaranteed to get you singing, dancing, thinking, laughing, and of course, celebrating!
“Last year in our largest survey of members and the community, respondents said they wanted more events, more partnerships and more opportunities for our communities to come together to connect and foster self-expression all year round,” Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger says.
In our interview with Albert for the 2021 Mardi Gras Festival, he spoke about Mardi Gras' goal of being an initiative which goes beyond the iconic Parade and Party events at the beginning of every year.
“‘Pride Weekender’ is just the next stage of Mardi Gras delivering even more for the LGBTQIA+ community throughout the year. We have some phenomenal events lined up to celebrate Pride Month that range from insightful talks, ‘My Drag Story’ and ‘Queer Thinking: Religious Discrimination And The Fights Ahead’, to pumping nights of live entertainment with ‘Express Yourself – Queer Discovery’ and the return of an old favourite, ‘Spin-Off DJ Discovery’ and dance party.”
“As well as providing opportunities for people in the community to come together, it’s important that Mardi Gras acts as a platform to uplift and give opportunities to the next generation of LGBTQI+ artists and entertainers. And that’s why ‘Express Yourself’ and ‘Spin-Off’ are key components of Mardi Gras Pride Weekender,” Albert continues.
‘Express Yourself’ will feature headliner Alex The Astronaut, joined BVT, Hope D, NIK NAVY, and No Frills Twins. Presenter, producer and DJ Faustina will host. A panel of judges will selection two of the emerging artists to perform at an upcoming Mardi Gras event.
‘Queer Thinking’ will feature a discussion panel about religious discrimination, with a line-up including Karen Pack, a teacher sacked from a Christian college for being gay, Equality Australia Legal Director Ghassan Kassisieh, Australia’s first gay iman, Nur Wasame, Australia’s first transgender priest, Jo Inkpin, and Dr Kerryn Phelps.
You can expect to dive a little deeper into the world of drag at ‘My Drag Story’. Leave behind your ideas of ‘Priscilla’ and ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ as queens, kings and gender-defying royals reveal their personal histories on stage.
DJ competition ‘Spin-Off’ is being reignited in search of the next generation of LGBTQIA+ DJs. The event has been a community favourite since the noughties and ‘10s, promising to be a perfect mix of nostalgia and new faces.
What do you do in your day-to-day life?I work in retail at Lovisa, I’ve ranged from a casual all the way up to assistant manager, but now I’m settled part-time. Besides that, I’m always planning performances for the future, and also supporting my fellow performers. And eating. Ooft!Read more: