Sydney Mardi Gras 2016: Top Picks

February 19th 2016

Queer Thinking

The Queer Thinking events are a series of panels, discussions and workshops around issues directly affecting LGBTIQ people on a range of topics from sports to domestic violence and acceptance in other cultures.

Some are more fun, some more serious, but all are relevant to a range of LGBTIQ’s and others in 2016.

One we really think stands out is the This Is How We Do It : Sex In The Public Eye event taking place as part of the Heaps Gay x Bearded Tit pop up bar.

This specific event seeks to ask questions such as when have you compromised your politics for commercial success? And if LGBTIQ’s should have to discuss their identity at work.

Panelists include Kat Dopper from Heaps Gay Parties, Benjamin Law, and Monique Shafter. All fantastic people.

WHAT: Queer Thinking : This Is How We Do It: Sex In The Public Eye
WHERE: The Captain Cook Hotel, 182 Flinders Street
WHEN: 6-8:30pm
HOW MUCH: All Queer Thinking events are free for all. More info here

The Glitta Supernova Experience

Hailed by Sydney drag icon Aaron Manhattan as ‘queer royalty and the very definition of an underground artist’, Glitta Supernova presents their highly praised cabaret show Let’s Get Metaphysical.

The promo image for this alone is enough to make you want to go along. It’s an autobiographical performance outlining the journey of a young hippy girl entering the hedonistic world of 80’s Sydney. Expect psychedelic sex clown, personal politics and a spectacle beyond what you’re probably imagining right now.

WHAT: Cabaret Performance
WHERE: Giant Dwarf Theatre
WHEN: 19th/20th Feb, 8/9pm
HOW MUCH: $35/$30. More info here

Day For Night: 24HRS

Performance Space’s Day For Night has been shaping up over the past few years to not only be one of the biggest events of the Mardi Gras festival, but also one of the biggest events for queer performance in Sydney’s event calendar.

This years program includes art and music from kingpin Emma Price, Stereogamous, Benjamin Hancock and James Andrews.

It might be a bit pricey if you’re a student but the ticket gets you multiple re-entries over the 2 day period so you can come and go as you please, and you’ll be seeing a lot of incredible stuff. It’s also a pretty amazing party.

WHAT: Performance and Music
WHERE: Carriageworks
WHEN: 20th/21st Feb from 12pm to 12am
HOW MUCH: $50. More info here

Colouring the Rainbow

A book launch and panel discussion presented by Wakefield Press celebrating the release of Colouring the Rainbow.

The book itself presents the life stories of 22 queer and trans First Nations Australians from across the country. The stories are celebratory, searing and eye opening to the real experiences of these people.

Panelists are currently unannounced but are from both Sydney and interstate.

WHAT: Book Launch and Panel Discussion
WHERE: The Midnight Shift
WHEN: 6pm 23rd Feb


If you watched Mad Max Fury Road last year, you may have noticed the fire-spraying electric guitar-playing ‘doof warrior’, well that was iOTA!

His show at Oxford Art Factory can be expected to be a musical spectacle of showmanship, extraordinary outfits, and sublime poetics.

WHAT: Music
WHERE: Oxford Art Factory
WHEN: 3rd/4th March, 7:30pm
HOW MUCH: $30. More info here

Klub Koori

Presented by the Gadigal Information Service, Klub Koori is a showcase of live Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander queer performance.

It looks like a pretty amazing night and has some incredible performers on board, including the always spectacular Destiny Haz Arrived (pictured).

WHAT: Performances and Party
WHERE: Hermann’s Bar
WHEN: 5th March, 8pm
HOW MUCH: $15. More info here

William Yang: Stories of Love and Death

William Yang has been an important cultural figure in Sydney’s history for the past 40 years. His autobiographical art in photography, text and performance has documented his own journey to self-acceptance, and the emergence of Sydney’s strong gay community.

This exhibition will showcase some of Yang’s most highly regarded photography, and will be accompanied by a performance piece.

WHAT: Exhibition
WHERE: Stills Gallery
WHEN: Exhibition runs from the 20th of Feb to the 5th of March
HOW MUCH: FREE. More info here

Inner West History Walk

As our city is rapidly undergoing some major changes, it’s important to be educated on how we got to where we are now, and the part our LGBTIQ elders played in shaping this.

Join the Sisters and historian Robert French as they take you on a historical walking tour of the Inner West and Newtown. The tour will involve a combination of historical facts from French and personal reminiscing from the Sisters.

The tour will conclude at Victoria Park for Fair Day which will be a pleasant transition from the then into the now. It will be a pretty nice way to spend a Sunday morning, so grab a coffee and head down for some history on foot.

WHAT: Walking Tour
WHERE: Inner West (meet the corner of Alice and King Street)
WHEN: 21st Feb, 10am
HOW MUCH: FREE. More info here

Piccolo Tales

A very intimate event, with a 10 person capacity, looks at the changing cultural landscape over many decades from the perspective of an 81 year old barista.

This show has received great reviews from a lot of different audiences, so is worth checking out. It’s on twice a week throughout March so if you’re meandering on a Tuesday or a Thursday with nothing to do, get down to the Piccolo Bar.

WHAT: Theatre
WHERE: Piccolo Bar
WHEN: Every Tuesday and Thursday in March, 8pm
HOW MUCH: $40. More info here

Mardi Gras Film Festival

Of course, the Film Festival. A queer institution that fronts some of the best in LGBTIQ cinema from around the world.

The program for the festival is too much to cover in one post, but they’ve catered to a wide range of tastes and interests. Films range from playful to devastating, documentary footage to bizarre fiction. Screenings are spread over venues all across Sydney.

Check out the full program on the Queer Screen website. If you’re an FBi supporter, come along to our special screening of ‘Girls Lost’ on Feb 28 – info here!

WHAT: Queer Screen’s 23rd Mardi Gras Film Festival
WHERE: Cinemas across Sydney
WHEN: February and March 2016
HOW MUCH: Varies – more info here

Tune in to Arvos at 4:30pm every weekday for the Culture Guide and more info on events in the Mardi Gras festival season.



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