From watching ‘The Birdcage’ under the stars to joining outrageous bingo nights.
Sydney comes to flamboyant life in Mardi Gras season with shows, parties and the globally broadcasted Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday, February 29. This year’s theme is ‘What Matters’, and you don’t have to venture far from the heart of Mardi Gras to find countless fun events across the month. Queer friendly venue The Beresford is hosting festive, raucous and glitter-filled events to get you and your friends into the groove this Gay Christmas. Head to the Surry Hills party palace, no matter how you identify, to get involved in the festival. You can even pen a love letter to your beau and enter it into this competition for the chance to win a whopping $10,000 Merivale gift card.
GET SERIOUS AT THIS COMMUNITY ISSUES TALK
As well as celebrating how far we’ve come, Mardi Gras is also about remembering the challenges still faced by the community. Equality Australia is presenting a talk on the topic ‘Freedom of Discrimination’ on Sunday, February 23, which is a good time to contemplate the issues we continue to experience. Beresford Talks is your opportunity to consider the potentially damaging impact of the Religious Discrimination Bill across health, workplaces and inclusivity. It’s also completely free to attend, and we bet even your most politically engaged mates could learn a thing or two about the big issues affecting the LGBTQIA+ community today.
WATCH ‘THE BIRDCAGE’ AL FRESCO
Openair cinemas are a dime a dozen in Sydney, but how about catching a classic queer movie in a beer garden? Sounds like you should grab your mates (or perhaps a date) and head over to The Beresford’s courtyard to see the 1996 comedy The Birdcage on Monday, February 24, or the musical comedy Hairspray on Monday, March 2. Movies start from 7pm, and you can laugh along and enjoy food, drinks and the summer breeze as you watch. As part of the celebrations, there’s a special Mardi Gras cocktail on offer, with $2 from every coconut and lime concoction going to charities Bobby Goldsmith Foundation and ACON.
GET THE GANG TOGETHER FOR BINGO WITH A TWIST
Bingo? Boring. Bingay? Hell, yeah. Call up your most competitive mates for a night of fabulous tunes and outrageous game rules at this drag queen-led bingo night. Hilarious penalties and lewd calls are par for the course, and as it’s a popular night we suggest booking your spot early for Wednesday, February 26. You’ll be in for a chance to win one of many prizes, including tickets to the official Mardi Gras Party. Expect to be serenaded with gay pride anthems and to laugh out loud to cheeky banter from your hosts Charisma Belle and Naomi Palmer. It’s $20 per person and 100 percent of the proceeds go to ACON programs and services that focus on health and wellbeing services for the LGBTQIA+ community and people living with HIV.
WATCH THE PARADE WITH A COCKTAIL IN HAND
Gay Christmas is almost here. On Saturday, February 29, you can watch the glittering parade standing shoulder-to-shoulder with tourists, or from the comfort of your couch. Or, you could join in the biggest party of the year with a cosmo in hand by watching a live stream of the parade action at The Beresford. Don your most colourful outfit and take a seat in the Surry Hills courtyard as you sip on cocktails, then later dance the night away with friends old and new. There’ll be jaw-dropping costumes, plus some surprise performances from queer royalty on the night. You never know who might pop by.
Published on Concrete Playground, February 18, 2020.