Upcoming events

    • 03 Mar 2018
    • 3:00 PM - 11:30 PM
    • Oxford and Flinders Streets, Sydney NSW


    The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) is a global beacon of diversity, acceptance and LGBTQI rights. We aim to raise the visibility of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex communities. One of the many ways we do this is through the iconic and much loved Mardi Gras Parade. 

    The Parade is a wonderful opportunity for creative and political expression. It provides an opportunity for LGBTQI individuals, groups and organisations to celebrate who they are and promote a broader message of diversity and acceptance. 

    The 40th Annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade will be held on Saturday, 3 March 2018 with approximately 12,000 participants and more than 200,000 spectators cheering from the side lines.

    Starting at 7:45pm from Whitlam Square (corner of Liverpool and Oxford Streets) the 1.7km route runs from Oxford Street into Flinders Street and ends in Moore Park. The route varies using 2-3 road lanes in width, with some sections being slightly uphill. The Parade will conclude at approximately 11:30pm.


    In 2018, we celebrate the historic 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. 40 years on from the 1978 protest that was the inaugural Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, we look back at the evolution of the festival, and to the sociological evolution of social justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex peoples.

    Our extravagant 2018 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade will celebrate four decades of love, protest, diversity, acceptance, activism, pride, family, passion, creativity, drama and satire. 40 years of struggles, triumphs and incredible adventures together.

    This year’s theme is developed around the Evolution of Mardi Gras - How has your group changed and developed throughout its history at Mardi Gras? What have been your group’s highlights, achievements and defining moments? Join us and together let's make this Parade the most spectacular in our extraordinary 40-year history.


    The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade is a platform for LGBTQI individuals, groups and organisations to celebrate who they are and to communicate a message; and non-LGBTQI individuals, groups and organisations to communicate a message of support for LGBTQI people.


    1. Eligibility for the Parade falls into the following two categories:

    A. LGBTQI’s

    An entry by a LGBTQI person, a group primarily involving LGBTQI people or an LGBTQI organisation. All LGBTQI organisations must be able to prove they are a LGBTQI organisation whose main aim is to serve or include the LGBTQI community.

    B. Non-LGBTQI

    An entry by individuals or organisations that supports and/or celebrates the rights, achievements, culture and aspirations of the LGBTQI community. These entries must communicate a clear message of support or celebration relating to the LGBTQI community and must not use an abbreviation of LGBTQI. These entries are not to sell themselves and what they do unless they are directly promoting how they support and/or celebrate LGBTQI communities or individuals. 

    2.  All entries must not be discriminatory, homophobic, racist, sexist or breach any defamation law. Entries will not be accepted from organisations who have demonstrated sexism, homophobia or other forms of discrimination either in the Parade or in their general business.

    3. All entries will need to:

    • Provide a detailed creative concept and supply reference images to ensure the Parade Curatorial Committee has a clear understanding of your concept, artistic ideas, production values and any messages you may like to convey.
    • If your entry will use a vehicle or float you also need to include detailed drawings of all four sides of the vehicle, the layout of marchers in relation to the vehicle/float, and provide any wording you plan to use on signs etc.
    • Outline how your concept relates to the Evolution of Mardi Gras over 40 years.
    • Outline the benefits and relevance of your float to LGBTQI communities.

    4. All entries must meet the messaging, operational, safety and sponsorship guidelines set out by SGLMG. These guidelines are available to download here. SGLMG reserves the right to refuse participation to entries that have breached Parade regulations in previous years.

    Limited Participant and Float numbers 

    As we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, we are already hearing from an unprecedented number of groups keen to join us in the 2018 Parade.

    Each year the Parade is restricted to a maximum number of floats and participants. With limited form-up space available at the Start Area, SGLMG works closely with the NSW Police, Transport Management, City of Sydney and other key stakeholders to allow for maximum participation, ensuring the overall safety and security for all parade participants within the Start Area.

    To ensure there is as many diverse LGBTQI groups marching in the 2018 Parade, with a strong LGBTQI message, each parade entry or float will be capped at a maximum of 80 participants and parade entrants will be selected by our Curatorial Committee. We thank you for your understanding and we look forward to working with you to deliver the biggest and best Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade.


    To apply to be part of the 2018 Parade you will need to:

    1.  Submit a completed Application Form by 5PM Friday 17 November 2017 and include:

    • Your creative concept
    • Previous history of participating in the Parade
    • Benefit and relevance to LGBTQI communities
    • Relevance to the 40th anniversary

    2.  Consultation

    After your application is received, you may be contacted by a Mardi Gras representative to discuss your eligibility, artistic ideas, production tips, potential collaborations with similar groups and maximising your message. This is a chance to enhance the original submission with more images and further develop your creative ideas.

    We may also speak with you if you have incomplete information, or your entry does not meet the parade criteria.  SGLMG will discuss any issues with you to reach a solution before a final decision will be made. This consultation may result in a slight modification of your entry.

    We highly recommend submitting your Application form early to allow time for a consultation if necessary. 

    3.  Attend the Creative Ideas Workshop 

    If you would like help in developing your creative ideas, concept and float, props and costume design we encourage you to attend the Creative Ideas Workshop. Representatives from Mardi Gras and the community will be on hand to help you develop your 2018 concept. The Creative Ideas Workshop will be held in late October.

    4.  Selection Process

    Our Curatorial Committee with representatives from both SGLMG and our community will assess all applications to determine which entries will be accepted into the 2018 Parade.

    LGBTQI organisations will get first preference and all applications will be assessed on:   

    • Meeting the Eligibility criteria
    • Creative concept
    • Previous history of participating in the Parade
    • Benefit and relevance to LGBTQI communities
    • Relevance to the 40th anniversary

    Under no circumstances will SGLMG alter or make exceptions to the entry criteria to match an individual or groups application.

    5.  Notification
    • Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their entry from 27 NOV to 1 DEC 2017.
    • If you are successful in your application you will be sent an approval notification with details of your entry fee. Payment must be received by 5PM FRI 2 FEB 2018
    • If you are successful in your application you may continue to make changes to your entry or float in consultation with SGLMG up until 5PM FRI 12 JAN 2018.
    • If a decision is made not to accept your application, this will be explained.

    6.  Attend the Entrants Briefing Day

    This day is designed to provide entrants with the opportunity to clear up any remaining questions after viewing a quick presentation on how Parade Day works. You will also collect your Entrants Pack, which contains information on how to collect participant wristbands, your exact arrival time and entry location. It also includes details on your position in the Parade and the approximate time your float will leave the start area.

    7.  Liaising with SGLMG

    When liaising with SGLMG Staff and volunteers, please show respect and follow their directions and requests.  Any inappropriate behaviour (such as verbal abuse) will result in an application withdrawal.


    Parade Entry Opens

    10am, Friday 29 September 2017

    Applicant Consultations

    After application received and prior to Entry Close Date (only if required)

    Creative Ideas Workshop

    Date to be advised - for Late October

    Parade Applications Close

    5pm, Friday 17 November 2017

    Applications Review Period

    Monday 20 November to Friday 24 November 2017

    Applicants Notified

    Monday 27 November to Friday 1 December 2017

    Application Fee Payment Due 5pm, Friday 2 February 2018

    Entrants Briefing Day

    Sunday 11 February 2018

    Parade Day

    Participants will be given staggered entry times into the Start Area. These may be as early as 3pm. Your Parade Start time could be as late as 10:30pm.

    Refreshments are available for purchase and toilet facilities are provided in Hyde Park.


    SGLMG charges a small fee to Entrants to meet a small proportion of the core costs of staging the Parade. Fees are set according to the size and type of the entry. Fee payments must be paid after your application has been approved and before 5PM FRI 2 FEB 2018.

    Final entry into the Parade will not be granted until your application fee payment has been received by SGLMG. Fees for 2018 are as follows:

    • INDIVIDUAL – $55

    A single member of the LGBTQI community or group of up to five.

    • COMMUNITY GROUP / NOT-FOR-PROFIT with 40 people or less – $160

    This includes groups of friends, community members and organisations which are not-for-profit including sporting clubs, social groups and support groups.

    • COMMUNITY GROUP / NOT-FOR-PROFIT with 41 to 80 people – $320

    This includes groups of friends, community members and organisations which are not-for-profit including sporting clubs, social groups and support groups.


    This includes LGBTQI commercial businesses, non-LGBTQI organisations that support the LGBTQI community or Government organisations

    Please note: Additional requirements outside the scope of the Parade Entry Guidelines apply to businesses wishing to participate. Businesses may need to be considered under our commercial partnership arrangements. Please contact if this is relevant before submitting a application form.


    What SGLMG will do:

    • Assess whether an Entrant and their entry aligns to the published criteria and core values of the Parade
    •  Assess an Entrant on their creative concepts and production standard
    • Consult with Entrants to realise their creative potential,
    • Work with an Entrant to maximise the impact of their messaging to audiences including bringing together people or groups with similar messaging,
    • Work towards delivering a Parade that is designed to inspire, excite and challenge audiences,
    • Communicate clearly and apply the same measures and treatment to all entries, including discussing any issues with your entry,
    •  Identify any elements that may require expert advice,
    • Respond to queries in a timely manner

    What SGLMG won’t do:           

    • Censor counter viewpoints,
    • Allow illegal activities or ambush marketing,
    • Allow messages that discriminate or may cause harm to others

    What SGLMG expects from Entrants:

    • Participate and be open to consultation with the SGLMG team
    • Adhere to criteria, sponsorship, operational guidelines and instruction before and on Parade day
    • Honour your agreement with us; your parade entry is what you said it would be
    • Attend compulsory briefings such as the Entrant Briefing Day
    • To use the available resources to create an electric and visually seductive Entry
    • Businesses and Government Entries should set a high artistic standard
    • The Parade is a protest and a celebration that is world renowned and belongs to a creative and vibrant community. All entrants are expected not just to take part, but to contribute to the artistic and political goals of SGLMG and help create an event that is world standard.
    • Show respect, listen and follow requests from SGLMG staff and volunteers.

    Please note: The Parade is designed as a safe space for participants from all walks of life.  Any inappropriate behaviour (such as verbal abuse or of threatening nature) will not be tolerated and will result in an entry being removed from participating in the Parade.

    Please ensure that you have read our Parade Applicant Guidelines (available for download here) before submitting your Application form.


    If you would like more information or have any questions, please contact the Mardi Gras Parade team via:


Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Ltd | Mardi Gras Arts Ltd | Suite 6, 94 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010 | +61 (0) 2 9383 0900 |

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