Come one, come all to Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Fair Day, proudly presented in partnership with American Express. The biggest and best-loved free community event of the season returns to Sydney’s picturesque Victoria Park on Sunday 20 February for an all-day rainbow adventure of community pride and celebration.
Join thousands of revellers for a picnic in the summer sunshine, shop at one of the 200+ community stalls, savour cocktails at boutique bars, cheer on pooches at the world famous Doggywood Pageant, or recline in the shade and enjoy performances by the many ground-breaking and culture defying LGBTQIA+ artists on stage.
For the first time, Fair Day 2022 will feature the First Nations Circle, presented in partnership with BLAQ Aboriginal Corporation. First Nations Circle will highlight the importance of safe, celebratory spaces for LGBTQIA+ First Nations communities.
It will be a meeting place, a space for conversation, learning, celebration and feature a community tent, elders tent, First Nations performances and stalls from Indigenous businesses including Nungulla Creative, Jarin Street, ACON Aboriginal Project, BLAQ, Gillawara Arts and TATU/NCIE.
Five specialty bars will cater to all tastes and serve up unique beverages and experiences. The Express Yourself Lounge by American Express will welcome all Fair Day fans and serve up a delectable bespoke cocktail – created especially for Fair Day.
The Squealing Pig Wine Bar is a space to relax in the shade and sip on a range of delectable wines, or if you’re feeling spirited, try Mardi Gras gin cocktails at the Archie Rose Bar.
The Little Creatures Garden Bar amps up the energy with sets by queer DJs and performances throughout the day. Hosted by special guests Christian Wilkins and Melissa Hoyer, the Little Creatures Garden Bar will feature DJ house tunes, interactive games, an art space and giveaways. All creatures are welcome to join in a day of fun, play and Hazy IPA!
The entertainment at Fair Day is also stacked with four stages offering unique experiences across the day. American Express Show Ring Stage: Hosted by Mon Schafter and Faustina Agolley, The Show Ring is the main stage at Fair Day.
The morning’s program features a host of community talent and talks before the afternoon welcomes a line-up of stellar musical guests and performers, including rising superstar Clara Fable, The Black Divaz, indie-pop sensation Essie Holt, pop darling Katie Underwood, Zoe Badwi, Chase Zera, JËVA, Joelby, Eshaan and Midnight Pool Party.
Optus Arena: The Optus Arena plays host to the much-loved Doggywood Pageant, hosted by Kevin Kaila, where primped pups and their owners parade around in hopes of being crowned Best In Show.
In the afternoon, once the prized pooches have gone off to enjoy the park, audiences can settle back to watch ABC’s current and former hosts of RN Breakfast, Patricia Karvelas and Fran Kelly host a special live edition of The Party Room and an exclusive performance from Eric Avery.
The Arena will also host a human rights panel talk with Sydney WorldPride titled Religious Discrimination and our Fight Ahead. In this free one-hour forum, guests will hear from LGBTQIA+ people of faith, community leaders, and activists fighting back against this damaging bill and what needs to be done to ensure our laws protect us all equally.
Under the Rainbow with Absolut: This is the absolute destination for tunes at Fair Day with DJ’s Kilimi, Sveta, Victoria Anthony and Mike Kelly pumping hits from under a giant inflatable rainbow from noon until Fair Day’s end.
Deloitte Community Sideshow Stage: Kids and families will be jumping with pride at the community stage with Drag Story Time featuring diva Hannah Conda and a kids hour with DJs on the decks. Later in the day, enjoy wrestling and martial arts demonstrations before ETHAN, Clio and Fried Pork Chop bring in the vibes.
Although there’s no dedicated dancefloors at these stages, Fair Day has an exemption from the NSW Government and attendees are able to stand while consuming alcohol and dance.
Fair Day is also home to a colourful and eclectic market where stallholders can connect with the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s a fantastic place for community groups to meet and recruit new members, for talented designers to sell wares, for entrepreneurs to trial a new product, for businesses to cultivate new customers, and for farmers and food producers to sell produce and gastronomic delights.
Make sure to visit the Sydney WorldPride stall – the biggest event of 2023 has to have the biggest photo experience at Fair Day. They’ll be throwing confetti and getting you red carpet ready with drag performers, DJs and more!
The most colourful day of the year, Fair Day promises a jam-packed day of community fun to kick off the opening weekend of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival.
The 2022 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Fair Day takes place at Victoria Park, Broadway on Sunday 20 February (10.00am – 9.00pm). For more information, visit: www.mardigras.org.au for details.
Image: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Fair Day – photo by Jeffrey Feng Photography