With support from the Department of Premier and Cabinet, ANZ, Tourism Australia and Qantas, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras have launched their formal bid to host WorldPride in Sydney in 2023.
WorldPride is the largest gathering of LGBTI communities globally, and is held ever two years in a host city. If Mardi Gras is successful, it would mark the first time WorldPride has been held in the Southern Hemisphere.
“We’re excited by the potential of WorldPride Sydney 2023,” said Mardi Gras Board Member and 78er, Robyn Kennedy. “It’s the largest and most important LGBTQI festival in the world. We feel bringing this to Sydney will have a positive impact on the Asia Pacific region with regards to social justice and equality for LGBTQI communities.”
Coinciding with Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras’ 45th anniversary, additional major events could include an 80,000 person pride march down Oxford Street, a Bondi Beach concert and an international LGBTQI human rights conference. WorldPride 2013 has the potential to bring more than one million visitors to Sydney, contributing $600-800 million to the local economy.
“Every year the eyes of the world look upon Sydney as we light up the southern hemisphere with our Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras festivities,” said NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin. “It’s exciting to think we could be bringing the world to Sydney for WorldPride 2023 where we can showcase our beautiful global city to the world.
”This is an exciting opportunity for Sydney and NSW to host yet another world-class event that has the potential to attract thousands of visitors to the city and make a significant economic and cultural impact,” said Mardi Gras CEO, Terese Casu, when announcing the plans earlier this year.
“This event would not only boost the international profile of the Mardi Gras festival, it would also showcase the iconic surrounds of Sydney and NSW as a premier tourist destination.”
An Australian delegation will travel to key international destinations to present their case for Sydney to host this marquee international LGBTQI event – with the bid’s outcome decided by InterPride members at their annual AGM in Athens in October 2019.
The inaugural WorldPride was held in Rome in 2000, with Jerusalem (2004), London (2012), Toronto (2014) and Madrid (2017) having also been host cities. The next WorldPride will be in New York City in 2019 as part of the Stonewall50 celebrations, followed by Copenhagen, Denmark in 2021.
For more information about Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras’ bid for WorldPride 2023, visit: www.mardigras.org.au for details.
Image: courtesy of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras