Following the success of the 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the iconic venue will once again host the 2022 Parade on Saturday March 5, 2022.
The Parade, which in 2021 for the first time in its history moved away from its traditional Oxford Street venue due to COVID concerns, is the centre piece of the annual Mardi Gras Festival running from February 18 – March 6, theme for which in 2022 is ‘United We Shine’.
Mardi Gras CEO, Albert Kruger said priority with planning for next year’s Parade was ensuring organisers can once again deliver a safe event
Returning to the SCG in 2022, he said, provides the best chance for the Parade to proceed, no matter what the COVID situation determines early next year.
Unlike operating a traditional Mardi Gras Parade on Oxford Street, which attracts around 250,000 spectators, the SCG allows organisers room to scale the Parade up or down to ensure it takes place in the case that Sydney does experience further COVID restrictions.
“There’s still uncertainty of what March is going to look like for us. Mardi Gras can’t guarantee that in the next few months things will be back to normal and we can safely have hundreds of thousands spectators on the streets,” he said.
“The Parade is too important to the community to risk having to cancel. So right now, when decisions need to be made, the SCG is the best option for us to guarantee that we can come together to keep the spirit of Mardi Gras’ history of protest and celebration shining bright in 2022.
“What we do know is that we can stage an incredible and safe Parade in the SCG.”
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras plans to bring the Parade back to Oxford Street for its 45th anniversary in 2023 as a feature of Sydney WorldPride, the first WorldPride held in the southern hemisphere.
Minister for Tourism, Stuart Ayres said the NSW Government’s support of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras underscored its commitment to make NSW a welcoming destination for all visitors.
“Mardi Gras is a celebration of NSW’s pride, diversity and inclusion, and we are immensely proud that it has become one of the largest and most successful LGBTQI+ events in the world,” Mr Ayres said.
“Since 2009, the Mardi Gras Parade is estimated to have generated approximately $390 million in total visitor spend from intrastate, interstate and international visitors. The event is watched around the world and continues to promote Sydney and NSW to millions of potential visitors into the future.”
Lord Mayor, Clover Moore said: “the City of Sydney is a proud, long-term supporter of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and I commend the organisation for continuing to adapt to the ongoing challenges presented by Covid over the past 18 months.
“Mardi Gras’ decision to return to the Sydney Cricket Ground for the 2022 Mardi Gras Parade is prudent given the uncertainty posed by the pandemic, which we will continue to face for some time yet.
“I am sure that the 2022 event will build on the success of this year’s spectacular parade. And I look forward to it being a successful curtain raiser to WorldPride in 2023, when I hope we can all return to celebrate on Oxford Street with Sydneysiders and visitors from around Australia and the world.”
Tickets for the 2022 Mardi Gras Parade go on sale Monday, November 15. Visit www.mardigras.org.au for more information.