Mardi Gras wants to bring mega festival ‘World Pride’ to Australia in 2023


city of sydney rainbow flag
Photo: City of Sydney/Twitter

LGBTIQ advocates have cheered news the New South Wales government will provide funding to Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras to support a bid to host World Pride in 2023.

World Pride is a global LGBTIQ festival that is held every two years in different host cities around the world.

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It was first held in Rome in 2000, and this year’s World Pride will be held in New York City in conjunction with the Stonewall50 celebrations, the official commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in the city in 1969.

Now Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras have announced they will bid to bring the festival to Australia in 2023.

Mardi Gras co-chair Kate Wickett said that they’d received a letter outlining a $192,000 funding commitment for the bid from NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Thursday afternoon.

“This bid will allow us to showcase to the rest of the world what Sydney, and Australia more broadly, has to offer the global LGBTQI community and the allies that support and celebrate with us,” she said.

She said the event has the potential to attract thousands of visitors to Sydney, and if the bid was successful it would be the first time the event has been held in the Southern Hemisphere.

Equality Australia CEO Anna Brown welcomed the news and said if the bid was successful, World Pride would be held on the 45th anniversary of the first ever Mardi Gras protest march and on the fifth anniversary of marriage equality.

“Australia has a great deal to be proud of in the intervening years since that first march, having made significant progress in the journey towards equality for LGBTQI+ Australians,” Ms Brown said.

“Hosting World Pride in 2023 would be a fantastic opportunity for Australia to embrace and celebrate the LGBTQI+ community not only in this country, but from around the world.”

This weekend’s Sydney Mardi Gras parade will feature more than 200 floats and is expected to attract more than 12,000 participants to Oxford Street on Saturday night.