In the second instalment of QNew’s guide to what to do during the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival we explore all of the dance parties that take place in Sydney during the festival. Check out our guide to the parade if you missed it here.
Mardi Gras Party
Get ready for pulsating dancefloors, electrifying beats, and pure liberation at the official Mardi Gras Party.
10 hours. 10,000 people. 6 venues. 50+ artists. Those numbers just scrape the surface of what is the largest LGBTQIA+ dance party in Australasia. At the official Mardi Gras Party you can expect heaving dancefloors, hypnotic rhythms and the unmissable hum of joy, sex and liberation in the air.
With rooms tailor-made for everybody’s individual tastes and titillations, find your tribe for the night among six venues. Plant yourself at the Hordern Pavilion where Contemporary, Chicago and Vocal House genres reign supreme.
The Forecourt delivers Vocal House with twists of Pop and Nu-Disco to keep you swirling all through the night.
Fall into a trance at Liberty Hall with Techno, Tech-House, World Music and Electronica pumping through you (BYO chewing gum).
Watson’s werks it out with Classic Divas, Disco and Retro hits and for all the millennials, sport your favourite crop top and flare jeans at Big Top for a night of Nineties and Noughties.
Sat March 2, 2024
Bondi Beach Party
Get your summer glow at Bondi Beach Party! Join 15,000 for beach vibes, live entertainment, and the ultimate Aussie party!
What sets Australia’s Mardi Gras apart from New York, San Francisco or London Pride?
We have top-notch beaches baby! So why not celebrate all that is quintessentially Australian with sun, sand and beach babes by heading down to Bondi Beach for the queer-essential Bondi Beach Party!
Join 15,000 party-goers for the biggest party of the Mardi Gras Festival.
Stacked with live entertainment, dance floors, food, drink, and beyond; there is no better way to enjoy Mardi Gras than dancing while the sun sets on this iconic Aussie spot.
Sat February 24, 2024 Bondi Beach, Queen Elizabeth Drive (South) 2pm – 10pm | $239.00 + bf
Calling all sapphic wonders, futch queens and femme queers: Ultra Violet returns for Mardi Gras 2024! An event purely designed by and for LGBTQIA+ women, Ultra Violet transforms the National Art School into a day-to-night party not to be missed.
Complete with live acts, DJs and performers to keep the party grooving, this is THE party to be for gals, Sals and non-binary pals.
Sat February 17, 2024 National Art School. 156 Forbes St, Darlinghurst 3pm – midnight | $119.00 – $129.00
Kaftana Pool Party
It’s time to frock up or frock off at the Kaftana Pool Party.
The best way to ease into Mardi Gras with a camp day around the pool.
Sun, slays and carabart is what you can expect while the glistening ivy Pool Club becomes the perfect setting for you to soak up the atmosphere.
Drag artists, cabaret performers and DJs will get you through the day, with Charlie Villas, Diva Cups, Jojo Zaho, Miss Katalyna, Sexy Galexy, Tanzer, The Huxleys and Victoria Anthony on the lineup for a gay day out.
Wed February 21, 2024 ivy Pool Club. 320 George Street, Sydney 4pm – 11pm | $65
Hot Trans Summer
When the future is trans, we may as well party away in the present.
Curated for trans and gender diverse people, by trans and gender diverse people.
Take a trip on the Grass Island party boat and soak up that Sydney Summer sun while you celebrate all that is beautiful about being yourself – which is EVERYTHING, obviously.
This cisn’t an exclusive affair, so make sure to bring your best Judy for an absolutely TRANScendent evening.
Thu February 22, 2024 Grass Island Party Boat 6pm – 10pm | $49 + bf
The party never stops, not when Laneway is here to stay!
From the humble beginnings of a few milk crates in the alley to what has become a renowned Mardi Gras wrap up party, Laneway is the only way to go.
This year the Laneway takes over the beloved Beresford and the adjacent Hill Street for a street party vibe like no other.
Meet new friends, have one last hurrah with the new ones you’ve made, or just come for a drink and a flirt – there are no wrong answers.
Sun March 3, 2024 The Beresford. 354 Bourke Street, Surry Hills 2pm – 10pm | $99
It’s a Sunday and you aren’t sure where to go, but you want to start with something deliciously queer. Why not Sundaylicious?!
Sundaylicious is an event to end all events for all members of the Rainbow community.
Make a splash, a fashion statement, or throw some glitter on and go to the send-off party for Sydney Mardi Gras Parade Weekend!
Sun March 3, 2024 Cafe del mar. 35 Wheat Road, Cockle Bay Wharf 3pm – 10pm | From $48
Have a sweet tooth and just NEED to suck on a lolly? (And a big one at that). Go down to the circuit party to end all circuit parties at Candyland XXL!
With DJ legends like Dani Toro and Jose Rendon, Jaw-breaking performances, multiple dance spaces, laser and lights shows, plus an indoor and outdoor space.
Sat February 24, 2024 ivy Pool Club. 320 George Street, Sydney 12pm – 8pm | $90
Keen for a double dose of sugar! Candyland Encore is here for those who couldn’t make it to XXL, or just want another taste.
Featuring gogo boys, more incredible DJs, and those same diverse dance spaces.
Go and get your Willies Wonka’d and your duds milked for Candyland Encore.
Sun March 3, 2024 Establishment. 5 Bridge Ln, Sydney 2pm – 10pm | $90
Paradiso Pool Party
Have a Kick On and be Cool for the Summer one last time at the Ultimate Pool Party for Mardi Gras.
Featuring international DJs from across the globe, and plenty of Cocktails by the ivy Pool Bar.
Slip into your favourite budgie smugglers, soak up some sun and welcome in the second week of Mardi Gras with Paradiso Pool Party.
Mon February 26, 2024 ivy Pool Club. 320 George Street, Sydney 2pm to 11pm | $89 + bf
Club Sandwich: Pleasure and Protest
Celebrate all the best parts of the LGBTQIA+ community with some fun between two buns, and potentially some S&M (Salami and Mayo.)
Serve yourself up at Club Sandwich, hosted by the queen of crASS, Betty Grumble for all those voyeurs, oddballs, and anyone feeling even remotely sensual.
This event is also themed “Pleasure and Protest”, combining sex and art with pole dancing, poetry, Lambada and lap dances (please bring cash tips for all performers.)
Sat February 24, 2024 The Red Rattler Theatre Inc. 6 Faversham St. Marrickville 8pm – 11pm | From $30. Free for MOB + TWOC
Diamonds are a Dyke’s best friend, at least at the Diamond Dance they are! Come celebrate 60 years of Mardi Gras and Pollys Club with Dykes on Bikes as they join forces to celebrate.
Experience the classics of the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s as an essential party playlist.
Featuring a performance by Dykes on Bikes, a best-dressed contest, and a door prize!
Thu February 29, 2024 Paddington Town Hall. 249 Oxford Street, Paddington 6.30pm – 10.30pm | $30 + bf
Tired of the countless apps with nothing but headless torsos asking you for photos?
Want something a little more exciting? Then visit Mega Malebox!
Once you enter write your name, appetites and a message inside the Malebox to find your Mr Write.
Come on by and celebrate 25 years of Oxford Street’s Love Hub (and hear what all the Hubbub is about.)
Wed February 28, 2024 The Stonewall Hotel 8.30pm – 3am | From $48
DAYkaedelic + Dykadellic
Ready for a sapphic sunny soiree? Then bring your carabiners to DAYkadelic/Dykadellic!
Starting when the sun is high in the sky, this party provides you with music, dancing, drinks, and a good time for all queer women, gender non-conforming folks, and any allies that want to come with!
Make friends, meet old friends, and maybe even meet someone to go on a Bunnings trip with if you’re really lucky.
DAYkaedelic 24 February, 2024 3pm – 9pm | From $15
DAYKaedelic at Botany View Hotel
Dykadellic 29 February, 2024 7pm – 1am | From $19
Dykadellic at Kinselas Hotel
Things at Pound Party are bound to get EXTRA steamy, and that’s not just going to be because you’re in Sydney Sauna.
With parties across multiple dates and times throughout Mardi Gras, no need for FOMO. Designed specifically for any masc-presenting people to cruise the sauna rooms as they please and well… Do exactly as the name says.
February 24, March 1-3, 2024 Sydney Sauna. 38-42 Oxford St, Sydney 9pm – 5am | $53.80 + bf
Come to your own Royal Coronation at the Queer Kingdom! Dress the way your heart desires and enjoy the burlesque, boys, and booze.
Embrace your kinkiness and celebrate the community at the historic Stonewall Hotel and its iconic 3 separate dance floors.
All are welcome here whether you’re a Bear, Otter, Twink, none of the above, somehow all of the above, or a new archetype that has yet to be discovered.
Thu February 29, 2024 The Stonewall Hotel 8.30pm – 3am | From $22.50
For more information go to www.mardigras.org.au