Its going to be a crazy busy Mardi Gras season packed full of excellent queer events, shows, parties and exhibitions. Here are our top picks, worthy of your gay xmas wish list, so get in quick and don’t miss out on tickets!
Thu Feb 19
Queer Identity: Is it forever? + Happy Mardi Gras! Slideshow Night (6.30pm // FREE // Surry Hills Library) Join author and historian Garry Wotherspoon as he discusses how queer identity has changed over time, followed by Photographer C. Moore Hardy sharing her recollections of the SGLMG with a slideshow of her iconic images.
MGFF The Circle | Opening Night Film + Party (7pm // $30 // Event Cinema) join our beloved Stereogamous in the Gold Class Lounge after the film for a champers.
Jurassic Lounge (6.30pm // $19+bf // Australian Museum) a chance to sample acts and speakers from the Mardi Gras program, including Diesel Darling, DJ Sveta, the Silent Disco, Date Roulette, photo booths, live reptiles, and much, much more.
Hosed by New York neo-burlesque king Murray Hill, Club Swizzle (19 Feb-15 Mar // $30-115+bf // Opera House) continues its run into the Mardi Gras season. The new show from the folks who brought us La Soiree and La Clique features a great cast of cabaret performers and is part bar, part show, all chaos!
Fri Feb 20
TOP PICK: Day For Night Party (7.30pm-11.30pm // $35 // Carriageworks) and Exhibition (21-22 Feb // FREE // Carriageworks) explore queer space and time through an exhilarating collision of live bodies, you are invited to join the party, then return the next day to experience the works in a whole new (day)light. Curated by Jeff Khan (Artistic Director, Performance Space) and Emma Price (The Kingpins) and scored in collaboration with Stereogamous, Day For Night showcases the work of artists Matthew Day, Emma Maye Gibson (Betty Grumble), Bhenji Ra, Nell, White Drummer and Técha Noble.
Sat Feb 21
TOP PICK: Queer Thinking (11am-7pm // $16.50 // Seymour Centre) A massive line up of amazing queer thinkers and doers bring you a thought-provoking day of ideas, literature, academia and culture, including Pauline Pantsdown/Simon Hunt, Paul Mac and Jonny Seymour (Issue 4), Aram Hosie, and DIRTY QUEER‘s own Xavier Moustache. Queer Thinking will explore a broad range of topics and perspectives, from trans-gender identity and issues affecting young people, to the specific challenges faced by queer and trans people from diverse cultural backgrounds.
TOP PICK: Dj Matt Vaughan is bringing you an extra special Saturday night Mardi Gras edition of Loose Ends (10pm // $10 // Phoenix) with international guests TBA.
MGFF Nan Goldin: I Remember Your Face (2pm // $19 // Event Cinemas) Celebrated photographer Nan Goldin documented the extraordinary lives of queers in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. Now, an almost 60-year-old Goldin retraces her steps.
MGFF Kumu Hina & Guavas and Bananas (6.30pm // $19 // Events Cinemas) Kumu Hina explores the uplifting story of respected ma-hu teacher Hina Wong-Kalu. An inspiring doco where a boy can transform into a woman and a girl can become a leader among men. Guava and Bananas- In Papua New Guinea Hanuabada village is one of few places where gay and trans men live in safety.
No Scrubs (8pm // $15-25 // Red Rattler) non-stop old skool hip-hop and rnb hits, DJ’s Charlie Villas , Hamo and Del and performances by Femme Fatales Australia.
Heaps Gay (9pm // $15 // Gladstone Hotel) music, performance, beers, babes and many gay times.
Sun Feb 22
TOP PICK: DIRTY QUEER will be at Fair Day (10am-8pm // FREE // Victoria Park) with our friends Archer at the Queer Indie Publishers stall. Head on down to the park and check out the wildlife!
TOP PICK: For Fanny’s Sake (2pm- 10pm // $10-20 // Red Rattler) is probably the most important money you could spend this MG season. Beloved Melbourne based, Sydney bred performance artist and cake wonder woman Lennox Cakes Diamonds has been doing her best to save up for gender reassignment surgery, turns out unless you were born with one, vaginas aren’t cheap. A massive line up of performers, auction, raffle and heaps more! You can also donate by visiting www.youcaring.com/lennoxdreamsofjeans
House of Mince presents Poida’s Pavlova Bar (4pm // TBA // Q Bar) with Simon Caldwell, Ben Drayton, Slow Blow + secret guest!
Mon Feb 23
MGFF Boy Meets Girl + Genderfreak (7pm // $19 // Event Cinemas) a sex-positive trans rom-com about a small town love triangle.
Hats Off! To The Hits (8pm // $35-95 // Seymour Centre) a camp celebration of the pop classics transformed into Broadway dynamite, raising money for ACON and the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation.
Tue Feb 24
TOP PICK: Femme Smut (7pm // $10-15 +bf // Gasoline Pony) Sydney Femme Guild (Issue 1) is hosting a night of erotic readings and spoken word in celebration of femme identity and desire.
MGFF Mixed Shorts 1 (6.30pm // $19 // Event Cinemas) Alone With People and Nomansland. Followed by Filmmaker Meet-Up (6pm // FREE // Event Cinemas)
MGFF Do I Sound Gay (7pm // $19 // Event Cinemas) this documentary follows David Thorpe as he confronts his anxiety about “sounding gay”. Including interviews with Margaret Cho, Tim Gunn, Dan Savage, George Takei and David Sedaris.
Wed Feb 25
TOP PICK: Award-winning young choreographer James Welsby presents an hour-long dance work Hex (25-28 Feb // $20-25 // PACT), reflecting on AIDS, activism, sex, and disco through the eyes and bodies of a younger generation.
MGFF Match (11am // $19 // Events Cinema) Patrick Stewart followed by free tea and biscuits. CUTE!
MGFF Roller Derby Double Bill: In The Turn + Derby Crazy Love (6.30pm // $19 each/$30 double // Events Cinemas) Sydney Roller Derby League present a night of derby films, including “In the Turn” and “Derby Crazy Love”, with an after party featuring the antics of Super Showgirl Cosplay and DJ Cunningpants.
Bear Essentials 19 Opening Celebration (7pm // FREE // Royal Automobile Club). Welcome to Country from Uncle Kevin, speech from Alex Greenwich MP for Sydney, canapés provided and music by Stereogamous.
Thu Feb 26
TOP PICK: MGFF My Queer Career (6.30pm // $19 // Event Cinemas) Australia’s biggest queer short film prize.
Twenty10’s 4th annual Glitter Ball (6-10pm // FREE // Red Rattler) an event for young people (under 26) who are LGBTIQA and others of diverse sexualities, genders and intersex status, their allies and friends.
MAASive Lates: Queer Big Top (6-9pm // $25-30 // Powerhouse Museum) sees drag queens take over the Museum’s Circus Factory exhibition.
Bear Essentials Trivia Night (7.30pm // $10 // Imperial Hotel) for quizzical and intellectual type bears.
Fri Feb 27
TOP PICK: DIRTY QUEER’s own Xavier Moustache and Signal are hooking up to bring you a special Mardi Gras event, The 19th Hole (10pm // $15 // Signal), a cruising night for transmen who play with men (or want to…) and the men who play with us.
MGFF Life Partners + Heaps Gay After Party (7pm // $19 // Event Cinemas) a comedy about a gay girl and her straight BFF, followed by the Heaps Gay and Dandy Djs.
Friday Night Bears (7.30pm // FREE // Kinselas) your weekly sausage, beard and belly fest.
MGFF Out In The Night (9pm // $19 // Event Cinemas) Documentary about four lesbians who are violently threatened by a man on the street. The man is stabbed and the women are charged. This film depicts a legal system steeped in racism.
MGFF Drunktown’s Finest (9.30pm // $19 // Events Cinemas) The lives of young Navajo individuals Felixia (a transgender escort/aspiring model), Sick Boy (a father-to-be) and Nizhoni (an adopted girl) are examined on an Indian Reservation.
Sat Feb 28
TOP PICK: Sydney favourites Dj Gemma and Seymour Butz (Issue 4) bring you another colourful edition of our beloved Club Kooky (1-9pm // $30+bf // Manning Bar, Syd Uni). ***NEW VENUE- MANNING BAR, SYD UNI***
Have your self a bear sized dumpling feast at Bear Essentials Yum Cha (10.30am // $35 // Golden Harbour Restaurant).
Youth History Walk (10.30am // FREE // Green Park) a guided tour the opportunity to learn about places of cultural and historical significance and an overview of developments within Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Rights movement.
MGFF Alex & Ali (2pm // $19 // Events Cinemas) Documentary about American Alex, who spent 1967 to 1977 in Iran, where he fell in love with Ali, an Iranian. Having not seen one another in 35 years, they remarkably rekindle their romance in Istanbul.
The first of the Bear Essentials parties, Bear Black (9pm // $15+bf // The Standard) promises a night of hot bears, sexy daddies and cute cubs. DJ’s Paul Coles and Man Lie.
MGFF Peter De Rome: Grandfather Of Gay Porn (9.30pm // $19 // Event Cinemas) Peter captured moments of his own intense sexual pleasure, creating erotic fantasy pornscapes. This charming doco sets out to reveal and celebrate his extraordinary life.
Sun Mar 1
TOP PICK: Blown in from the West, Bar Bitch Chew Art (7pm // $20-25 // Oxford Art Factory) is an alt-queer arts party in Sydney for one night only. Curated by theatre collective Voix de la Ville and featuring Ash Baroque, Strykermeyer, Betty Grumble, Sara Pax, Matt Format, Aaron Manhattan and Glamour Puss.
Hosted by Joyce Maynge the Little Black Dress Run (11am // FREE // Darling Harbour) is an opportunity to don your black best frock and heels for a spin around Darling Harbour to raise money for Camp Goodtime, supporting children living with HIV.
MGFF Frozen Sing-Along (1pm // $10 // Event Cinemas) presented by Rainbow Babies and Kids for anyone who wants to dress up and sing along!
Chill with the Bears At The Bank (4pm // FREE // Bank Hotel) on Sunday afternoon.
MGFF Castanha (5pm // $19 // Event Cinemas) Documentary about João Carlos Castanha, a 52 year old gay Brazilian actor/drag emcee whose performances are out-of-this-world.
MGFF Queens & Cowboys (6pm // $19 // Event Cinemas) this documentary explores the world of LGBT rodeos. Followed by the saloon-themed after party with DJ Jack Shit, and drag performer Apocalypstik.
Mon Mar 2
TOP PICK: Melbourne’s own queer provocateur Agent Cleave brings Showstopper (2-4 Mar // $22 // Q Bar) to town to get you wet, hard, a little grossed out and totally turned on.
Ditch work and spend the day with the Beach Bears (11am // FREE // Bondi Beach), look out for the bear flags and enjoy the sun and surf.
MGFF Mala Mala + After Party (6.30pm // $19 // Events Cinemas) A wonderful celebration of the trans community in Puerto Rico, including RPDR’s contestant April Carrión. After Party with Dj Sveta, James Smithers and Matt Format.
Bears & Bowls (8pm // $30-60 // Paddo Bowls) BEARfoot bowls, BBQ and drinks to kick off your mardi Gras week.
Tue Mar 3
TOP PICK: Join Inked Kenny (Issue 5) for the opening night of his exhibition The Men Of Inked Kenny Captured In OZ (7pm // FREE // M2 Gallery), including book signing and live performance installation.
MGFF She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry (6.30pm // $19 // Event Cinemas) this doco chronicles the events of the brilliant women who founded the modern women’s movement from 1966 to 1971. Followed by 40 minute panel discussion.
MGFF Mixed Shorts 2 (7pm // $19 // Events Cinemas) Novena and Jetzt Jetzt Jetzt.
Hang out with the cubs and their joysticks at Press Paws (7pm // $10+bf // Kinselas) including free pizza!
Wed Mar 4
TOP PICK: Ireland’s high queen, performance giant, accidental activist and national fucking treasure Panti Bliss (Issue 2) presents High Heels in Low Places (4-6 Mar // $29+bf // Vanguard). Following on from her 2014 Noble Call and the media shitstorm, join Panti for her riotous stand-up about life after ‘Pantigate’.
MGFF Stories of Our Lives (6.30pm // $19 // Events Cinemas) a documentary of the queer experience in Kenya.
Join all the beefy blokes, burly bears, cutest cubs, furry studs and hot daddies at Underbear (9pm // $40+bf // ARQ) in their jocks, footy shorts, undies and briefs.
Thu Mar 5
MGFF Closing Night Celebrations (6pm // FREE // Events Cinemas). Closing drinks with drag DJ Kitty Glitter.
Fri Mar 6
TOP PICK: Kelly Lovemonster (Issue 4) is bringing San Francisco’s best hip hop party Swagger Like Us (9pm // $15-20 // Red Rattler) down under, joined by Djs davO and Boy_friend and electro pop duo Double Duchess (Issue 6).
Get wet and wild with some water bears at Bear Essentials Wet Fur (6-9pm // $15+bf // Cook & Phillip Park), then party on into the night at Three Floors of Fur (7.30pm // FREE // Kinselas) Friday Night Bear take over all 3 stories of Kinselas.
Sat Mar 7
TOP PICK: The House of Mince and Velvet Hammer join forces again this year to bring you an epic night of music, performance and strangeness at Love Cult 2000 (9pm // $70 // Metro Theatre). Featuring Djs Tama Sumo, Jason Kendig, Ben Drayton (Issue 1), Seymour Butz (Issue 4) and Hip Hop Hoe. Live performances from Double Duchess (Issue 6), Tanzer, Agt Cleave and The Gang of She. In the Lair, “The Throwdown” featuring Club Ate, with sets by Victoria Kim and the legendary Mike Q.
If you are looking for some pre-drinks to get your night started, head on down to Bear Essentials Pre-Parade Gathering (2pm // FREE // Lord Roberts).
Catch an eyeful of glitter, sparkle, leather and nude bits at the 37TH Annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade (7.45pm // FREE // Oxford & Flinders St). Be sure to get there early and pull up a milk crate as you cheer on the spectacle that is the parade.
If the Mardi Gras party (10pm // $140+BF // Entertainment Quarter) is on your to do list be sure to catch JD Samson (Issue 2), Paul Mac, Sammy Jo, Sveta and YO! MAFIA.
Sun Mar 8
TOP PICK: The Glitter Militia (Issue 6) bring you the afternoon Rainbow Nuclear Family Meltdown Monsta Gras VS The Uncover-y Party 2015 (2pm-Midnight // $25+bf // Red Rattler) featuring Lorna Clarkson, Meta Etc, Simona Kapitolina, Broke Powers, Daddy Banga, Hip Hop Hoe, Radioactive Gogo + more TBA.
TOP PICK: Complete your MG party weekend with all your closest friends at Loose Ends (10pm // $10 // Phoenix).
Recover with a big bear hug at Bears at the Bank (4pm // FREE // Bank Hotel).
Sydney’s hottest underground gay, leather and fetish dance party Extra Dirty (10pm // $50+bf // Q Bar) bring you their biggest event of the year.
Happy Mardi Gras! Photographic Exhibition (3 Feb-27 Mar // FREE // Surry Hills Library) Featuring works from the City of Sydney Archive’s C.Moore Hardy collection.
Guy James Whitworth (Issue 5) brings you his new exhibition Me/You/Them/Us (3 Feb-29 Mar // FREE // Newtown Library).
Boomalli Aboriginal Art Gallery‘s exhibition Our A-Gender (18 Feb-28 Mar // FREE // Boomalli) showcases the work of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander artists in the LGBTI communities.
Sebastian Zagarella‘s installation INSIDE / OUT (19 Feb-14 Mar // FREE // Pine Street Creative Arts Centre) explores a personal response to living with HIV.
National Treasures (20 Feb- 8 Mar // FREE // Muse Clinic) Richard Hedger’s photographic exhibition celebrating age in LGBTI communities.
Catch the photo exhibition The Men Of Inked Kenny Captured In OZ (3-5 Mar // FREE // M2 Gallery), including book signing and live performance installations.
Acclaimed Australian artist Liam Benson presents Noble Savage (4-28 Mar // FREE // Artereal Gallery) an exhibition examining the romanticised ‘white Australian’ male archetype from the view of ‘a privileged white male of Anglo-Celtic heritage with a queer awareness’.
If you have a preview you would like to invite us to or an event you would like us to know about or put us on the guest list for please drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org