Image for Here's Mardi Gras 2012!

Here's Mardi Gras 2012!

In a massive info-dump today, Sydney's Mardi Gras has revealed some of its 2012 star guests, new and returning events, a hearty logo and renewed vision for the future.

Drag superstar RuPaul is now confirmed as an international guest – she'll sashay to Sydney joining drag tribute act The Dame Edna Experience, Harbour City sister Trevor Ashley and dancefloor fillers Sneaky Sound System gracing the annual Mardi Gras smorgasbord of arts, parties and social events, from 12 February until 4 March 2012.

Partygoers on Saturday March 3 can also look forward to performances from DJ Lady Miss Kier from iconic ’90s dance group Deee-Lite as well as internationally acclaimed London DJs Horse Meat Disco.

Other acts for the fest include Britney Spears: The Cabaret paying tribute to the car-crash-slash-pop-princess extraordinaire, and our very own Clown Prince of Polyester Bob Downe stars in his Retro-gras Tea Dance.

Some of the world’s most influential academics and creative talents discuss their work, passions and communities in the thought-provoking Queer Thinking event. Speakers include Professor Sara Ahmed from Goldsmith’s University of London, artist Gary Carsley and queer Muslim lawyer and social justice activist Alyena Mohummadally.

The hub during the Festival will undoubtedly be the Mardi Gras Festival Bar at the Oxford Hotel. Expect a packed program of performers, big name DJs, comedy and some of our favourite community events – including Mega Furry Friday, when the bears take over all four floors, Mega Buzz, Swagger, Hot Rod, Dog Tag and Burlesque, plus Underground with Sydney Leather Pride events.

And as usual there'll be the Mardi Gras Film Festival presented by Queer Screen, a visual arts program, the Team Sydney sports festival, a range of events for young people – including a Queer Prom to celebrate Twenty10's 30th birthday – and much, much more.

An amazing theme-park party! Head to the next page for details…

Comments arrow left

flungabunga said on the 17th Nov, 2011

It's fucking with my eyes!

Matt Akersten

Matt Akersten said on the 17th Nov, 2011

Here it is as a pair of glasses:


dracon388 said on the 17th Nov, 2011

Tickets on sale already though... ugh money!

Travis de Jonk

Travis de Jonk said on the 17th Nov, 2011

Looks like an exciting 2012 season. Interesting though that the words 'Gay and Lesbian' have been dropped from the logo. Or is it just this particular version of the logo? It's just Mardi Gras. Like New Orleans... a big mainstream celebration. Have the gays lost their biggest party? Has MG just sold out to the Sydney tourism machine? hmmm.


phildev said on the 17th Nov, 2011

OMG I can't believe they got RuPaul! That is fantastic! Getting excited about MG2012 already!!! Well done all involved!

Tim D

Tim D said on the 17th Nov, 2011

I think it looks really exciting, well done to all involved. Go MG!

Matt Akersten

Matt Akersten said on the 17th Nov, 2011

Mardi Gras' Damien got it done as a tattoo today. That's commitment to the cause!

Matt Akersten

Matt Akersten said on the 17th Nov, 2011

Revamped Mardi Gras website went live in the last few minutes. Looking good:


TheOldie said on the 17th Nov, 2011

I love that time of year . So much gaiety going on. We usually do a movie , Fair Day and the Party.
Occassionally we go for a look at the Parade.


david_margeaux said on the 17th Nov, 2011

Nice to see the words "Gay & Lesbian" have been dropped from the logo :(
What's the point of all this if we exclude the 2 words that mean the most to the purpose or reason for the organisations existence. If the organisation's name has changed from New Mardi Gras back to the original Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, who from a branding perspective suggested it would be a good idea to drop "Gay & Lesbian" from the organisation's logo? Also, a quick look at the redesigned website has only one instance of the words "Gay & Lesbian" on it, and that's in the site copyright notice. Can someone from Mardi Gras explain the rationale as to not using these words anymore? Has gay become pass?


Cheetah77 said on the 17th Nov, 2011

Looking forward to see what else they come up with. Excited to see Britney Spears: the cabaret back too. I saw it last year and it was absolutely brilliant! Sooo funny and v v clever! Definitely see it if you get the chance


Phazz said on the 17th Nov, 2011

Interesting theme and logo. It's nice they are throwing me a party ;)


Phazz said on the 17th Nov, 2011

Also removing Gay and Lesbian from the logo is of concern. Are they trying to appeal to a more mainstream demographic?


CeeJay said on the 17th Nov, 2011

The season looks great, and I quite like the new logo. It's a bit strange they dont mention the butterfly reference and it's links with Mardi Gras over the years. I think dropping "gay and lesbian" from the logo is a huge mistake though. Especially as they have changed the organisation's name to include it. I guess that was an appeasement move, but to me it seems like they are saying "it's ok to be gay and lesbian behind the scenes, but not in public".

Who would have thought that Mardi Gras would go back in the closet?


david_margeaux said on the 17th Nov, 2011

$39 for the new (old) laneway party? Are they joking?


Husky-D said on the 17th Nov, 2011

Happy about the new logo. Not happy about dropping "gay & lesbian" in the name.


plumage said on the 17th Nov, 2011

oh good... we get rupaul and a britney spears show for the gays... and we drop the actually name of what the fight was for in the first place... but as long as there's a drag queen woohoo.
i just walked past a radio where on the news they announced as major headlines... mardi gras drops gay and lesbian and changes to sydney mardi gras. funnily they didn't hype that part up for same same... just for the mainstream media that they clearly prefer to make happy


khrys1989 said on the 17th Nov, 2011

sneaky sound system headlining the after party? wow, very dissapointing.


leverarchfile said on the 17th Nov, 2011

whta laod of rubbish.....they could have saved themselves a lot of trouble and just bought the clip art off the net.....geeeeeeeees talk about rehashing an old idea...


david_margeaux said on the 17th Nov, 2011

The more I think about them dropping Gay & Lesbian from all the marketing for the festival, the more pissed off I'm getting. The current managers and Board of SGLMG have been eroding the value of both the brand and the festival for the last few years. Time for new blood.


david_margeaux said on the 17th Nov, 2011

More ranting about the new Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras festival logo:

Greg Logan, Moon%u2019s ECD, said: %u201CThe logo is a universal symbol that connects with everyone in a different way. It symbolises all types of genders coming together and does not discriminate. Its symmetry indicates equality and people coming together to celebrate love.%u201D

That would be great except GAY & LESBIAN people do not have EQUALITY yet. The logo is but a little premature (as much as I like it!)


MrAsh said on the 17th Nov, 2011

This is AWESOME! I really like how they are making the parade diverse and the dropping of the Gay and Lesbian and GLBTI really opens it up a lot. I know some of you want the Mardi Gras to be Gay & Lesbian exclusively yet times are changing and the world is evolving as is human sexuality and expression and to define it with such narrow terms is no longer useful, it's retrogressive and to be honest inhibiting.

If Mardi Gras can pull this off it'd be wonderful to see the festival and parade come from Homosexual rights to the celebration of Human Rights and diversity.

Those who are complaining about the dropping of Gay & Lesbian are really narrow minded in your perspective. In fact I liken those people to the GLBTI 'Holy See'.


christophercurtis_ said on the 17th Nov, 2011

I guess it makes sense if you consider that mardi gras is more about equality for all. It inevitably will change in meaning over time.


JarrodJ said on the 17th Nov, 2011

I don't think it matters having "Gay and Lesbian" in the title. What about people that identify in other ways? Plus, it makes things more open, inviting and friendly to everyone.

Everyone knows what "Mardi Gras" means, and hopefully by the time people stop automatically associating Mardi Gras with "gay and lesbian" that will be a time when people stop associating a lot of other things (negatively) with the LGBTQI community.


david_margeaux said on the 17th Nov, 2011

Umm, so for those that think dropping "Gay & Lesbian" from the name and brand of the festival is ok, do you believe that other events or festivals that are labelled are not as inclusive. Chinese New Year should rename themselves "February New Year or Luna New Year so as to be more inclusive. Because if you aren't Chinese you wouldn't go or feel like you are a part of it right?

The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras organisation is putting on a month long festival to celebrate OUR community and the diversity that exists within OUR community. This is the only time really in a whole year that the city is truly openly and visibly gay. They've now stripped that identity away and made it just another festival.

If that's ok with everyone else I will shut up. But I didn't spend the last 20 years fighting for my right to be me - a gay man to become invisible... or just like everyone else. I may have a lot of similarities with my straight friends, but there is one important difference that I used to enjoy celebrating for one month of the year.

Now it just feels hollow.


fivewings said on the 17th Nov, 2011

Could it be that many in our queer community no longer identify as "gay" or "lesbian"?


david_margeaux said on the 17th Nov, 2011

So should the Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby drop the "Gay & Lesbian" from their name? And for that matter, why is the Mardi Gras organisation still known as the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras yet the festival is now the generic, non sexual Sydney Mardi Gras. Why change the company name from New Mardi Gras (all encompassing as many posters have noted) back to the old SGLMG name?


MrAsh said on the 17th Nov, 2011

@david_margeaux Chinese New Year is actually called 'Spring Festival ' (%u6625%u8282 Pinyin: Ch%u016Bn Ji) and also referred to as 'Luna New Year' and that's way different from what Mardi Gras is about, in fact Mardi Gras in it's history has evolved and changed, like all movements to fight for liberation it needs to adapt and modify to reflect the progress and evolution in society. The dropping of Gay and Lesbian and GLBTI, is a step forward since as 'Fivewings' states many people no longer identify with those terms.


david_margeaux said on the 17th Nov, 2011

@MrAsh - actually, while that may be the true names, the actual celebration that is promoted by the City of Sydney is the Chinese New Year Festival.


djak said on the 17th Nov, 2011

Nice to have a logo with eye holes


gprestage said on the 17th Nov, 2011

So, it appears that according to Mardi Gras, in our brave, new all-inclusive world, the only way to include 'everybody' (which must mean heterosexuals) is to remove the references to gays and lesbians. Presumably, in our all-inclusive world, heterosexuals can't possibly be expected to celebrate the achievements of the gay and lesbian communities and so gays and lesbians need to just hand over the symbols of gay and lesbian pride in favour of some notion of 'universal love'. And, let's just ignore all of our history in the process.
If some heterosexual people are uncomfortable in celebrating something that is specifically about gay and lesbian pride, then there's still a reason for us to make sure we publicly and loudly celebrate it. And if they are comfortable with celebrating it, then why do we need to hide it - can't they just participate in our celebration?


Husky-D said on the 17th Nov, 2011

I think the reason why I'm bit concerned about dropping "gay & lesbian" is that I fear it might eventually transform to a "mainstream" event rather than a GLBTI one that welcomes our hetero friends. To be honest, as long as the content and theme of Mardi Gras stay close and stay true to GLBTI I could't care less about what name they use.

P.S I think Mardi Gras is very inclusive already so it's not really necessary to drop the "gay & lesbian" in the name. I mean every year heaps of straight people go the parade and parties etc.


david_margeaux said on the 18th Nov, 2011


"Our general objective is to raise the visibility of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex communities. "

Not sure how they are going to achieve this with a festival brand that makes no mention of Gay or Lesbian but whatever....


blaah said on the 18th Nov, 2011

Who was the moron that came up with the idea of dropping "Gay and Lesbian"from the Mardi Gras name?
Do they really think more people will come to the party if "Gay and Lesbian" is dropped? They don't seem to see any value in these words;I wonder why?


kylierose said on the 18th Nov, 2011

If gay and lesbian people no longer identify with the terms, gay and lesbian... what term do they identify with? Straight-acting?


Phazz said on the 18th Nov, 2011

I remember the advertisements this year at Fitness First advertised it as Mardi Gras Party and there was not even a mention of gay, lesbian, transgender, etc.

Matt Akersten

Matt Akersten said on the 18th Nov, 2011

Today Mardi Gras has responded to concerns about its new name...


lordpats said on the 18th Nov, 2011

Dropping 'gay and lesbian' is an obvious attempt to appease those who oppose us having a special parade to celebrate our sexuality and protest homophobia. We all know Mardi Gras has been toned down to become 'mainstream', but apparently Mardi Gras now wants to include and appease the people who feel a little sick when the terms 'gay' or 'lesbian' are mentioned. I never knew the terms 'gay' or 'lesbian' where such a deterrent to ticket sales- can't wait to party with all the people who didn't come because the parade had those word's in it's title. When legal discrimination still needs to be fought , and strong statements still need to be made to help gay youth- is removing the focus of the parade off our community to appease straights really the spirit of defiance displayed by the 78'rs? If kids in the street can call me 'faggot' as they did tonight, why can't my parade have the guts to do the same when I'm walking down Oxford street? Where the 78'rs afraid to proclaim their sexuality openly in the streets? When did the SGLMG organisers decide we were no longer allowed to clearly proclaim publically our sexuality on our night, and callously rid the Sydney gay community of their parade? What does it really say to gay youth when their queer pride parade is unable to explicitly call itself 'proudly queer'?


ScarletJimmy said on the 22nd Nov, 2011

Dropping the "Gay and Lesbian" part of the name is an excellent idea. We push for acceptance and equal societal status, but we insist on running primarily exclusive events down main streets of capital cities?? Really guys?? Acceptance and toleration is a two-way street :)


Light-Bearer said on the 22nd Nov, 2011

Equality for all.

I'm sure our straight brothers and sisters thank us for taking up their cause.

I remember when I was 15 and struggling with my sexuality. Little did I know at the time, that it was I who was causing all the pain and alienation all along.

Boy. Am I glad Mardi Gras sorted me out.

They're here. They're straight. Get used to it

*pumps fist in air