In quintessentially Sydney style, Mardi Gras 2020 was announced beneath neon lights and in time to thumping dance music at Town Hall last Friday. Party-lovers wore their sequinned best to the event to hear the announcement of the highly-anticipated line up, along with performances from a few of the artists we’ll be seeing this coming Mardi Gras season.

Headlining Mardi Gras Party 2020 is Brit pop icon Dua Lipa, who will take to the Hordern Pavillion stage after the Parade on Saturday 29th February.

The 2020 theme is ‘What Matters’, a motif which builds on the legacy of Mardi Gras as a platform for activism, and encourages the public to examine what we can do to build an even more inclusive future. In the afterglow of the marriage equality debate, it’s a time to amplify the voices of the marginalised and evaluate the battles that still need to be fought on the road toward complete equality for all.

Mardi Gras Party 2019. Photo by Ann Marie Calilhanna.

“This year we celebrate those at the forefront of the fight for equality. From ground-breaking queer artists to trailblazing thought leaders, Mardi Gras 2020 is an opportunity to visit the next destinations on our journey of diversity, inclusion and social justice,” Mardi Gras Arts Interim CEO, Grant Lowe, said.

“With Sydney named as the host city for WorldPride 2023, there has never been a more pertinent time to celebrate LBGTQI+ culture and uplift every shade of the rainbow.”

Highlights at the Festival Hub include: neo-punk cabaret variety show Fuck Fabulous, the sassy, genre-defying smash-hit Hot Brown Honey, electrifying trans and gender-diverse performance Gender Euphoria, the outrageous drag and burlesque infused YUMMY UNLEASHED, award-winning circus extravaganza You & I from Casus Circus, the return of Koori Gras, thought-provoking workshops and community events from Queer Thinking and a night of quintessential queer bangers from LGBTQI+ artists at Homage.

In addition to this year’s supersized program of events, Australia’s pre-eminent vogue ball Sissy Ball returns, along with iconic Festival classics Fair Day, Parade, Party, and Laneway to deliver a Mardi Gras of monumental proportions. Plus, our local non-profit Surry Hills Creative Precinct is putting on PICNIC Surry Hills, a new food, culture and community day-festival.

The time is fast approaching to get the Cher greatest hits playlist sorted and dust off those sequinned leotards. But most importantly, it’s time to think about What Matters, moving closer to Mardi Gras 2020 and a whole new decade.

Check out the full line-up and program guide at the Mardi Gras website.