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Pride. It’s something that all of us feel on differing levels when it comes to our sexual and our gender identity. For the last 50 years, whist once it was considered a Biblical deadly sin, for the LGBTQIA+ community, it’s a hard fought and not-quite-won-yet notion.

This year EuroPride was supposed to take place in the Serbian capital of Belgrade but due to far-right politically motivated protests going hand in hand with orthodox Roman Catholic threats, the whole thing was cancelled. It was a messy and disappointing business but served to highlight to the rest of the world that Pride is more important than ever.

Where in the rest of the world though? Sydney that’s where, because what’s bigger than Europe? The world. For the first time in the history of the festival, WorldPride is being held in the Southern Hemisphere and there could only be one destination – Sydney. But what makes this year so special?

The Aussies don’t do things by halves and with the 100 days to the festival mark passing recently, it’s all systems go. To celebrate the 100 Days, they even unveiled a giant rainbow sand sculpture on Bondi Beach replete with drag queens and WorldPride officials.

The program of over 300 events (yes THREE HUNDRED) was also released on the same day with the announcement of even more artists playing over the festival (hello Kelly Rowland, Peaches, Muna and Charli XCX to name just a few).

As will ALL Prides, there is a serious aspect at play there too. The Human Rights conference takes place form the 1st to the 3rd of March and features a cornucopia of incredible speakers from all around the world. You can check out the list of contributors here.

Dress to impress at Sydney World Pride! The Amsterdam Rainbow Dress arrived in Sydney earlier this year.

The whole she-bang kicks off on the 24th February with the Live & Proud Opening Concert. Presented by Casey Donavan and internationally renowned drag queen Courtney Act, the show is bound to be a jaw-droppingly-good starring the aforementioned Charli XCX and none other than the Antipodean Princess of Pop herself, Kylie Minogue. Frankly it would have been MORE of a scandal had she not agreed to perform for her LGBTQ+ fans all over the world!

The very next day, on the 25th Feb, Sydney Mardi Gras returns to the streets for the first time since 2020. The excitement for the return of the parade (this year with over 12500 performers) is palpable. Mardi Gras is an institution that shines as a beacon to the world for just how to do a Pride and with the parade now hitting it’s 45th year, Sydney is going all out with this one as LGBTQ+ people all over the world will be looking to Sydney WorldPride as a beacon of hope.

One thing no discerning traveller to Sydney should EVER forget is their swimmers. Pack those budgie smugglers and ‘kinis as on 4th March a whopping 12k queer revellers will descend on Bondi Beach. Famous the world over, Sydney WorldPride will be showcasing yet another facet of Sydney life with a beach party to end all beach parties. Get working on those beach bods now we say, although at WorldPride you can be whoever you want to be.

Well that all seems well and good (and rather fabulous) but how can us regular peeps score tickets to this extravaganza? It’s certainly a lot more affordable than you’d imagine with some bonza deals if you get in there early. The only way lucky Brits can get tickets to the events we’ve covered (and SO much more) is by grabbing on of the packages here. So what you waiting, what you waiting for? Sydney awaits!

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Sam Dowler

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