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27 Jan 2022

Will the Sydney Mardi Gras go ahead in 2022?

We're still a long way from 'normal' for this major queer event.

The 2022 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Party will not go ahead, due to a public health order issued by the New South Wales government.
It comes on a day when New South Wales recorded over 30,000 cases of COVID-19.
‘Singing and Dancing is Not Permitted’
According to the health order, “Singing and dancing is not permitted at a hospitality venue, entertainment facility, nightclub, major recreation facility or music festival.”
Exceptions to this rule only apply to performers who are “performing” or “rehearsing,” a person who is “instructing” or “being instructed, in singing or dancing,” and a “wedding service” or a “gathering immediately following a wedding.”
One of the four main ways to obtain an exemption would be to “ensure there is no dancefloor at the event” or that “any existing dancefloor is not used.”
‘Health and Safety of Our Community will Always Remain Our Top Priority’
Yesterday, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) sent out the announcement stating that it was cancelling Party for the 2022 LGBTQI celebration.
It wrote it was doing so with “very heavy hearts,” and Party is not “operable under the state’s Public Health Order.”
It also acknowledged that the SGLMG team has “worked tirelessly with NSW Health, the State Government and venues at all stages of planning for our entire Festival.”
It added, “This phase of the pandemic remains volatile, and the health and safety of our community will always remain our top priority.”
Party would be a mainly indoor event with dancing. The SGLMG also estimated that over 10,000 people would attend the event, making it “high risk for COVID transmission.”
Although Party was meant to be held on March 5, SGLMG wrote, “due to Party’s large scale, sadly we have had to make the very tough call now.”
It said it is doing this “not only for the sustainability of the event in future years but also for the organisation” and “so that artists and partygoers can make alternate plans.”
‘Hopefully we can Dance Again Next Year for World Pride’
One person on Twitter wrote, “So sad to hear the news that the Mardi Gras party has been cancelled. My heart goes out to everyone who worked on this project for months and months. Such a shame to hear and hopefully we can dance again next year for World Pride.”
Another person tweeted, “Have the Mardi Gras event organisers considered calling it a Hilsong party?”
Entertainment writer Nick Bond tweeted, “Mardi Gras party cancelled… there goes my hot girl summer (sitting out in the gutter next to the Dagwood Dog truck while an international pop star performs inside the Hordern).”
Party ticket holders will have their purchases automatically refunded via Ticketek.
SGLMG expects customers will have their funds “returned” in their “accounts within [seven to 10] business days.”
Fair Day and the Parade will continue as planned with SGLMG saying, “We have approved COVID-Safe plans and procedures in place to ensure other key events, including community favourites Fair Day and Parade, can still go ahead as planned.”
When getting your ticket refund, you can also donate a portion of your ticket value to Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras to offset the losses related to Party’s cancellation.

The global Covid-19 pandemic continues to make it incredibly difficult to plan ahead. 

While it looks like the 2022 Sydney Mardi Gras will be able to go ahead in some form, organisers have announced that the event's closing party has had to be cancelled.

The cancellation has been triggered by a new public health order issued by the state government for New South Wales. Sydney is the capital of the state of New South Wales.

Australia is trying to navigate its way from the zero-Covid policy that saw its borders closed and extended period of lockdown into a more business-as-usual approach in which Covid can be managed as an endemic health issue. However, a spike in infections caused by the Omicron strain has added uncertainty to that strategy.

The latest health order from the government prohibits singing and dancing. While there are a number of exceptions to this rule, it does mean that it's not currently possible to hold major parties such as the closing party at Mardi Gras. Organisers had been planning for an event with a capacity for 10,000 people.

The good news is that it looks like Mardi Gras Fair Day and the Parade will continue as planned.

“We have approved COVID-Safe plans and procedures in place to ensure other key events, including community favourites Fair Day and Parade, can still go ahead as planned...” confirmed organisers.

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