Australia

Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras will go ahead in 2021 as a ticketed event at the SCG

Participants take part in the 42nd annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade in Sydney, Saturday, February 29, 2020. Source: AAP

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has announced next year's celebration will be a COVID-safe ticketed event at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras will go ahead next year with a COVID-safe celebration at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with spectators seated for a scaled-down parade.

A maximum of 23,000 spectators will be allowed into the SCG, as the parade moves away from the traditional large floats and instead focuses on the "outlandish pageantry of costumes, puppetry and props".

The event, which will take place on 6 March, will be ticketed, with prices starting at $15 for children or concession card holders.

Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger said it was important that Mardi Gras give the community a creative platform to express their pride to the world after COVID had severely impacted so much art and culture.

"The 2021 parade may look different to how it has been in the past, but we feel very lucky to be able to give this opportunity to our communities during these times," he said.

"The team at Mardi Gras have worked tirelessly with NSW Health to develop a COVID Safe event plan to ensure the parade can go forward and we're excited by the prospect of staging the event at the SCG.

"Not only is the SCG close to our spiritual home of Oxford Street, but it also provides the safest venue for us to hold the event and meet requirements of physical distancing and contact tracing."

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Mardi Gras would look different in 2021 but it would give people the opportunity to come together safely and celebrate.

"I commend the organisation for adapting to the challenges presented by COVID-19," she said.

Tickets for the parade will go on sale on Monday and SBS will broadcast the event live.

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