Sydney WorldPride, held from February 17 to March 5, 2023, will celebrate Australia’s LGBTQIA+ community in a dazzling display. The festival will be Australia’s most significant global event since the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
What Is WorldPride?
WorldPride is the biggest LGBTQIA+ event in the world. Like the Olympics, there is fierce competition amongst cities to host this event. Held every 2–3 years, WorldPride was hosted in Rome in 2000, Jerusalem in 2006, London in 2012, Toronto in 2014, Madrid in 2017, New York in 2019, and Copenhagen and Malmo, Sweden, in 2021.
For the first time ever, the festival is now coming Down Under to the Southern Hemisphere.
The festival, held during the Australian summer, will run for 17 days and attract over 500,000 visitors.
Over 300 events celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community at WorldPride, including:
- Live & Proud: Sydney WorldPride’s Opening Concert
- Domain Dance Party
- Human Rights Conference
- First Nations Gala Concert
- A women’s party
- More than 60 specially-curated art experiences
- And 20 sporting events.
The festival will also highlight Sydney’s drawcard attractions.
The Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras
Sydney is already known as the home of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, one of the world’s biggest LGBTQIA+ events.
In 2023, this famous parade will be incorporated into the WorldPride event. The Sydney Mardi Gras parade began in 1978 as a march and commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York. It is led by Dykes on Bikes, Australia’s longest-running female-identified motorcycle club, revving up the crowd. They lead over 12,500 marchers and 200 floats in an extravaganza of riotous costumes and dance routines accompanied by lighting and fireworks. The parade wends its way up Oxford Street in a spectacle to behold. At WorldPride, the estimated Mardi Gras attendance figures will leap from around 700,000 to 1 million, and footage will be streamed worldwide.
Pro Tip: Visitors can watch the parade for free from any vantage point along the route.
Bondi Beach Party
Bondi Beach is arguably Australia’s most famous beach, with wide sands and crashing surf, a symbol of Australian beach culture. World-class music acts will take to the stage, taking participants on a 7-hour magical journey. This is an 18 and over ticketed event.
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is instantly recognizable as one of Australia’s most associated images. The fabulous wave-life roofline is a striking architectural sight against Sydney Harbor’s magnificence.
During WorldPride, the famous opera house will host Blak & Deadly: The First Nations Gala Concert, a rainbow explosion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQIA+ artistry throughout a 2-hour concert.
Visitors to Sydney should add a tour of the Opera House to their itinerary. This iconic Modernist structure has recently undergone a $200 million upgrade.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
During WordPride, 50,000 people will march across one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, holding hands with friends, family, and supporters. This event will be a powerful international statement of support and visibility for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Closure of the iconic bridge to traffic is exceedingly rare. This walk will go down in the annals of Australian history.
The Pride March is a free event, with entry via ballot. Both locals and visitors can enter the ballot drawn in early 2023. Subscribe to the Sydney WorldPride newsletter to be notified when entries open.
Tips For Attending
Significant events will sell out quickly. But, if you ever needed a good reason to visit Sydney, this is it. Sydneysiders know how to party. Local artists, producers, and promoters will participate in Pride Amplified, a dedicated open-access program for arts, culture, experiences, and parties, with hundreds of events across Sydney. Major events such as the Oxford Street Parade, Fair Day, and the Pride March over the Harbour Bridge and Pride Villages (home to stalls, dining, and performances) are all free to attend. On the final weekend, a section of Oxford Street will be closed for a giant street party.
Sign up for the Sydney WorldPride 2023 newsletter for updates, headliner announcements, and notifications about ticket releases.
Where To Stay
Sydney will unfurl the rainbow carpet to welcome guests. Central areas to stay include Darlinghurst & Surry Hills near Oxford Street, home to some of the city’s most loved bars and restaurants. Kings Cross and Potts Point are historically party precincts. Downtown five-star hotel options include the Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel and Pier One. Many events are walkable from Sheraton Grand Hyde Park.
There is accommodation for all budgets. Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Central Park is in the heart of Chippendale, an easy walk to Surry Hills, the city, and Glebe. It’s also a short bus ride from the inner west, with its great bars, restaurants, vintage shops, and live performance venues. Newtown and Enmore offer affordable accommodation and fast, easy access to the city. Coogee and Bondi Beaches have a range of options within reach of WorldPride events. Or stay in Manly for relaxed beach accommodation and a ferry commute across the Harbour to central Sydney. For other suggestions, see Sydney WorldPride For Travelers.
Know Before You Go
There is no hotel quarantine in Australia. Proof of vaccination is not required. More information about COVID-19 can be found via Home Affairs.
If you want to know more about pride parades in the U.S., check out our Guide To Pride Parades And Other Events In America’s Most Gay-Friendly Cities.