Thousands of Mardi Gras revellers have finally made their way home after celebrating at the biggest party in the Southern Hemisphere until late Sunday morning.
Sydney’s Oxford Street was awash with glitter after more than 300,000 partygoers celebrated the crown jewel of the WorldPride program, which Australia is hosting for the first time, on Saturday night.
But the real fun was at the official Mardi Gras after-party, which spanned the Hordern Pavilion, Liberty Hall, Watson’s and the Entertainment Quarter in Sydney’s east and had all-night programming in the Forecourt, Peter Finch Lawn and The Courts.
The offical Mardi Gras after-party was described as an ‘adult playground of music and performance’ and as a place where ‘pleasure awaits you and 10,000+ of your new and old friends at the biggest and longest-running LGBTQIA+ party in the Southern Hemisphere’.
The all-night extravaganza had a program filled with DJs and performers dancing to every genre of party music from house to nu-disco and was headlined by British pop trio Sugababes.
The party ended at 8am with revellers streaming out of the many venues being welcomed by a sunny Sunday morning.
Revellers were seen leaving the wild celebrations at the official Mardi Gras Party early Sunday morning
Lingerie, budgie smugglers and leotards were a common outfit of choice for many on the night
Two revellers don eccentric outfits after dancing the night away at the official Mardi Gras after-party that spanned across the Hordern Pavilion, Liberty Hall, Watson’s and the Entertainment Quarter
The crowd wore bright colours to celebrate LGBTQIA+ pride, while others came wearing very little
Revellers donned vibrant and eccentric outfits that left little to the imagination as they danced the night away.
The crowd wore a variety of bright colours to celebrate LGBTQIA+ pride, while others came wearing very little in line with the nature of the festivities.
Lingerie, budgie smugglers and leotards were a common outfit of choice for many.
NSW Police, who had several officers march during the Mardi Gras parade, praised the event and said spectators were well-behaved overall with only four people arrested and a couple of officers suffering minor injuries overnight.
One officer suffered a suspected broken nose during an arrest in Oxford Street while a second officer suffered grazes and a black eye after being assaulted while enroute to Moore Park. Inquiries are continuing to identify those responsible.
More than 900 officers attended the event to monitor people at the celebrations.
‘NSW Police are pleased with the behaviour of the overwhelming majority of revellers and supporters, with this year’s Mardi Gras parade conducted in perfect weather conditions,’ a police press release read.
‘Operation Commander, Assistant Commissioner Anthony Cooke, said with minor exceptions, the crowd was well-behaved and the 45th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade proceeded yesterday largely without incident.’
Police worked with parade organisers as well as government departments and agencies including Destination NSW, the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Transport for NSW, Sydney Trains, NSW Ambulance, Fire and Rescue NSW, and City of Sydney.
The event follows a blockbuster WorldPride opening concert in the Domain on Friday night, when Kylie Minogue headlined in a performance that included a surprise cameo from her sister Dannii.
A shirtless attendee wore matching pink shorts and socks which fit in line with the vibrant colours at the event
A reveller dressed stylishly in all black and wore a cross necklace for the Mardi Gras after-party on Saturday
Two men had outfits that left little to the imagination like many partygoers at Mardi Gras
A group of shirtless partygoers leave the Sydney Mardi Gras after a night of dancing and fun
Two men matched in all red clothing for the night, with one wearing hearts on his chest, red pants, and shoes, while the other man donned a sparkling red skirt
NSW Police praised the event saying spectators were well-behaved overall, with only four arrest during the night
WorldPride will continue for another week before finishing with a historic march across the Sydney Harbour Bridge
The celebration, whose theme was Gather, Dream, Amplify featured some Mardi Gras veterans alongside crowd-pleasing newcomers.
Dykes on Bikes and their male counterparts led the charge, delighting parade viewers as they filled the streets with diesel exhaust and queer joy.
Other Mardi Gras hits included Surf Life Saving, who strutted their stuff in budgie smugglers and beach towels, and DIY Rainbow’s We Love Britney Spears float which blasted Baby One More Time from its back speakers.
WorldPride will continue for another week before finishing with a historic march across the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Fifty thousand people dressed in their brightest colours will march across the iconic landmark in a call for global equality on Sunday morning.
WorldPride has been called Sydney’s biggest event since the 2000 Olympics, and is expected to host more than half a million people across its 300 or so events.