Expect glitter, fireworks at a Mardi Gras to remember
It'll be an absolute thrill and honour when I host the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras this weekend for my fifth time. It's not lost on me how special it is that I get to play a small part in presenting Australia's incredible LGBTQI+ community to Australia and the world in all it's sparkly glory.
Over the years I've snagged some pretty camp interviews from Dua Lipa to Kylie Minogue to Cher. I ran out on to Oxford Street from our broadcast truck to excitedly do the Cher interview, pushing my way through the media scrum which had broken on to the street in the hype of the moment.
"Are you enjoying Sydney?" I asked Cher. "Woo! I'm Cher!" she responded before trotting off and carrying on with the parade. I'm not going to sugar-coat it, it's a bloody tough gig to host. We are often flying by the seat of our (assless) chaps. There are so many different moving elements involved with the parade - from dancers to floats to the odd protest, ironically within an event that started as a protest march.
So we sit in our broadcast truck frantically trying to keep up. All it takes is for one reveller to overindulge a little too much before the parade, trip up on the path and halt proceedings for 20 minutes. That's when we swing into action with a heavy bit of "showbiz padding".
Oh and did I mention we are as live as they come (this is coming from the man who lost his autocue once for a good half an hour)? This year Mardi Gras will look a little different as, like pretty much everyone, we've had to pivot and move the event to the Sydney Cricket Ground for the first time. All I'll say is that stadium will never have seen so many bats and balls. Rita Ora, G Flip, Montaigne and Electric Fields make up the entertainment and then of course you have your Mardi Gras staples - the beautiful 78ers, the Dykes on Bikes, the welcome to country … plus there'll be lifesavers, drag queens, glitter clad celebrities. You name it … we've got it.
Actually, we've got it and we've covered it in glitter. It'll be a new feeling this Mardi Gras after the year that's been but it's exciting to bring the community together again. A community which has been through so much and overcome it together. So when we were told a live event could possibly not happen due to COVID we all thought "Pfft. Bring it on" and started hustling a new option.
Expect fireworks, expect lights, expect biodegradable glitter. Anything can happen on Mardi Gras night. I cannot bloody wait.
Originally published as Expect glitter, fireworks at a Mardi Gras to remember