A guide to Sydney WorldPride 2023

By Joel Evans, updated 1 year ago in Travel and party / In Australia

People celebrating Sydney WorldPride 2023 In Taylor Square

Get ready, Australia! WorldPride is coming Down Under. In 2023, Sydney will welcome the international LGBTQ+ community to Australia for a month-long festival — its first time in the Southern hemisphere. Here’s what you need to know!

What is WorldPride?

WorldPride is an international event that promotes the awareness and visibility of LGBTIQ+ people and issues. As a global Pride celebration, it happens every few years in a different city.

Rome hosted the inaugural WorldPride in 2000. In 2019, New York City hosted WorldPride to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. Upcoming WorldPride events are scheduled for Sydney (2023), Washington, D.C. (2025), and Amsterdam (2026).

When is WorldPride coming to Sydney?

Sydney will invite the world to celebrate WorldPride in Australia in 2023. The event will overlap with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, taking place from 17 February to 5 March 2023.

What is the theme of Sydney WorldPride?

The theme of Sydney WorldPride is: ‘Gather, Dream, Amplify’. With a strong focus on Australia’s First Nation’s cultural history, the organisers had this to say about the theme:

We welcome LGBTQIA+ people from across the globe: to honour our elders and communities, acknowledge our connections, and empower each other to celebrate together in new ways.

First nations drag performer celebrating Sydney WorldPride 2023
Image credit: Sydney WorldPride 2023

What are some of the events that will take place during Sydney WorldPride?

It’s everything you love about Mardi Gras, but bigger and better! If you’re familiar with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, you can expect all of your favourite events to return in 2023 as part of WorldPride. This includes Mardi Gras Fair Day, Sissy Ball, Candyland XXL, Kaftana Pool Party, Laneway, and the famous Oxford Street Parade (Yes! After a few years at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the parade is finally returning to the streets!).

There will also be a line-up of one-off events specific to Sydney WorldPride 2023! These include:

Check out the full calendar of events online.

As if the jam-packed event line-up wasn’t enough, there’s also a takeover of Sydney’s local gaybourhood streets! For 10 days from 24 February, portions of Crown and Riley Street will become pedestrian-only areas for Pride Villages. These will be home to stalls, performances, dining and a place to connect with friends and family in between WorldPride events.

People holding giant rainbow pride flag for WorldPride

How can you party safely this WorldPride?

One of the great things about the LGBTQ+ community is that we know how to party! But, before you don the costumes and hit the dancefloor, consider how you’ll look after your health during this busy time.

With so many international and local visitors, it’s natural for things to get a little… steamy! Remember that enjoying fulfilling sex comes with the need to look after your sexual health. If you need to get a test or access treatment during WorldPride, check out our interactive map to find a service near you. For other LGBTQ+-friendly health services, check out this article.

Think you may have been exposed to HIV? Accessing Post Exposure Prophlaxysis (PEP) within 72 hours can help you stay HIV-negative. Here’s our guide to accessing PEP in Sydney and New South Wales.

And if you’re going to party hard, be sure to party safe. For alcohol and drug information produced specifically for the LGBT community, visit Touchbase and Pivot Point. FAIR PLAY also provide a guide to myths and realities of drug laws in NSW.

Why is WorldPride 2023 an important event for Australia?

Sydney WorldPride has invited the global LGBTQIA+ community to Sydney, Australia. This is the first time WorldPride has been hosted in not only Australia but the Southern Hemisphere and Asia-Pacific region. It is a landmark event for the international queer community.

Kate Wickett, the CEO of Sydney WorldPride, said to Star Observer:

“This is going to be an LGBTQI event the size of which has never been held in the Southern Hemisphere before.”

The event will be an opportunity to shine visibility on the LGBTQ people who are also part of Australia’s First Nations. It will celebrate the identities, achievements, and journeys of all members of the rainbow community in the Asia-Pacific region. A safe space will be provided for socialising and connecting out in the open, which still isn’t possible for LGBTQ people in many countries around the world. It will be a world-first WorldPride.

If you’re visiting Sydney for WorldPride 2023, we’ve put together a guide to the Sydney gay scene to help you plan your stay Down Under.