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Mardi Gras announces it's 2011 season

New Mardi Gras (NMG) today launched its program of over 80 events running over two weeks leading up to the world famous Parade on March 5th, with stars like Lily Tomlin, Armistead Maupin and Peter Tatchell as well as parties at the Ivy, Luna Park, Sydney Tower, Bondi Beach and the Royal Botanic Gardens.

With a promotional campaign video starring DJ Kate Monroe highlighting that Sydney is a place to sunbake by day and party by night, Mardi Gras is selling itself globally like an episode of Oprah...

In a unique step - Mardi Gras has partnered with some local party promoters to bring some unique twists to its party line up this year, from Homesexual's 'IN THE DARK' team for the new "TOP" party at Centrepoint tower, to the crew from DAYWASH - who will now co-produce the 2011 Harbour Party.

This year’s Parade has Mardi Gras promising to raise the bar in a big way with Ignatius Jones joining the Mardi Gras team as Consulting Artistic Director. Jones is the powerhouse behind some of the world’s biggest events (including Sydney Olympic Opening Ceremony, 2010 Shanghai World Expo, 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics Ceremonies). Ignatius leads a creative team that is exhorting Sydneysiders to ‘Say Something’ at Mardi Gras 2011 and to say it fabulously!

The Mardi Gras Festival includes over 80 events with the best queer theatre, art, comedy, cabaret and so much more from Sydney and around the world. This year US comedienne and actress Lily Tomlin joins the Festival, performing her award-winning stand-up at the Enmore Theatre on Friday 4th March - going up against global superstar Rihanna (who is not a part of the festival - but is performing in Sydney on the 4th and 5th).

Sydney Opera House is also in the act this year. Spend a night with “Tales of the City” author Armistead Maupin as he discusses his work, or enjoy the theatrical genius of Taylor Mac with his show “The Ziggy Stardust Meets Tiny Tim Songbook or Comparison is Violence” at The Studio.

Courageous Aussie born, UK activist, Peter Tatchell returns to Australia to share his passionate views about same-sex marriage as debate and discussion day Queer Thinking returns to the Seymour Centre.

Australian performers, Reg Livermore and Nancye Hayes take to the stage with pantomime madness in Turns, and the all-star, all-singing Hats’ Off returns for another sell-out year to raise money for HIV/AIDS charities.

The 2011 program also includes the first ever Mardi Gras Harbour Cruise, the Mardi Gras Film Festival (which recently won Best Australian Film Festival at the if Awards) and everyone’s favourite day in the sun Fair Day – which is set to see 70,000 people descend on Victoria Park.

You can also head down to Bondi to party with the Lifesavers With Pride crew - who have by default become the public face of Mardi Gras... who can resist speedos and tans???

The beach with play host to the Bondi Beach Drag Races and "Beach Party" - so make sure you getsome sunscreen and head on down.

Biggest of the lot is Mardi Gras Party, one of the world’s most celebrated dance parties. Last year’s Party saw secret performances from George Michael, Kelly Rowland and Adam Lambert, with DJs David Guetta and Carl Cox on the decks. The big question on March 5th will be who is playing that party... many rumours are circulating and of course Mardi Gras will stay tight lipped, but with the parade and party back on the same night this year - we suggest getting your Mardi Gras Party ticket ahead of all others, as if last year is anything to go by - big names will be popping up on stage, behind the decks, and in the crowd!

All events are now on sale, and more information is available from the official Mardi Gras website (www.mardigras.org.au).

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Rob Manser

Guidetogay.com is the leading travel, news and social network for the LGBTQI community.  Join us on social media.

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