For the very first time in LGBTQIA+ herstory, WorldPride is finally coming Down Undah, baby. And by that, I mean that Sydney WorldPride 2023 marks the very first time a WorldPride celebration has been hosted anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere.

But WorldPride 2023 is a significant event for many more reasons than that; it’s significant because it also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the first Australian Gay Pride Week (in 1973), it coincides with the 45th anniversary of the first Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras (in 1978), and it coincides with the 5thanniversary of same-sex marriage being legalised in Australia (in December of 2017).

Taking place from Friday 17 February to Sunday 5 March, the Sydney WorldPride celebrations are set to include some pretty f*cking impressive events, like the Opening Concert on Friday 24 February (and featuring none other than Jessica Mauboy, Kylie Minogue and Charlie XCX), the First Nations Gala Concert (again featuring J. Mally, Casey Donovan, and Electric Fields), and the Closing Concert (with the likes of G Flip, Peach PRC, and Vetta Borne).

Alas, trying to get a ticket to one of those events is near impossible if you haven’t already. So why not dive a little deeper into queer culture and seek out some of A Modern Gay’s Guide’s favourite nice, different and unusual WorldPride Arts, WorldPride Sports or Pride Amplified events?


Paul Yore

Paul Yore: Word Made Flesh (5 Jan – 16 Feb) is a new architecturally-scaled installation in which Yore engages with the histories of religious art and ritual, queer identity, pop-culture and neo-liberal capitalism. Expect to see a variety of improvised makeshift structures, mixed media sculpture and found objects, collage and assemblage, painting, video, and pulsating sound and light in what Yore imagines as a queer alternative reality. FREE.

Braving Time

Braving Time: Queer Art in Contemporary Australia (3 Feb – 18 Mar) is a queer exhibition that celebrates the works and diverse voices of artists across the entire LGBTQIA+ community. Through an intersectional lens, Braving Time explores queerness in a multitude of ways, presenting artworks which are critical, experimental and political and which connect to our contemporary culture. Together these works instigate conversations about queer experience; what it is and what it means to be queer in Australia today. FREE.

Dylan Mooney

Dylan Mooney: Still Here and Thriving (8 Feb – 4 Mar) presents viewers with five large-format portraits which focus on love in queer communities, deftly illustrating issues affecting Mooney’s lived experiences as a proud queer Indigenous man in a very poignant way. Themes include identity, desire and representation, brought together to promote discussions around the acknowledgement of works created by members of groups that have often been overlooked or under-represented in the broader art world. FREE.

Choir Boy

Choir Boy (14 Feb – 11 Mar) is an award-winning play which tells the story of sexuality, race, hope, gospel music, and a young gay man finding his voice. Threaded throughout with soul-stirring a cappella gospel hymns, Choir Boy explores one choir boy’s life as embarks on his own journey between masculinity and femininity. Tickets from $55.


CAMP (15 Feb – 4 Mar) is a story of murder, corruption, love, and liberation, set across five decades of glorious queer history and inspired by true stories from those who were there. Set in the punk lands of the 1970s (and the birth of Australia’s fierce gay rights movement), CAMP chronicles the struggles, successes, and legacy of early Pride activists who risked family, careers, and imprisonment to achieve social change in Australia. Tickets from $36.

Muru-ba: First Nations LGBTIQA+ Trailblazers (17 Feb – 5 Mar) is a physical, digital, and street poster exhibition that showcases the voice and stories of First Nations LGBTQIA+ Elders involved with the LGBTQIA+ rights and First Nations community movements since the 1970s from across Australia. It draws together archival material with newly commissioned interviews and portraits, which will be presented in an online exhibition, as well as on posters through the streets of Sydney for the duration of Sydney WorldPride 2023. FREE.



AQuA Festival (11 Feb – 3 Mar) brings together swimming, water polo, and a beach festival to bring just the right amount of wet to your Sydney WorldPride 2023 experience. Hosted by The Wett Ones and the Sydney Stingers, the local community, aquatic clubs from around Australia and visitors from across the globe will come together to compete in the harbour, on the harbour and by the harbour. Tickets from $90.

Rainbow Golf

Rainbow Golf Tournament (17 Feb – 18 Feb) is a two-day golfing tournament hosted by the Sydney Rainbow Golfers. In true inclusive spirit, tee selection is either men’s, women’s or non-binary, and you can either play competitively, or socially. Plenty of prizes will be up for grabs, and everyone is welcome to join the celebrations on Saturday evening. All levels of experience welcome. Tickets from $60.

Roller Derby

Roller Derby Extravaganza (18 Feb) is set to be Australia’s greatest roller derby event for 2023. Hosted by Sydney’s Inner West Roller Derby League, you’ll be treated to two competitive games of roller derby, comprised of skaters from around the country and the world (including skaters who represent Team Indigenous Roller Derby). See all the thrills and spills of this inclusive and must-see highly athletic sport, along with a showcase of queer performances for one night only at Sydney’s iconic Luna Park. Tickets from $25.

World Gay Boxing

World Gay Boxing Championships (18 Feb – 22 Feb) is the world’s first accredited amateur boxing championships for the LGBTQIA+ community and allies sanctioned by Boxing NSW. Watch as boxers battle it out in between bouts of performances by drag queens, great DJs and fabulous entertainment. It’s authentic boxing where we get to crown new world champions…all while having a little bit of fun. Tickets from $35.

Rainbow Racquets Squash

Rainbow Racquets Squash Australia Tournament (22 Feb – 23 Feb) is a celebration of local, inter-state and international competition which will determine who will be the Pride Champion in grades A to D. Open to everyone 18+ years of age (including both LGBTQIA+ people and allies), this tournament will integrate all genders in one draw, and caters for every skill level. Expect plenty of competition from around the world and inter-state to determine who will be the Pride Champion in each grade. Tickets from $69.

Ice Hokey

Pride On Ice: Hockey Tournament (23 Feb – 24 Feb) is a two-day, non-contact ice hockey tournament which will feature games in both development and experienced divisions. Hosted by The Harbour Lights Ice Hockey club (along with LGBT Ice Hockey), this event strives to provide a safe space for queer hockey players to participate in the team sport, while feeling safe, welcome, and empowered to become an ongoing part of the hockey community. Tickets from $5.


CLOAK: Queer Science, Fashion & Photography (1 Jan – 5 Mar) brings together LGBTQIA+ folk working in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine with emerging fashion designers to reinvent the lab coat as a symbol of queer pride. CLOAK is a cross-disciplinary exhibition which spotlights diversity in science through fashion. FREE.

MATADOR (16 Feb – 26 Feb) is a fiery fusion of burlesque, dance and jaw-dropping circus acts. Set across a fiery Spanish sunset, MATADOR is an emotionally charged performance which tells the tale of a love-torn bull & the seductive Matador. It will take you on a journey of self-discovery, identity and sexuality, of lust, sex and passion. Tickets from $59.

Drag Story Time at the Aquarium (18 Feb) is an opportunity for children and young people to explore their love of books and reading in a fun, and inclusive family friendly environment. Led by one of Sydney’s most loved Drag Queens, Joyce Maynge, families will be entertained by a selection of inclusive children’s books for an underwater story time like no other. Tickets from $5.

The Flipside of Flamboyance: 1978 and Beyond, Diversity and its Documentation (19 Feb) is a film event which aims to improve understanding of the history of the LGBTQIA+ community by talking about the original revolutionaries, the 78ers legend and legacy, and the origins of the Mardi Gras and Stonewall police brutality within a context of lived experience. The film is a reality bite of seventy-eight trademark brand of integrity, authenticity, freedom, diversity, and humour. It is by us and about us. FREE (with donations requested).

Drag King Trivia (20 Feb – 6 Mar) is Sydney’s first (and only) trivia night run by a drag king. Join Axl Rod – Sydney’s most bemullited drag king – and have your brains tested in an environment for everyone. With a new theme every week, quizzes, creative challenges and games, it’s both weird and wonderful (in all the best ways). FREE.

Stories Out West (21 Feb) showcases the diversity of experience hidden within Western Sydney’s community of LGBTQIA+ people from multicultural backgrounds. From stories about family, migration, love, and resilience, this event features a host of emerging and established writers who use the power of storytelling to share their experiences of being LGBTQIA+SB First Nations or LGBTQIA+ and culturally, linguistically and ethnically diverse, with a connection to Western Sydney. FREE (with RSVP).

There you have it, A Modern Gay’s Guide’s top picks for alternative events to seek out while you’re in Sydney over the ‘Gay Christmas’ period. Of course, these are just 18 of the 250+ WorldPride Arts, WorldPride Sports and Pride Amplified events on offer across the city during the festival. To find out more information about any of the events mentioned here (or to seek out your own lowkey events), pick up a WorldPride Festival Guide, head to where you can find other WorldPride Arts and WorldPride Sports, or head to where you can filter through the directory of Pride Amplified events.


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