The 2016 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is set to sparkle and shine on SBS at 8.30pm, Sunday 6th March, beaming all the action and colour from the streets of Sydney into lounge rooms across Australia.
In a special event broadcast, comedians Magda Szubanski and Tom Ballard will return as hosts, as well as journalist and reporter from SBS 2’s The Feed Patrick Abboud. This year TV personality, Faustina Agolley will join the three hosts, attending her very first Mardi Gras.
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is one of the world’s largest, most high profile and much loved LGBTQI celebrations, providing an opportunity to commemorate a universal message of diversity, equal rights, pride and inclusion.
Faustina Agolley said: “I’m thrilled to be part of SBS’s coverage of this year’s Mardi Gras. It'll be my first time attending and co-hosting this world-renowned event. I can’t wait to be there and celebrate inclusion for all."
Magda Szubanski said: "I'm back to co-host the SBS broadcast of the annual Mardi Gras parade because I had such a blast last year and because I feel it is a great way to lend my support to this vibrant and historically important event in Australia's - and the world's -LGBTQI calendar. It is a wonderful, inclusive and creative celebration of this nation's sexual and cultural diversity. Values we can all be proud of. Gay, straight, and everything in between; all are welcome!"
SBS Director of Television and Online Content, Marshall Heald said: “At SBS we’re incredibly proud to be broadcasting the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras yet again, bringing the colourful streets of Sydney into homes across Australia.
“Mardi Gras is a celebration of the LGBTQI community, which is an absolute acknowledgment of one of SBS’s core purposes – to explore, appreciate and celebrate diversity, all of which contributes to a more cohesive society. The program will offer audiences a deeper look at the issues as well as the triumphs of the LGBTQI community, with reports integrated within our broadcast of the parade, as well as our many platforms across SBS; SBS, SBS 2, NITV, On Demand, SBS Radio, Online and Social, in a truly multiplatform event. "
“We are thrilled to have the wonderfully talented Faustina Agolley joining our already established fantastic panel of hosts, with returning hosts Magda Szubanski, Tom Ballard and Patrick Abboud all a part of this year’s celebration and honoured that she is sharing her very first Mardi Gras with SBS”
SBS will also stream the parade live online, worldwide at sbs.com.au/mardigras
The TV broadcast will include the best of the spectacular floats and costumes in the parade with commentary from Magda Szubanski, Faustina Agolley, Tom Ballard and Patrick Abboud live on the streets, as well as interviews with celebrity guests. The coverage will also include stories from the parade participants exploring the messages behind the floats, covering issues of sexuality, equality and discrimination that affect the LGBTQI community.
SBS will also get in on the festivities with its very own float and SBS Radio 3 will join forces with Australia's only gay & lesbian radio station, JOY 94.9 for a Mardi Gras weekend simulcast on digital radio and digital television around Australia - including live coverage of the Mardi Gras parade.
Viewer tweets will be displayed on screen throughout the television and online broadcasts, using the official event hashtag #sydneymardigras.
The theme for the 38thSydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is ‘momentum’ – to stand up and be counted, to turn your passion into purpose and become unstoppable.
The street parade is the spectacular sequinned centrepiece bringing to a close the three-week long calendar of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festivities and events. Hundreds of thousands of spectators from all over the world bring Sydney to a standstill as they party alongside the street parade. This year is set to be the biggest ever with more than 12,000 participants across 170 floats.