Folks, the 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade is right around the corner! In just a couple of sleeps, the parade of the year will take over the SCG because nothing, nothing, can stop this celebration of pride and diversity from going ahead. If you’re watching from home (or your local watering hole) this year, here’s how you can watch the 2021 Mardi Gras Parade.

How do I watch the Mardi Gras Parade from home this year?

Live in another city, or just can’t make it to the parade on time? No worries, SBS has your back.

Mardi Gras 2021 will be broadcast live and free from 6pm AEDT, Saturday March 6 on SBS On Demand, or you can tune in for the full parade on SBS and NITV at 7.30pm.

The geo-block will be removed for international viewers as well. Love to see it!

Here’s what time it begins live across Australia:

NSW/VIC/TAS/ ACT – 6pm AEDT

QLD – 5pm AEST

SA – 5.30pm ACDT

WA – 3pm AWST

NT – 4.30pm ACST

ALSO, the one and only Courtney Act has curated a special collection of TV shows celebrating the spirit of Mardi Gras for SBS.

The collection, which includes Years and Years, Faboriginal, and Gaycation, is available to stream from February 25.

Will the Mardi Gras Parade look different this year?

This year’s ticketed event will be held at the Sydney Cricket Ground, instead of along Oxford Street.

It’d just be a tad tricky to maintain social distancing and contact tracing on Oxford Street, without drastically changing the make-up of the parade as we know it.

So this year, the celebration’s happening at the SCG, where workers can stay on top of contact tracing and physical distancing.

This isn’t a permanent change though! The Mardi Gras Parade has only been moved to the SCG due to the current health guidelines, so fingers crossed things are back to normal next year.

The theme for this year’s festival is ‘RISE’, which the Mardi Gras website explained as “letting our spirits soar after the challenge and hardship that 2020 presented.”

A whopping 5,000 paraders from over 100 LGBTQI+ community groups will take part in the parade. This year will turn the spotlight on the pageantry of costumes, puppetry, and props, rather than just the very fabulous and very large floats.

For more information about the parade, hit up the website here.

How’s the Parade line-up looking?

Rita Ora leads this year’s line-up, along with electronic duo Electric Fields, ARIA Award-winning artist Montaigne, and indie pop fave G Flip.

Meanwhile, comedians Joel Creasey and Zoë Coombs Marr, Network 10 presenter Narelda Jacobs, and Courtney Act are your hosts.

Promo coming in hot!

A very special Welcome to Country, curated by artist and creative producer Ben Graetz, will be performed at the start of the show, featuring the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence’s John Leha, singer Scott Hunter, plus Koomurri dancers, NAISDA dancers, and Buuja Butterfly dancers.

Then at 6.30pm, expect to see Dykes on Bikes vroom-vroom into the stadium on their rides to perform a lap, signalling the start of the Parade, fronted by the First Nations and 78ers floats.

This really is just a snippet of what to expect though, so you can check out the full digital guide here.

Mardi Gras 2021 kicks off 6pm AEDT on Saturday, March 6. VROOM VROOM.

Image: Getty Images / Hanna Lassen