The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is handing out 2,000 free hardship tickets to next year’s celebrations now that the Sydney Cricket Ground (where the new COVIDSafe parade will be held) can operate at full capacity.
That’s double the 1,000 tickets that were announced earlier in the year. The increase is thanks to eased lockdown restrictions in NSW mean stadiums no longer need to seat people really far apart.
“We understand that 2020 has been a challenging year for many members of our LGBTQI+ communities, and in response to those who are experiencing financial hardship as a result, we announced Mardi Gras would hold a free ticketing ballot for the Parade back in November,” Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger said in a statement.
“We are extremely pleased that the easing of restrictions means we can extend our offering to 2,000 free tickets in total, ensuring that as many people as possible can celebrate their Pride with us in person on the night.”
To cop the free tix, head on over to the hardship ticket ballot. The winners will be notified on January 3, ahead of the actual event on March 6.
The rest of us will have to pay $20 to see the event, or $15 for concession tickets and $50 for groups of four.
BIG news today: Our #MardiGras2021 PARADE capacity has increased – so we’ll have more tickets available, including 2,000 FREE to those experiencing hardship.
— Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (@sydneymardigras) December 7, 2020
The annual Mardi Gras parade down Sydney’s Oxford St is normally a free event that anyone can rock up to, but because of the pandemic, next year’s event was moved to the SCG.
The hardship tickets were first introduced to make sure that this new, COVIDSafe event would still be accessible to everyone, regardless of whether or not they could afford tickets to the city’s biggest cricket stadium.
However, there’s no way to check whether the tickets are actually going to people who really are experiencing financial hardship or not.
Technically, anyone can whack their details into the ballot.
“We ask that you only apply for the ballot if you are experiencing financial hardship so you don’t take the opportunity away from someone who truly needs the support,” the form says.
So in order to make sure the tickets go to those who need them most, plz only enter if you actually can’t afford to go to next year’s event.
Let’s try and keep this as accessible as possible.