BYO Glitter: How Oxford Street Is Being Transformed for WorldPride 2023

Sydney WorldPride 2023

Sydney WorldPride 2023 is on from February 24 to March 5, and while all the city’s famous ‘gaybourhoods’ streets are set to come alive with street dining, free performances and glittery celebrations, part of a Pride Villages activation, one, in particular, is set to steal the show: Oxford Street.

For WorldPride’s final weekend, Saturday March 4 and Sunday, March 5, Oxford Street will be transformed into a massive street party for folks of all ages. On both days, the street will house an Oxford Street Stage that’ll feature free performances by Australian talent including Vassey, HANDSOME, Haiku Hands and Chela.

A Community Hub will also pop up on Oxford Street on the final weekend. Run by community organisations, it’ll be a place for community members to engage and connect with a range of LGBTQIA+ organisations.

Oxford Street WorldPride party
Image: City of Sydney

Related: All the Best Pride Events in Sydney at WorldPride 2023

Related: Football’s Coming Out: How the FIFA World Cup Could Impact LGBTQI+ Rights in Qatar

Also on the final weekend, you’ll be able to drop into the American Express Shop Small Village within Pride Villages, where 18 small businesses will showcase an array of products you can buy.

From Friday, February 17 to Sunday, March 5, guests can also swing by Amex House at The Oxford Hotel to catch a line-up of events including drag performances, DJ sets and dance shows. Sweated up a storm? Visit the MECCA MAX Express Makeovers booth at Amex House for a complimentary touch-up on Tuesday, February 28. Stay until the evening, and you’ll catch a show by a surprise Australian guest.

Throughout all of WorldPride, Uber will be a running an Uber Pride Ride bus, a free hop-on, hop-off party bus hosted by Vengaboys and other LGBTQIA+ icons. Uber will also be covering up to $100 off shared rides (Uber Pool trips) to and from the Mardi Gras festival.

The Oxford Street transformation is part of the $1.75 million funding the City of Sydney is putting toward the WorldPride 2023. It’s expecting to welcome half a million visitors to the 17-day festival.

Sydney WorldPride 2023
Image: Getty Images

“We have been working hard to ensure that the Oxford Street precinct is vibrant, accessible and active during WorldPride, including funding the Pride Villages program to help activate vacant Oxford Street shopfronts and adding colour with street banners, Living Colour floral displays and the wonderful murals on the northern side of Oxford Street,” said Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore.

“We look forward to Oxford Street and surrounds buzzing with rainbow activity, especially the closure of Oxford Street for a two-day street party to mark the end of WorldPride.”

Moore also pointed out that WorldPride 2023 happens to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first Australian Gay Pride Week, the 45th anniversary of the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and the fifth anniversary of Australia saying yes to same-sex marriage.

Pride Villages are free to attend. No ticket is required. Their operational timings are below.

Pride Villages – Crown and Riley Street
Friday, February 24 – 3pm-10pm
Sunday, February 25 – 10am-10pm
Monday, February 27 – Thursday, March 2 – 2pm-10pm
Friday, March 3 – 2pm-11pm
Saturday, March 4 – 12pm-1am
Sunday, March 5 – 10am-10pm

*NOTE: Pride Villages will not be activated on Saturday Feb, 25 due to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade

Pride Villages – Oxford Street Party
Saturday, March 4– 12pm-1am
Sunday, March 5 – 10am-10pm

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.