The New South Wales Government has confirmed pop superstar Cher will perform at this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
The global icon will take the stage at Hordern Pavilion in Moore Park for the official Mardi Gras Party on March 3 and will be supported by a long list of international and Australian artists such as Cyndi Lauper, Village People and Kylie and Dannii Minogue.
NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said in a statement today that the Grammy Hall of Famer’s inclusion in the festivities, which mark the 40th anniversary of the celebration and the legalisation of same-sex marriage, will make 2018’s occasion “the biggest and best yet”.
“When it comes to international recording artists, they don’t get much bigger than Cher and as one of the LGBTQI community’s most vocal advocates, she is the perfect person to help celebrate Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras,” he said.
“From commemorating 40 years since the first Mardi Gras took place through the streets of Darlinghurst and Kings Cross to reaching marriage equality, there will be a lot to celebrate. Cher fits this celebratory mood perfectly.”
A statement from Mardi Gras organisers today also said that Cher’s place in the celebration would reflect the message and values on show during the festivities.
“Cher has established herself as an influential, hard-hitting voice in global politics, and throughout her career has been at the forefront of LGBTQI campaigns and numerous charities,” Terese Casu, Mardi Gras CEO, said.
”Cher represents the same unapologetic and fearless freedom that makes the LGBTQI community so enduring and strong – positioning herself as a true gay icon.”
Tickets to the event were quick to sell out long before the official confirmation was released, however a final run of passes will be made available for purchase on January 15 for Mardi Gras members and January 17 for the general public.
The news comes amid reports of a rift within Mardi Gras circles between the founding group known as the the “78ers” and current organisers.
While relations between the two parties is said to have improved in recent times, one 78er Peter Murphy told the ABC that the original Mardi Gras organisers feel under-appreciated.
“We feel like we’ve created something fabulous and lasting, it’s just that the people in charge now don’t quite appreciate us enough,” he told the ABC.
“People in the Mardi Gras board don’t appreciate the pain and the damage that was experienced.”