ENTERTAINMENT
22/01/2020 9:12 AM AEDT | Updated 22/01/2020 9:32 AM AEDT

Sam Smith To Perform At Sydney’s Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade And After Party

"Honestly for me, one of the highlights of my career."

Sam Smith Instagram
Sam Smith announced for Mardi Gras 2020

Sam Smith is set to attend next month’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade and after party, a gig which the singer described as one of the “highlights” of their career. 

The four-time grammy winner will attend the famous parade and join Kesha and Dua Lipa at the official party event which will be held at the Hordern Pavilion on February 29.

“I just wanted to send a message to all my beautiful fans in Australia,” they said in an Instagram video post on Wednesday. 

“I just wanted to say that I have an announcement to make today which is honestly for me, one of the highlights of my career.” 

The singer, who posted the video while working in LA, touched upon the bushfire crisis and said they “cannot wait” to bring some joy to the community after the tragic events of the summer. 

“Australia has meant so much to me as a queer person and I am going to be singing at Mardi Gras this year and I cannot wait to be with you all after such a challenging time and hopefully we can spread that love and celebrate and sing and dance.”

Organisers said the ticketed after party will look different this year with the venue transformed into a new “adult play land” and “multi-sensory feast” with music, light and, of course, gay anthems to keep the post-parade festivities going. 

The ‘What Matters’ program will centre around inclusion, equality and amplifying the voices of the marginalised.

Hanna Lassen via Getty Images
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 02: Parade goers during the 2019 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on March 02, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. The Sydney Mardi Gras parade began in 1978 as a march and commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Riots of New York. It is an annual event promoting awareness of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues and themes. (Photo by Hanna Lassen/WireImage)

Sam’s 2019 was a year of personal and professional triumphs. 

In a March interview with “I Weigh” movement founder Jameela Jamil, the singer explained how hearing the stories of other nonconforming people helped them identify as genderqueer and nonbinary.

By September, the singer announced they were embracing the gender-neutral pronouns “they” and “them.” 

“I am at no stage just yet to eloquently speak at length about what it means to be nonbinary but I can’t wait for the day that I am,” Smith wrote on Instagram. “So for now I just want to be VISIBLE and open.” 

In October last year, they were named the 2019 Person of the Year at the Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards in London. 

David M. Benett via Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 09: Sam Smith winner of the Person of the Year award poses in the Winners Room at the Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards 2019 at The Roundhouse on October 09, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

They appeared jubilant as they walked the red carpet in a custom-designed green lace kimono by Menagerié Intimates. Things took a poignant turn, however, when they delivered an emotional speech reflecting on their recent strides toward living authentically as a genderqueer and nonbinary person. 

During their speech, Smith wiped away tears and described the moment as “overwhelming.”

“The last year has been a wild ride of self-realisation and has almost felt like a second coming out,” they said. “The reason I’ve been able to show all of the sides of myself to the public and express myself in these ways is because I felt incredibly safe.”

“Let’s live as loudly and queerly as humanly possible,” Smith added. 

Other performers included on the Sydney Mardi Gras 2020 line up, running from February 14 until March 1, will include 2014 Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst,  Koori Gras produced by Moogahlin Performing Arts, and My Trans Story - where Wagga Wagga Mardi Gras founder Holly Conroy, LGBTQI+ activist Ted Cook and Australian Defence Force Academy alumni Joel Wilson come together for a powerful first person account of the trans experience. 

Signature events returning in 2020 include Fair Day on Sunday February 16, the Kaftan Party at Ivy’s Pool Club on Wednesday February 19, the Sissy Ball at the Enmore Theatre on Saturday February 22, and the Family Fun Day on Sunday February 23.

Get tickets to the official Mardi Gras Party here.

Curtis M. Wong contributed to this report.