Merivale and Absolut Vodka present We Are Stronger Together

A dazzling program of events to celebrate the 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. 

Merivale and  Absolut Vodka are proud to announce the launch of  We Are Stronger Together, a dazzling new campaign to celebrate the 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Featuring a jam-packed programme of festivities, Stronger Together is inspired by community, love and unique connections and will bring people together in a joyous celebration of pride and diversity. Tickets and bookings now available at

Over three sensational weeks, revellers can watch show-stopping cabaret performances and Bingay (a much more flamboyant take on bingo) at The Beresford; sip Absolut Banger’s at POOF DOOF’s first ever beachside Drag Brunch at Coogee Pavilion Rooftop; network with queer professionals over a long lunch at iconic poolside restaurant, Uccello; go-go dance at Dollar Bin Darlings parade day extravaganza at Vic on The Park; and party by the pool after the parade at ivy’s rooftop mecca.

As ongoing allies of the LGBTIQA+ community, Merivale and Absolut have also created the ‘Absolut Banger’ cocktail. Available in selected venues from 5 February–7 March, $2 from each cocktail will be donated to longstanding charity partners, Bobby Goldsmith Foundation and ACON. The cocktail is a delicious mix of Absolut Lime, Lillet Blanc, passionfruit and Granny Smith apple.

To launch the campaign, Merivale and Absolut Vodka have invited friends in the community to share their stories of love and triumph and celebrate people in their lives who fill each day with colour. Stronger Together is about the people who are uncompromisingly oneself and the support crew around them who make that possible. Because no matter what – we are all stronger together.

Josef & Maria

The vibrant campaign shot by Georges Antoni features Dimitri Calavrias (Merivale’s Brand Manager) and his brother Jeremy; Trans sisters, Kalypso Finbar Otu and Skye Paez (Merivale customers); friends and ACON Ambassadors, Maria Christodoulou and Josef Garrington (Beresford Bingay hosts and Merivale and Absolut charity partners); co-stars Troy Stone and Minnie Cooper (Absolut Beresford Sunday cabaret performers); Stuart Cogan (ivy Events Operations Manager) and his sausage dog Snitz; friends and colleagues, Silvio Cohilj and Yibo Luo (ivy hosts and restaurant leaders).

Justin Hemmes, Merivale CEO, said: “We are proud to celebrate and champion Sydney’s Queer culture and the LGBTQIA+ community. If 2020 taught us anything it is the importance of looking out, supporting and lifting each other up – exactly what the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is all about. I can’t wait to see the city alive with pride and experience the big, beautiful energy that Mardi Gras always brings to Sydney”.

Merivale also has a limited number of drink, dine and stay packages still available. Each package booking at The Beresford, Queen Chow Enmore, The Paddington and Bar Totti’s on Saturday, 6 March includes an official Mardi Gras Parade ticket compliments of Absolut (per person), an Absolut Banger cocktail on arrival, live DJs and entertainment, and a $5 donation to Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Bookings can be made at

While the Mardi Gras festivities might look a little different this year, the spirit of Mardi Gras is still very much alive at Merivale.

                                    STRONGER TOGETHER AT MERIVALE


Troy & Minnie

Cabaret: ‘Step Back In Time’ – Every Friday and Sunday in February and March from 7pm
Dinner and a show and a whole lotta woah! After the success of ‘A Night in Paris’ and ‘Absolut-ly Christmas’, Minnie Cooper, Jacqui St Hyde, Mynx Moscato, Troy Stone and Hayden Baulch are bringing their new brand-new cabaret, ‘Step Back in Time’, to Beresford Upstairs. Everyone loves a bit of nostalgia and this show promises to have something for everyone, making its way through the decades from the 20s through to the 80s with plenty of amusing twists and turns on the way.
Tickets are $75pp (plus booking fee) and include an Absolut Banger cocktail on arrival, three-course dinner and a fabulous show.
Note: During Mardi Gras week, ‘Step Back In Time’ will take place on Thursday, 4 March and Sunday, 7 March.

Alfie Arcuri Live @ Upstairs Beresford – Friday, 5 March from 7pm
Feel the Mardi Gras love live, loud and proud with a night of soulful singing. Listen to the nostalgic sounds of Ms Thandi before an intimate live performance by Alfie Arcuri, including his newly released song “Handsome Man”. Doors open and bar and food service from 7pm, and Ms Thandi live from 7.30pm.

Tickets are $65pp (plus booking fee) and include an Absolut Banger cocktail on arrival and antipasto board to share.

Parade Day Screening Party – Saturday, 6 March from 2pm
When it comes to Parade Day, no one parties prouder than The Beresford. From 2pm the doors will open to absolutely everyone, so don’t be tardy for the party. There will be DJs playing all day and well into the night, a photo booth in the front bar to capture the most extra Parade Day poses, and all the parade action from the SCG screening in the Courtyard from 7pm. Order an Absolut Banger cocktail while you’re there with $2 from every drink donated to ACON and the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation charities.
Walk-ins only.

The DJ line-up includes:
● Colin Gaff, 2pm–6pm
● Alex Taylor, 6pm–9pm
● Adam Love, 9pm–1am

Bingay Pride – Thursday, 25 February from 6.30pm
Legs eleven! Dancing Queen! Bingay is back at The Beresford just in time for Mardi Gras. This bingo party is fit for all queens and the fabulous hosts, Charisma Belle and Naomi Palmer, will serve up deliciously devilish callbacks, sultry stories and raucous repartee with prizes to be won thanks to ACON and Absolut.

Dropping balls since 1999, Bingay is a gay Sydney institution. All funds raised go to helping ACON deliver vital programs and services to improve the health and wellbeing of sexuality-and-gender-diverse people.

Bookings are essential and can be made here.


POOF DOOF Drag Brunch Coogee Pavilion Rooftop – Saturday, 20 February
POOF DOOF Drag Brunch is headed to Coogee for the first ever beach brunch! Look forward to a whole afternoon of fierce drag superstardom hosted by Marilyn Mootrub and starring the iconic Coco Jumbo, Vybe, Vanity and Felicia Foxx, plus the POOF DOOF DJs bringing the heat to the beach including DJ Sveta, DJ Charlie Villas and Victoria Anthony. Tickets include a 1½-hour bottomless mimosa and brunch package, including a welcome drink choice of an Absolut Banger cocktail, Red Bull Club Tropicana or Hahn SuperDry, plus so much more camp fun.

Book a table for you and your best judys and enjoy the runway show around the super glam Coogee Pavilion Rooftop in celebration of the brand new rainbow steps on Coogee Beach being unveiled just in time for Mardi Gras.

Tickets are $89pp. Bookings are essential and a variety of table sizes and configurations are available here.

Coogee Rooftop Sunday’s: Mardi Gras Edition – Sunday, 21 and 28 February

The Sunday session that Sydneysiders already love – but way more colourful! Kicking off at 2pm and partying on well into the night, there will be an absolutely fabulous lineup of DJs and live entertainment to take the weekend up a notch in the lead-up to the 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Head to the bar for this year’s Sydney Mardi Gras Absolut Banger cocktail – a delicious mix of Absolut Lime, Lillet Blanc, passionfruit and Granny Smith apple, with $2 from every sale donated to ACON and The Bobby Goldsmith Foundation.
Book a table here to secure your spot today.

Sunday, 21 February:
  ●  Colin Gaff
  ●  Cassette
  ●  Adam Love
  ●  Robbie Rommers
  ●  Nate
  ●  Stacie Fields

Sunday, 28 February:
  ●  Bannie
  ●  Amanda Louise
  ●  James Alexandr
  ●  Pat Stevenson
  ●  Sveta
  ●  Mo’funk


POOF DOOF Drag Brunch – Saturday, 20 and 27 February
Treat yourself to a whole afternoon of fierce drag superstardom, a 1½-hour bottomless mimosa and brunch package including a complimentary Absolut Banger cocktail on arrival, plus so much more camp fun. The runway is in and around the ultra-glam ivy pool and the afternoon will be hosted by the one and only Marilyn Mootrub and star the iconic Coco Jumbo, Sia Tequila and Miss Danni Issues in shows all afternoon along with fabulous guest performers each week.
  •  Saturday, 20 February: Maxi Shield
  •  Saturday, 27 February: Faúx Fúr

Tickets are $89pp. Bookings are essential and a variety of table sizes and configurations are available here.

POOF DOOF Long Lunch at uccello – Thursday, 4 March, 12pm–5pm
The inaugural POOF DOOF Long Lunch is here, queer and kickstarting Mardi Gras at Merivale’s iconic poolside restaurant, uccello. POOF DOOF have curated the perfect long lunch to network with Sydney’s queer professionals over a three-course extravaganza designed by Head Chef Nigel Ward with a glass of champagne on arrival.

The afternoon will feature guest speakers including a keynote from Albert Kruger, CEO of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, and music curated by Australia’s leading queer DJs including Kitty Glitter, Sveta and Kate Monroe. Guests can also look forward to some very special, surprise live performances throughout the afternoon. After lunch, guests can sashay over to ivy Pool Club to take an afternoon dip.

Tickets are $159pp. Tables are limited and bookings can be made here.

Parade After Party at Pool Club – Saturday, 6 March
POOF DOOF are hosting yet another epic Mardi Gras parade after party at ivy Pool Club from 9pm until the wee hours of the morning with an all-star lineup of DJs, live acts, drag performers and more. Leading the stacked line-up is Sgt Slick, alongside drag DJ icons Kitty Glitter and drag DJ duo Jawbreakers. POOF DOOF Melbourne residents Argonaut and Jason Conti will go back-to-back while Sydney DJ icons Sveta, Troy Beman and I.O.U. round out the line-up for house music lovers. There will be epic shows from drag brunch divas Coco Jumbo, Danni Issues, and Sia Tequila, and a very special performance from Vanity Faire, Maxi Shield and Lexi Gaga.

Very limited tickets will be on sale soon.


Vic on the Pardi Gras – Sunday, 21 and 28 February
Vic on The Park have programmed a line-up of DJs and performers in the coming weeks to get you in the mood, culminating in a Dollar Bin Darlings extravaganza on parade day featuring go-go dancers and a live stream straight from the stadium. Head to the bar for this year’s Sydney Mardi Gras Absolut Banger cocktail – a delicious mix of Absolut Lime, Lillet Blanc, passionfruit and Granny Smith apple – with $2 donated from every sale to ACON and The Bobby Goldsmith Foundation.

Sunday, 21 February:
  ●  Gonz, 1pm–4pm
  ●  Queen Shirene, 4pm–7pm
  ●  Colin Gaff, 7pm–10pm

Sunday, 28 February:
  ●  Gonz, 1pm–4pm
  ●  Aunty Jonny & Friends, 4pm–10pm

Dollar Bin Darlings Parade Day Extravaganza – Saturday, 6 March
Hosted by Aunty Jonny and the Bottom Dollar Buddies, Vic on The Park will be livestreaming the parade complete with go-go dancers, glitter bombs and more. Arrive in full colour as there’ll be prizes for the best dressed on the day.

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