How the drinks industry is celebrating Sydney WorldPride

From scented lube to Kylie karaoke, the drinks industry is finding unique ways saying cheers to Sydney WorldPride from 17 February to 5 March 2023.

WorldPride is a global LGBTQIA+ festival that has been staged since 2000, with cities competing to host the event. Sydney was chosen to be the host of WorldPride in 2023, marking the first time a city in the Southern Hemisphere has been chosen.

The NSW Government, which is a strategic partner of Sydney WorldPride, is predicting more than 500,000 people will participate in Sydney WorldPride events, including the world-famous Mardi Gras Parade, which will be returning to Oxford Street for the first time in three years.  

Minister for Tourism Ben Franklin said the Sydney WorldPride program will bring the Harbour City to life like never before.

“Visitors from all over NSW, Australia and the world will be wowed by the beauty of our city, our beaches, and the hospitality and experiences we have on offer,” Franklin said.

Little Creatures shares the love

Lion is a major partner of Sydney WorldPride, with Little Creatures the official beer of the event and also Mardi Gras for the next two years.

The partnership between Little Creatures and Mardi Gras reflects a long association. Nearly 30 years ago Hahn Ice sponsored the event and took part in the parade with a giant pink beer can as its signature float.

Lion’s Chief Marketing Officer, Anubha Sahasrabuddhe said: “As a company striving to do more for inclusion, we are excited to be back as an official sponsor of Sydney’s world-famous Pride celebration.”

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger said: “We’re delighted to have Little Creatures join us as our official beer partner for the next three years. They have shown great dedication to equality, both within their organization and for the wider LGBTQIA+ community.”

Sydney WorldPride CEO Kate Wickett said: “Sydney WorldPride will be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with old friends and make new friends as we welcome people from around the world. We are really looking forward to showing off the best in LGBTQIA+ arts and culture to the rest of the world. Little Creatures is a fantastic Aussie Beer and I’m sure some wonderful fun will be had and memories will be made over a couple of cold ones at Sydney WorldPride next year.”

To mark the announcement, Lion tripled its funding commitment to the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation in 2022, donating $60,000, as well as $10,000 of in-kind contributions.

Squealing Pig champions a Summer of Love

Squealing Pig is championing the colourful spectrums of love, sexual orientation and gender identity with nine new versions of its Rosé and Summer of Love campaign.

As the official wine of the Australian Open (AO) and Sydney WorldPride 2023, Squealing Pig is raising awareness of the diversity of LGBTQIA+ communities.

Until mid-March, Squealing Pig is switching out the labels on every 750ml bottle of rosé across the country with nine limited-edition Pride Labels, featuring cheeky rhymes that celebrate every letter of the LGBTQIA+ acronym and allies.

Squealing Pig’s Kaushik Lal said: “At Squealing Pig, we’re known for our inclusive and cheeky approach to the complex world of wine, a category that a lot of people find confusing and stuffy. But we are also committed to channeling our playfulness and positivity in support of inclusion and diversity on a much broader level.

“We want to shine a spotlight on the rainbow community at its finest; and do it in a meaningful, respectful way that remains true to Squealing Pig. This is why we have been working closely with a range of representatives of the nine communities – both from the Squealing Pig team and externally – to bring our Summer of Love campaign and Pride Labels to life.

“So, here’s to celebrating the lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer or non-binary, transgender, intersex, asexual, pansexual and other gender-diverse communities. And here’s to more allies and an epic Summer of Love.”

Squealing Pig Pride Labels will be stocked at leading liquor stores and venues nationally, replacing existing Squealing Pig rosé bottles until the end of March or until stocks run out.

Archie Rose & LBDO create botanical lube

Archie Rose Distilling Co returns as the official gin partner to Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Sydney WorldPride 2023 and to celebrate they are launching an Essensual Lube created together with sexual wellness company LBDO.

Featuring artwork by local queer artist, Luke John Matthew Arnold, Archie Rose x LBDO Essensual Lube will be available as a complimentary gift with the purchase of two celebratory Sydney WorldPride Bottled Cocktails, Peaches on Beches and Harbour Cruisin’, as well as a customised WorldPride Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin created in tribute to the LGBTQIA+ global community. 

Archie Rose x LBDO Essensual Lube is a natural water-based lubricant, made with Certified Organic hydrating Aloe vera and native Australian ingredients including Kakadu plum and quandong extract.

“We are incredibly proud to be the Australian gin partner to Sydney WorldPride 2023 and to be collaborating with LBDO as another independent Australian brand who shares the same passion for individuality, inclusion and sustainably sourced native ingredients as our 110 strong Archie Rose team,” said Will Edwards, founder of Archie Rose.

Archie Rose will also be involved in more than 50 events throughout Sydney WorldPride including a Sexual Wellness Masterclass at the Archie Rose Bar & Cellar Door in Rosebery, Sydney on 2 March, hosted by LBDO founder Rachel Baker and Sexologist Meg Callender with tickets available via Archie Rose website.

Peaches on Beaches ($59) is a limited edition WorldPride Bottled Cocktail featuring Signature Dry Gin along with notes of peach, mango, elderflower, native lemon myrtle and a touch of salt. 

Harbour Cruisin’ ($59) is the second limited edition WorldPride Bottled Cocktail featuring Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin, Campari, forest berries, native Australian waxflower and pink peppercorn. 

A special-edition WorldPride Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin ($79) is now available from today at bottle shops and bars nationally along with the Archie Rose Bar & Cellar Door in Rosebery and the Archie Rose website. It features a rainbow neck collar, silver foil and a personalised welcome message to the LGBTQIA+ global community.

Solotel named official hospo partner

Solotel is the exclusive hospitality partner of Sydney WorldPride 2023. Kings Cross HotelThe BankMarly, and Courty in Newtown; The Clock and Goros in Surry Hills; Darlo Bar, Darlinghurst; the soon-to-open Abercrombie in Chippendale; Paddo Inn, PaddingtonBarangaroo House; and Opera Bar are the official venues of the event.

Solotel is partnering with some of Sydney’s LGBTQIA+ tastemakers to curate the inclusive and diverse styling, entertainment and music programming across the group’s flagship Sydney WorldPride venues. Each tastemaker will focus on a particular Solotel venue that they already have an affinity with and will ensure it has a unique flair that resonates with its local queer community.

A photograph of a group of people sitting around a drag queen surrounded by silver fabric and disco balls holding Sydney WorldPride logos

For the fourth year running, Kings Cross Hotel will transform into the iconic Queens Cross Hotel and the team from are curating outstanding experiences of unity, celebration, and glittering love across each of the five levels. The Clock is celebrating love and pride with celebrity guru (and Surry Hills local), Richard Reid. At The Bank, queer party crews Birdcage and Woody’s are taking over, while at Goros resident queen, Milan, has some serious fun planned for this late-night haunt. Two queer institutions in Darlo Bar and the inimitable House of Mince are also joining forces. And finally, the Abercrombie (opens late 2022) has Xander Khoury from QTBIPOC collective House Of Silky and Kate Munro going all night across its multiple levels.

There will also be boozy brunches, A Night of 1000 Kylie’s karaoke, pride trivia, LGBTQIA+ mixers, 90s and 00s dress-up parties, queen-level line-ups of queer DJs and anthems and more. 

Solotel CEO Elliot Solomon said: “Solotel has an incredible local LGBTQIA+ community across so many of our pubs and bars and among our staff. Partnering with Sydney WorldPride 2023 is just one way we can show how much we support them and that we are a safe, fun space for everyone in the queer community to enjoy and get excited to celebrate.”

Diageo supports inclusion

Diageo has a supporting partnership – through its brands Johnnie Walker and Casamigos – with Sydney WorldPride 2023 and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 2023 and 2024.

Diageo Australia Corporate Relations Director Amanda Lampe said: “Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common, and we should celebrate it every day.

“We’re proud of this partnership, just as we’re proud that our brands are at the heart of so many people’s moments of social connection and celebration across the world.

“The legacy of Mardi Gras in this country is truly inspiring and has played such an important role in celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community and advocating for LGBTQIA+ rights.

“Casamigos tequila was created to be enjoyed with friends and Johnnie Walker’s rallying cry to always ‘Keep Walking’ make them the ideal brands for this exciting new partnership with Sydney WorldPride and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.”

Sydney WorldPride CEO Kate Wickett said: “Diageo is a progressive company that has shown real commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community over the years, and we are extremely excited to welcome them on board as a partner for Sydney WorldPride 2023.”

House of Absolut 

Absolut, as a supporting partner of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Sydney WorldPride 2023, will launch a touring LGBTQIA+ celebration called House of Absolut from February 17 to March 5.

House of Absolut, in partnership with Merivale, is throwing open the doors to the Ballroom-dedicated House of Homes at The Alex in Alexandria, which will launch with a Housewarming Party. Alongside this will be the Rainbow Routes queer history bus tour, the Rainbow Routes Express shuttle and more. 

Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ Global Marketing Director Eric Thomson said: “Absolut’s partnership with Sydney WorldPride 2023 is a celebration of the Southern Hemisphere’s first global pride festival, and marks the brand’s 40+ year commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community, including 6 years partnering with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. We look forward to celebrating equality in Australia with our chosen families.”

All proceeds from House of Absolut will be donated to local charities and causes in support of the local Ballroom and wider queer community. 

Alongside House of Absolut’s celebrations to commemorate WorldPride 2023, the famed Absolut Rainbow limited-edition bottle has also made a return.

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