🏳️‍🌈 We’re back in the Mardi Gras 🏳️‍🌈

We are delighted to share the news that we’ll be marching at this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade.


Taking place on Saturday 5 March at the world famous Sydney Cricket Ground, we’re calling on participants from the Sydney and Central Coast Gig Buddies’ projects to join us as we show support for the LGBTQI+ community and celebrate diversity.

We have 40 places available and we’re on the search for dancers, placard and banner holders, a photographer / videographer and - for those who can’t make it on night but would like to help out - prop designers and make-up artists.


To see a complete list of roles, and to find out how you can join us, click here.


Please note, in the interest of fairness, this year we’re requesting buddies submit an ‘expressions of interest’. We want to ensure as many people as possible have the chance to sample the amazing experience that comes with marching in the Mardi Gras; depending on the level of demand, we may hold a ballot to determine who attends.


Furthermore, in order to join us at this year's Mardi Gras you are required to be a fully signed up user of the Gig Buddies program.


As per Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade policies, we need to inform event organisers of who’ll be marching with us by the beginning of February. Therefore, we’re asking people to register before Thursday 27 January.


For those not in the know, we made our Mardi Gras debut last year. In what can only be described as a ‘truly remarkable experience’, we can’t wait to do it once again in 2022. To see what happened in 2021, click here to check out our photo and video gallery.


If you have any questions about involvement with Sydney Mardi Gras or would like more information, send us an email: info@gigbuddiessydney.org, get in touch on Facebook Messenger or contact us via text or on the phone on either 0422 061 990 or 0412 145 819.

 

Sign me up


This forthcoming Sunday (23/1) we head to Avoca to check out the Beachside Markets.

Avoca Beachside Markets boasts 90+ stalls, serving up waterfront vibes, live music, water rides, fresh produce areas and international food offerings.


This is your last chance to sign up - it would be great to see as many buddies there as possible. To get involved, load up the link below:


- Avoca Beachside Markets: Sunday 23 January, 11am - 2pm

 

Front and centre


And one week later we go to Woy Woy, sampling some punk rock courtesy of the Link and Pin.

We can’t wait to experience the buzz of being at a gig. In the words of the establishment: "We love music! Check out our leafy, chilled beer garden, which we fondly call Gabba Gabba Hey.


We are a small venue dedicated to both the artist and the punter — enjoy our rotating tapas menu, juicy burgers and handpicked beer, wine and spirits, plus the best original artists on the Central Coast and beyond.”


On the night we’ll be listening to the sounds of Hack The Mainframe, a punk rock band from Newcastle. They’ll be supported by Apprehension Avenue who, in their own words, are "staunchly blue collar and proud. Brought to you by working class Western Sydney gentlemen.”


To join us in the Link and Pin load up the link below:


- Hack The Mainframe and Apprehension Avenue @ Link and Pin, Woy Woy: Saturday 29 January, 7pm onwards


Both events are free to attend. If you have any questions about our plans, get in touch: we can be reached via Facebook Messenger, email: info@gigbuddiescentralcoast.org or via text or phone call on 0402 708 814.

 

What about Covid?


With regards to the Link and Pin’s Covid policy, they’re adhering to the NSW Health guidelines. As a live music venue they’ve put an emphasis on the following: "THE (seated, no singing, no dancing) SHOW MUST GO ON!"


Avoca Beachside Markets, in response to Covid, have restricted the event to 90 stalls.


For more information on current NSW Health Covid guidelines, click here.

 

Get arty!


Pens and paper at the ready, our online art class is back.

Join us on Wednesday (19/1) as we create two visual masterpieces.


In addition to Wednesday’s event, we also invite buddies to connect with us at 4pm today (Monday 17/1) for our weekly chat. To attend get in touch via text: 0422 061 990 or Facebook Messenger.


And to find out more about this week’s online offering (and to sign up), load up the link below:


Wednesday 19 January

- Gig Buddies online art @ 4pm


All online games will take place via Zoom. For information on how to use Zoom, load up the following easy read guide written by Learning Disability Wales. Alternatively, click here to check out our 'how to use Zoom' video.


If you have any questions or would like more information, send us an email: info@gigbuddiessydney.org or info@gigbuddiescentralcoast.org or call/SMS us on 0402 708 814.

 

A word from the pros


We had hoped 2022 would be different, but given the rise in Covid numbers we’re going to continue pushing referral services for those who may be struggling.


Mental Health First Aid Australia have issued the following guidelines on assisting someone distressed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and they’re also providing mental health first aid in the time of ‘social distancing. Additionally, the team from ideas.org.au have shared their ‘look after your mental health in the COVID-19 crisis’ list of ideas.


reachout.com have also released their 10 ways to take care of yourself during coronavirus guide, while for those of you now working from home, Black Dog Institute have put together the following checklist to support your mental health.

 

We’re here to chat


From our perspective, while we’re not trained professionals, we are available for a chat.


For anyone experiencing increased social isolation, send a text or call us at 0402 708 814 (Gig Buddies Central Coast) or 0422 061 990 (Gig Buddies Sydney).


Alternatively, feel free to get in touch via Facebook Messenger or connect courtesy of email: info@gigbuddiescentralcoast.org or info@gigbuddiessydney.org

 

Matthew Collins

Gig Buddies Central Coast coordinator

info@gigbuddiescentralcoast.org

 

Would you like more information about Gig Buddies Central Coast? You’re only a click away. Connect with us via the links below.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | LinkedIn

 

Fancy revelling in legendary status? If so, please support us in our cause to get more people out to live events in Sydney.


Donations over $2 are tax deductible and all are gratefully received.

Gig Buddies Central Coast is an initiative of ACL Disability Services.

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