Alice Springs Has Its Own Mardi Gras-Like Festival And It’s Absolutely Fabulous

Whether you're at home or on the road, there's no excuse to miss AWOL ever again. Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram.

As soon as New Years is done every year, the whole of Sydney starts looking towards Mardi Gras — heck not just Sydney, the whole country, possibly even the world. What you might not know, though, is that every March Alice Springs throws its own LGBBTQI+ celebration, and it’s absolutely fabulous.

From March 11 to FABalice (inspired by The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, obviously) brings drag, comedy, cabaret and other entertainment to Central Australia in order to share the Mardi Gras celebrations further afield.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by FABalice Festival (@fabalicefest)

This is one hell of a party — a street part, in fact. A carnivale celebration too. There’ll also be a rainbow flag raising ceremony at Alice Springs police station, drag lip sync battles, cinema screenings, drag queen story time, bingo, and more.

How did this gem of a festival pop up in a fairly remote area? In mid-2018, a small group of Alice Springs local grabbed a beer and started organising a 2019 festival to celebrate 25 years since the making of The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. A highly worthy goal, if you ask me.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by FABalice Festival (@fabalicefest)

Since its original success, FABalice has become an annual event, and one well worth flying in for.

Seems like an especially good idea in 2021 when the Sydney Mardi Gras parade is ticketed (although you can watch it on the big screen at these joints) so you can still get in amongst the action.

Tickets are only $59 per person (got to love non-Sydney prices, sorry Sydney), and you can nab yours now right here.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by FABalice Festival (@fabalicefest)

To be honest, Alice Springs and the Northern Territory in general are absolutely worth a little vacay.

While you’re there, check out this guide to exploring the area even if you’re on a budget (we know how pricey it can get up there), this guide to Kakadu even if you only have a few days and this packing list for Uluru, because the desert can be tricky to plan for.

Oh, and if you can line up more than one of NT’s awesome festivals in one trip, then all the better.

(Lead image: Provided / FABalice)