Facebook has announced that it will be a major partner of this years Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
The social media giant, which also acquired Instagram in 2013, will be supporting the festival on both platforms and will be entering a float in the festival’s famous parade on Saturday 5th March.
CEO of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Michele Bauer said, “Mardi Gras could not be happier that Facebook has become a partner. This is not just because of its size or reach, although those are wonderful benefits, but because of Facebook’s commitment to campaigns that spread messages of social justice. Mardi Gras at its core is about social justice. We look forward to working with Facebook on spreading those messages along with all of our messages of celebration and fabulousness in true Mardi Gras style!”
This is the first time that Facebook has officially partnered with the festival, building on its long history of supporting pride and diversity globally by partnering with pride parades in the United States and enabling Facebook users to apply a rainbow flag filter over their profile picture in support of marriage equality and LGBTIQ rights.
Mia Garlick, director of policy Australia New Zealand, Facebook Instagram said “People use platforms like Facebook and Instagram to connect and share both within the LGBTIQ community and about LGBTIQ issues. Amongst the 14 million Australians who regularly use Facebook, the topic of marriage equality was one of the top 15 most mentioned topics on the site in 2015 – and around the world, more than 26 million people added a rainbow pride filter to their profile pictures. On Instagram, people used #PridePortraits to share their images of love, pride and family.
“We are honoured to be a major sponsor of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and showcase not only our support, but also showcase how our platforms allow people to connect and share around what matters most to the LGBTIQ community.”
Pink Media Group on behalf of Sydney Mardi Gras created the partnership.
Managing director Ben Mulcahy said, “It’s wonderful to have the worlds largest social media platform supporting the country’s largest LGBTIQ pride festival. Like all Australians, LGBTIQ people have had their lives revolutionised by social media over the past decade. It has helped build and connect the community like never before.
“Facebook’s partnership is more than just an opportunity to get their brand in front of 250,000 spectators at the parade: it’s a great reminder of the power of social media and social movements to change lives.”
The flagship event of the Mardi Gras festival is the parade which attracts approximately 10,000 participants and is the largest night time parade of its kind in the world. Facebook will be entering a float with 50 or more participants from Facebook in tow as well as being present at other festival events including Fair Day on Sunday 21st February.