We are thrilled to welcome Optus on board as Presenting Partner of the Mardi Gras Film Festival. MGFF will be a major event in the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras / World Pride calendar in February 2023. 

Optus has announced its role as Presenting Partner with Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival for the next three years.

The announcement coincides with the establishment of Optus’ new LGBTQIA+ employee network called Express Yourself – part of Optus’ Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging strategy.

The strategy also includes formalised employee networks for Women, Ability and Disability, Culture and Heritage, and Veterans and Services, and allies.

Commenting on the sponsorship Optus managing director marketing and revenue Matt Williams said, “It is thrilling to announce our support of Mardi Gras and Sydney WorldPride 2023 at a time when embracing and celebrating diversity and individuality is more important than ever.

“It’s been a tough two years locally and globally, and we know the optimism that comes from one of the most important and renowned international pride festivals. The theme, United We Shine, is absolutely the tonic needed as the world gradually begins to open up.”

Williams said with the biennial global WorldPride heading to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time in 2023, it is particularly important to continue to advocate for equality, visibility and social justice.

“The LGBTQIA+ community have long shown resilience and commitment for a safer and more inclusive world, particularly in Australia from the pioneering [Mardi Gras] 78ers to the advocation for marriage equality and everything in between.”

“Optus is standing proud in our support of the LGBTQIA+ community and wish everyone a happy, healthy and safe Mardi Gras festival, and we can’t wait to connect with the community at Fair Day and the Parade.”

Mardi Gras Film Festival is part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival program.

“We are ecstatic about welcoming Optus on board as a Presenting Partner for the next three years and look forward to seeing Optus employees and customers at the Mardi Gras Film Festival this month,” Queer Screen co-chair Cheryl Kavanagh said.

“We see our core values – diversity, inspiration, creativity, inclusiveness and pride – reflected in Optus’ Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging strategy,” added co-chair Abs Osseiran. “While the aims of the LGBTQIA+ employee network, called Express Yourself, are undoubtedly aligned with our vision to celebrate queer identities on screen!”

Kennedy & Partners will work with event producers Grande Experiences, Ticketmaster and Live Nation to help develop THE LUME’s corporate sponsorship program.

THE LUME Melbourne will open in August as a permanent cultural attraction and the largest digital art gallery in the Southern Hemisphere transforming the world’s finest artworks into fully immersive multi-sensory encounters over 3,000 square meters.

The gallery’s first innovative exhibition will be a celebration of the works of legendary artist Vincent Van Gogh and is expected to attract between 500,000 and 1 million attendees over the first twelve months.

Synchronised to a powerful classical score, more than 3,000 Van Gogh images will soar up to four storeys high on to a tapestry of surfaces via 150+ state-of-the-art HD projectors that seamlessly and magically bring the power, beauty and wonder of Van Gogh’s art to life for audiences using scent, video and animation in an exhibition space 10 times bigger than the recent successful Sydney installation of the exhibit.

Young and old will be enchanted by this wonderland which will include a sunflower infinity room, a recreation of Van Gogh’s bedroom and the famous Café Arles – Cafe Terrace At Night include a wine & soufflé bar.

THE LUME is the culmination of Melbourne’s Grande Experiences’ decade of presenting immersive experiences at over 190 venues in more than 150 cities across 6 continents, in 32 languages, to 17+ million people worldwide.

LEXUS Australia has joined as Presenting Partner and THE LUME Is looking for Official Sponsors who will be able to benefit from a full range of partner benefits including creating bespoke immersive digital events using Grande’s design team and exhibition space at Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre and connect with THE LUME’s audiences in a space where they are highly engaged as well as accessing Ticketmaster and Moshtix million+ customer database.

FOR SPONSORSHIP INQUIRIES CONTACT: Paul Kennedy at Kennedy & Partners – 0411 125 779 –

Full partnership highlights pack can be found here



Hot on the heels of its successful test-drive media launch with Casey Donovan, Drive-In Entertainment Australia has announced the first set of artists who will spearhead its program of 640+ performances beginning from July this year. The Veronicas and The Wiggles will each headline their own concerts, supported by a wide-ranging group of other home-grown artists in their own concerts eager to entertain the estimated 400,000 attendees (with a capacity of over 1 million), all while adhering to COVID-safe regulations. Diversity in programming has been key so organisers can cater to the many audience types expected to attend. Drive-In Entertainment Australia will have multiple venues across NSW, ACT, QLD and VIC with each location running for 2-3 weeks with capacities around 300-1,000 cars per concert. 

It all kicks off on July 17 at Western Sydney’s Raging Waters with 4 to 5 shows each day and night, with the opening day’s spectacular program concluding with Australia’s first ever Drive In Nightclub, orchestrated by acclaimed DJ Dan Murphy. With a capacity of 1,000 cars, Raging Waters will cater to an area of Sydney that has been starved of quality live entertainment for some time. It is Sydney’s only COVID-safe live venue, meaning it will be able to continue to operate on the chance restrictions are enforced again. The large capacity venue was chosen largely for its flexibility, and the potential for ‘Tail-gate parties’ to occur once restrictions are eased further: picture this – Sydneysiders dancing around their fully laden party cars for the duration of the concert. Every punter will have the ultimate box seat to Sydney’s must attend concerts!

The performances are expected to be the biggest live events Australia will see this year, ever since the country went in to lockdown in March. Performances will have the added benefit of being live-streamed to the cars via Zoom, allowing the audience to see themselves and friends on the big screen and to interact with artists live on stage. 

Due to International travel being non-existent, Drive-In Entertainment is championing Australian talent with a program complete with music, comedy and other types of performances. Comedy Drive-In Nights for example will be headlined by acts such as Akmal Saleh, Arj Barker, Jimeoin and Lawrence Mooney. As well as The Veronicas, other musical acts include Kate Ceberano, Casey Donovan and Jess & Matt. Musical theatre lovers have also been catered for with the show, Broadway Reimagined. 

“These acts are only the start, we have more artists and venues being added over the upcoming months,” said Samwise Holmes, Managing Director of Drive-In Entertainment Australia. “For example, we are currently in talks with some of Australia’s hottest indie bands that sell out concerts in places like The Enmore in Sydney – so this audience type will be catered for as well. If you love live performances, we urge you to please sign up to our newsletter at or like us on social media so you can be given first access to tickets.”

Entertainment will be available even for those who can’t drive, with Nickelodeon’s Hour of Power featuring SpongeBob SquarePants, Paw Patrol and The Wiggles keeping the kids happy.

Yellow Wiggle, Emma says, ‘The last couple of months have been very different for everyone and we hope that these shows will provide some entertainment for families during this time. We have enjoyed learning about new technologies and now we are so looking forward to performing with a live audience present. These Drive-in shows are a first for us and we hope we can continue connecting with families through different platforms. We hope that children and families can enjoy this wiggly experience from the comfort of their cars.’

Just before COVID-19, The Veronicas were performing at festivals across the globe, packing out stages everywhere they went. “Festivals create a unity of energy that is unlike any other feeling. We are thinking outside the box to make sure we can all still give an experience of live music to our fans during these times,” said Lisa Veronica.

“A drive in concert sounded like our perfect night. Get your friends together, great snacks, blankets, comfy seats and great weather is a guarantee; ha-ha,” said Jess Veronica. “This is the first time we’re ever done anything like this. Who knows what will happen. We’re expecting a symphony of car horns during Untouched.”

DJ Dan Murphy embraced the idea of being a trailblazer. “I am thrilled to be DJing the country’s first ever drive in nightclub! The stage and set up is going to be epic and I can’t wait to see all the cars lit up for the occasion – so make sure you pimp your car out with as many glowsticks, LED lights and flashing lights as humanly possible! And we definitely encourage everyone to raid their dress up boxes for these events as well!”

The first Dan Murphy party will be 90s themed, and the second party will be his mega club night, I Remember House. If you love Hed Kandi, Ibiza Classics and Ministry of Sound, you will not be disappointed.

For ticket sales and the full program that will be updated regularly, visit