Big Gay Out is back bigger and gayer than ever

Tuesday 07 March 2023

The biggest rainbow festival in Aotearoa is back and ready to celebrate and advocate for rainbow and takatāpui communities.

Burnett Foundation Aotearoa Chief Executive Joe Rich says that Big Gay Out is truly one of the highlight events of the year for rainbow communities.

“We are excited to be able to enjoy music, arts, and kai with our community, especially following the recent extreme weather events,” says Rich.

“The Grassroots Main Stage will see nine incredible artists performing to what we expect to be our biggest crowd yet. We are thrilled to have THEIA (Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Tīpa) and Brady Peeti (Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi, Ngāti Maniapoto) headlining this year’s event.”

Other things to look forward to are the iconic market and community stalls, 18+ dance party NYMPHO WORLD, House of Aitu’s ‘Thirst Trap Ball’, delightful food and beverage options, dogs of all breeds and drag queens galore.

A number of politicians will also be there to stand on stage and make election year commitments to the rainbow and takatāpui communities.

Mr. Rich says that this will be rainbow and takatāpui communities’ first opportunity to hear from the new Prime Minister about the issues that directly impact them.

“As it is an election year, our communities will be looking closely at what policies the different political parties are bringing to the table and the commitments they can make to our communities,” says Rich.

“One of the key questions on the day will be asking each party about their support for the ongoing implementation of the HIV Action Plan. This will be the first time in almost two decades that the health system and other national and regional agencies are going to be guided by a strategic approach. We would like to see genuine dedication from the parties to assisting the implementation of the ten-year plan as it moves into its first phase.

“It is critical for our communities to have a government that is prepared to cater and respond to the needs of LGBTQI+ people, as evidenced by the recent mpox outbreak.”

Big Gay Out has been running for over two decades. It remains a free event thanks to meaningful partnerships with organisations and funding from granting bodies, along with generous donations.