Absolut Vodka has announced ‘House of Absolut’, a touring LGBTQIA+ celebration, in partnership with Merivale and WorldPride.
The festival will run from 17 February to 5 March at various locations across Sydney. The festival will be ‘curated by adored queer talent’ including the likes of Paul Mac, Vetta Borne, and Vanessa Wagner.
Eric Thomson, Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ Global Marketing Director, said he was excited about the partnership and the event.
“Absolut’s partnership with Sydney WorldPride 2023 is a celebration of the Southern Hemisphere’s first global pride festival, and marks the brand’s 40+ year commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community, including 6 years partnering with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. We look forward to celebrating equality in Australia with our chosen families.”
One flagship exhibit is ‘House of Homes’ a celebration of Ballroom at Merivale’s the Alex in Alexandria. The event will be organized by Xander Khoury, founder of the House of Silky QTBIPOC Ballroom group, who will transform the community pub into an immersive ballroom museum.
Khoury, also known as ‘Silky’, explained the approach to this event.
“I wanted to curate a space that felt nostalgic and familiar to the ballroom kids and inspiring for those discovering ballroom for the first time. Inspired by the unique venue itself, we transformed the top level of The Alex into a home that every ballroom kid would dream of, with an inbuilt dance studio and a place to feel safe to be who you are.”
The exhibit will include work from Joshua Taliani, founder of the House of Alexander ballroom group, and visual artist Blu Jay. This event will run from 22 February to 5 March, with a housewarming party held on the 22nd.
Rainbow Routes, a journey through Sydney’s queer history, will be held on 23 and 24 February. With this event, a double-decker bus will travel around Sydney, with on-board host Vanessa Wagner leading the way.
The bus will stop at key places in the history of the city’s queer community, and at for live entertainment, featuring Paul Mac, the Dollar Bin Darlings, Sean Miley Moore and other acts yet to be announced. This event was curated by Heaps Gay Founder, Kat Dopper (who recently organised the Pleasure Playhouse in the Sydney CBD). All the proceeds from Rainbow Routes will be donated to ACON, a NSW-based health organisation that specialises in HIV prevention and support.
The bus will also be available as a safe transport for the community on 25 February, the day of the Mardi Gras parade, picking up at the Newtown Hotel and dropping off in Darlinghurst.
In connection to these celebrations, Absolut is reviving the limited-edition Absolut Rainbow bottle.