Party boat revellers breathe life into Sydney at 'hardcore' cruise

Hardcore ravers leave little to the imagination as they prepare to party on the Harbour – as Sydney’s dying nightlife scene has a three-day reprieve on the back of the biggest Mardi Gras in decades

  • Hardiest of Sydney’s hardcore partiers attended Rave Escape 
  • Rules said ‘dress code is relaxed’, which attendees took literally

While Mardi Gras got most of the publicity over the weekend, the hardiest of Australia’s partiers instead decided to kick off their night at the ‘hardcore’ Rave Escape boat party that cruised around Sydney Harbour. 

Tens of thousands of revellers celebrated Mardi Gras on Oxford Street on Saturday in what was the biggest crowd the LGBTQIA+ festival has seen in decades.

But the incredible outfits showcased at the iconic parade were rivalled by some of the outfits dreamed up by Rave Escape revellers.  

The organisers of Rave Escape made the rules very easy to follow: ‘Dress code is relaxed. Shorts, singlets & hats are fine. Enclosed shoes only. No offensive t-shirts,’ they said. 

And the attendees took that important word – relaxed – literally as they partied hard to happy hardcore, hardstyle and up tempo tunes.

The raucous music and riotous fun kicked off at 1pm from Darling Harbour before docking back at 6pm to give people just enough time to make their way to Oxford Street for the Mardi Gras parade.

All black and all white outfits glammed up King Street Wharf on Saturday in Sydney

It was all smiles as revellers arrived for a massive day out at Rave Escape in Sydney

For some people, tassels just never went out of style, or maybe they’re just back in style

Hula hoops are always a good accessory to have on a boat party on Sydney Harbour

The woman on the right appears to have missed the memo on wearing ‘enclosed shoes only’

With the instruction to arrive before 12.30 for a 1pm start, there were a lot of people trying to get on board at the same time at King Street Wharf.

To help matters along, there were six VIP booths available onboard, which came with ‘express entry’.

There was a cost, of course – $500 per booth and you still had to buy separate tickets for the event – though they were discounted to $66 per person from the up to $100 cost of event only tickets.

The booths accommodated between four and 15 people and included one 700ml bottle of Belvedere vodka. 

This loved-up couple definitely followed the ‘enclosed shoes only’ rule

Everyone here looks like they’ve been having the time of their lives at Rave Escape

Wearing bathing costumes was perfectly fine, as was having fancy headgear

Glitter also proved very popular to many party goers, these two lads included

The man in the centre dressed like a sea captain may not have been the actual boat captain

Likewise, the woman on the right dressed in a skimpy sailor’s outfit may not have been a real sailor

If your budget didn’t quite stretch to a booth, you could still get express entry, including access to private chill out room.

That VIP ticket cost $100 per person and was ‘limited numbers only’.

Once you got on-board, whether you had a booth, an express entry, a VIP ticket or a regular ticket, there was a huge amount of entertainment to enjoy.

Among the names were Technikore, JTS, Weaver, Cotts, Tom-E, Matrix and MC D.

On the hardstyle deck, the tunes were spun by Firelite, Dillytek, DNA, Steve Hill, MC Riddle and more. 

If uptempo was more your thing, there was Blocka, Tim Dawes, Lihan, Mistortion, Risque and others, hosted by MC Pez.  

Tartan mini-skirts, dog collars and bondage gear – it’s all good so long as your toes weren’t exposed to the elements

Two boys in blue posed with their friend in flowery pinks and reds before they set sail

Flowing red locks, a moustache and a nightgown were all fine, but this person may have found their open shoes caused a problem at the entrance to the boat

This couple was smiling like they were going to have the best party of their lives. Hopefully they did

The woman in blue seems to be channelling both Elsa from Frozen and a pixie’s ears

Wearing a lilac leotard and non-matching sneakers is one way to stand out when everybody dresses to impress

The contrast of wearing an orange top and black shorts and shoes also helped this woman to stand out

Pink hair, a skimpy green top and tight black cut-off denim shorts helped make an impression

This woman seems to be looking for her friends, hopefully she found them soon after

There is a reason yellow and black is used on many road signs – the colour contrast makes them stand out, something this woman understands perfectly 

Best of all, the Rave Escape seems to have gone off without a hitch, with the NSW Police reporting no incidents related to the event. 

Everyone involved will, no doubt, be keen to do it all again another day. 

Sydney’s Oxford Street was awash with glitter after more than 300,000 partygoers celebrated the crown jewel of the WorldPride program, which Australia hosted for the first time, on Saturday night.

Oxford Street filled up before 7pm as thousands flocked to the party street to try and catch a glimpse of the parade.

The party was one of the biggest turn-outs in decades as Sydney jointly hosts the WorldPride program during Mardi Gras. 

‘This is one of the most electric atmospheres I’ve seen in a very, very long time,’ Mardi Gras chief executive Albert Kruger said. 

‘And of course, it’s all about equality. It’s all about partying with purpose.

‘For the first time in history, we have the prime minister marching in the parade, which just signals to the rest of the world that we are accepted.’

If there was a spot prize for looking most like the jolly green giant, this man surely won it

Sometimes, when everyone around you is very colourful, just wearing classic black is the best option

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