“From February 17, Walk Proud at Kinselas will be exploding with a glittery bang on Oxford Street, bringing along three weeks of major headline performances during WorldPride. Plus, a lot of these acts are free – that’s right, FREE. We love that.” Time Out
Sitting on Taylor Square, the cultural and historic heart of Sydney’s LGBTQIA+ community, is Kinselas Hotel, one of our city’s most legendary and iconic venues. In a project that aimed to celebrate and promote diversity and a more equal understanding of all LGBTQIA+ identities, the hotel was transformed for Sydney WorldPride into the Walk Proud @ Kinselas Bar.
As part of the project, backed by Johnnie Walker and conceptualised with Alfred, the inclusive space burst into a glittering residence during WorldPride with over 40 events from music to cabaret, burlesque and more. Acts included critically acclaimed non-binary musician G Flip, Queer Folk-Pop artist Alex The Astronaut, Australian Pop Band Cub Sport and Gomeroi woman, Trans and First Nations advocate and solicitor DJ Crescendoll.
Also featured was Hannah Reilly and Johnny Hawkins from speech-sharing event I’d Like to Say A Few Gay Words who transformed the basement of the hotel into a comedy club. Cabaret star Brendan McLean also hosted two ‘The Whiskey Sour’ nights starring his favourite queer artists from around the nation, from Rosie Rivette and Sean Miley Moore to Ruby Slippers. And not to forget Xaddy’s Doorlist – a club party on the top level of the hotel featuring a set-list of local and international DJs such as Mirasia, Papi Juice (NYC), MikeQ (US), Crescendoll, C.FRIM (UK).
After a heritage exemption was granted by the City of Sydney, the entire exterior of Kinselas was painted with an inclusive artwork commissioned by Johnnie Walker and designed by Double Rainbouu’s Co-Founder & Creative Director, Mikey Nolan. The artwork intended to represent ‘the patchwork of diverse identities that form our wonderful LGBTQIA+ community and reflect that we are made up of separate identities, but we are also one, and we are stronger together.’ The graphic print mirroring the mural design featured in a bespoke Double Rainbouu capsule collection of shirts, jeans and shorts.
Angus McPherson, Managing Director Australia of Diageo said, “Walk Proud @ Kinselas is an extraordinarily special project for us at Diageo, and a chance for Johnnie Walker to create a safe and inclusive space for everyone to celebrate the full spectrum of the LGBTQIA+ community during Sydney WorldPride. We’re proud to partner with Kinselas to revamp this legendary location and spread a message of progress and positivity that inspires people to Keep Walking Proudly towards a more inclusive future.”