Best known for the 2002 dance hit Take Me Away and 2001’s Into The Night, Rotterdam DJ 4 Strings will perform for 10 hours at this year’s Mardi Gras party.

DJ 4 Strings (28-year-old Jan de Vos) will play a 10-hour set in the Hordern Pavilion from midnight until 10am.

His set will follow a two-hour warm-up by Adelaide-based Mardi Gras party favourite DJ Josh. Other DJs will be announced on Thursday 27 January.

Planning for this year’s party is well under way, with organisers catering to house, trance, big anthem and retro fans. The Dome will feature funky house, the RHI will have the anthems and the Fox and Lion will be a two-storey retro venue.

In addition, the music from the Fox and Lion will be pumped out into the decking area surrounding the venue, which planners hope will get rid of the queues that formed outside last year’s retro space.

In Stage 11 (City Live), DJs will play dark, dirty, Phoenix-style tribal beats. The third floor will be a women’s space with a separate entrance.

Hip-hop and breaks fans are also getting looked after in a marquee on the Fox grounds. Finalists from the Mardi Gras DJ spin-off will perform on the Peter Finch Lawn.

Planning is also under way for the 2005 parade, with New Mardi Gras hosting a Consultation and Ideas Day for parade entrants this Saturday 15 January.

Past entrants can tell Mardi Gras about their previous parade experiences and give organisers their ideas for making this year’s parade the best one ever.

Anyone thinking of entering the parade this year can get help and advice on creating a successful or spectacular entry.

The information session will run from noon till 3pm at New Mardi Gras’ Petersham offices, 247-249 Trafalgar St, Petersham.

This year’s parade and party will be held on Saturday 5 March. Early bird tickets are available from $65 (concession) to $99 (full price) until Friday 11 February. Tickets are available from Ticketek on 9266 4800 or www.ticketek.com.au. Tickets are also available for the Toybox official after-party at Luna Park on Sunday 6 March for $95. Phone 9360 6411 for bookings.

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