The organisers of this year’s alternative Mardi Gras festival are back with a big party planned for the October long weekend.

AlternaFringe festival organisers Juan Lamas and Glitta Supernova told Sydney Star Observer that Suburban Sleaze, the first event the group has staged themselves rather than just publicising, was about spreading awareness for the 2011 Mardi Gras fringe.

Supernova, who’s been organising Girlesque for the past 10 years, and Lamas, a published writer and playwright, said the theme was inspired by the party’s location at the Newtown Jets club in Tempe.

“Because it’s the Marrickville-Tempe area we thought we’d go with the suburban theme — saucy stallions and horny housewives — suburban debauchery really,” Supernova said.

“We’re going to have a really diverse party representing all the different sides of the community, pulling everyone together. It’s a mix of burlesque, music, queer performance and drag.

“DJ Gemma, who’s done Club Kooky and [gay Arab party] Ya Leil, will be playing and also Nick Sweeny from Gay Bash — so it’s two different worlds colliding in a big suburban shindig.”

Lamas said the openness of the event was something missing from the gay mainstream and was a big attraction for the artists involved.

“When AlternaFringe started, within a week we had more than 1000 people joining,” Lamas said. “Even  mainstream underground and queer performers have been brushed off by Mardi Gras and excluded for years — some people because they were too suburban and others Mardi Gras just didn’t like what they did.

“It’s not a reaction to Mardi Gras, it’s a reaction to not having anything other than Mardi Gras.”

Supernova said the ethos of AlternaFringe and Suburban Sleaze was inclusion not dollars, although the group is committed to ensuring all its artists are properly remunerated.

“We’d like any venue artist or promoter who is interested in being part of the festival to contact us.”

info: Suburban Sleaze, Newtown Jets Club, Holbeach Ave, Tempe, October 2.

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