The weather gods continued to smile upon Mardi Gras events on the weekend with Fair Day, Velocity, the Pool Party and F*ck Fashion each attracting sizeable crowds.
Over 150 young people attended the inaugural Velocity Party for young people aged 13 to 17 held last Friday at Mortuary Station, Regent Street Central, with organisers declaring the event a huge success. F*ck Fashion -“ held at the same venue on Saturday -“ was a sell-out.
It [Velocity] was the most amazing thing I’ve seen for a long time, Mardi Gras general manager Kelly Gardiner told the Star. I burst into tears when I saw the crowd. And the most amazing thing was that there were kids being dropped off and picked up by their parents.
Velocity producer Sue Lord told the Star that the 9:30pm drag show featuring 19-year-old performer Anika Chase was a hit on the night. Integral to the event was the fact that we were interested in showcasing young talent and Anika did just that. She performed the Kylie number Can’t Get You Out Of My Head with four Velocity dancers and it was just wild -“ the crowd went off!
On the decks with Jason Kilby and Mandy Rollins was first-time DJ Nick Findlay who is 17 and, according to Lord, was just ecstatic to be performing with these DJ stalwarts. Jake played the handbaggy stuff and Mandy played the more nightclubby stuff, but Nick fitted right in, Lord laughed.
Fundraising and PR officer from Twenty 10, Aaron Gay, feels that the Velocity party could well be a starting point for further events for young people. It was excellent to see so many young people have such a great time in a safe space, he said. We would like to congratulate Mardi Gras on the success of the event and on the way in which they involved young people in the planning process.
According to Lord, the night went off without a hitch. In the medical tent, there was a blister, a headache and a sprained ankle and that was it, Lord said. We had no security breaches at all.
Hot on the heels of the Velocity event, F*ck Fashion was touted as a night for fetish connoisseurs and style junkies. Leading fetish and fashion designers showcased their work in a fashion-show setting, and according to Lord, the audience -“ most dressed to impress -“ was as much a part of the show as the fashions themselves.
It was packed to the gills, she enthused. It was a great mix of dance party and fashion show and, may I say, it’s perhaps another event for the fetish calendar. It felt like an early Inquisition party. Everyone -“ including the crowd -“ was dressed up, and they all looked spectacular!
The 16 featured exhibitors included Mephisto, House of Fetish, Karnal Leather and Sydney Fashion Design students, whose outfits were displayed to the grooves of some of Sydney’s leading DJs. The models came in all shapes and sizes and the shows were pretty filthy, I have to say, Gardiner said. The crowd just seemed to love the space and the shows, and while it was a test event, it felt like a bit of -˜Gothic thunder’.
Gardiner told the Star that while F*ck Fashion was a creative risk for Mardi Gras, the event seemed to have been embraced by the queer community. It was completely sold out and while people were a bit bedraggled getting home, there were around 550 very happy people. I even heard that people were scalping tickets on web noticeboards the day before for up to $150!
The rain also held off for Fair Day and attracted a crowd of over 20,000 people. We’ve had these weeks of rain that have stopped just at the critical moment, Gardiner said. Would you believe it started raining only 15 minutes after the end? The day itself was very hot, but with stall numbers up this year and the addition of Sideshow alley, plus everyone’s favourite -“ Doggywood -“ we were very happy with the result.The Miss Fair Day competition was won by Conchita Miranda who has been runner-up for the past 10 years.
Gardiner said that the weekend was a hit in terms of crowd numbers and enjoyment. I’d like to extend an enormous thank you to F*ck Fashion. They were very generous -“ their spirit, time and effort turned the event into a huge success, she said. But everything over the weekend was a success. The rain held off for the Launch, Velocity, the Pool Party, Fair Day -¦ we couldn’t have asked for better weather, really, and we’re hoping it will continue in the next few weeks!