The Sydney 2002 Gay Games are almost upon us. Guests from all over the world have converged on Sydney, ready to share in the Gay Games spirit, due to kick off in earnest this Saturday at a spectacular opening ceremony. The buzz is already palpable.

While visitors and Sydneysiders alike are sharing their first taste of Gay Games excitement, organisers are making final preparations -“ all hoping that these Games will run as smoothly and be as successful as the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Sydney 2002 co-chair Bev Lange yesterday took time out of her busy pre-Games schedule to tell Sydney Star Observer this message: Everything is in place.

Lange said the cash-flow crunch afflicting Sydney 2002 over the past few weeks had eased.

The guarantees have kicked in and our ticketing revenue has begun to be released from Ticketek, she said. Everything’s in readiness, basically. Ticket sales are going extremely well. They’ve picked up substantially this week.

The Butch! and Black parties were both approaching sell-out, she reported.

After that we have only two parties left, Welcome and Farewell, so people really need to get their tickets, she said. People are going to reduce their opportunity for being part of a tremendous celebration if they don’t get out there quickly and get their tickets.

Although Games organisers have welcomed the pick-up in ticket sales, Lange said the real sense of relief for them would come during Saturday’s opening ceremony.

I guess after the struggle of the last couple of months, sitting in the stadium watching it all happen will be an extraordinary relief for all of us, she said.

There has been a fair bit of discussion about whether the Games are going to happen. There is absolutely no question that they will happen. With 2,500 volunteer dancers out there rehearsing in the stadium, it’s going to happen, it’s going to be a tremendous success. If you walk up and down Oxford Street you can see the impact of international guests. You can see the banners around the city and Oxford Street and Moore Park.

Just be part of it, Lange urged. Go out and buy your tickets, have a beer with us at the Hub, and just get into it.

Good advice. Let the games begin.

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