PLAN SMART
Think about this when you are approaching a dance party. Do not discuss what you have just ingested and how many you plan to take.
The gay media and New Mardi Gras repeatedly warned of a large presence of police outside the party. They are trained to pick up hearing words like ‘pills’ or ‘E’. When they see a group of people getting out of a taxi or walking towards the gates and they are rambling about what drugs they have for the night, it satisfies their criteria for reasonable suspicion that you are carrying illegal substances.
Also when approaching the party and you stuff something down your crotch, it satisfies this criterion that you are hiding an illegal substance with intent to avoid being detected during a pat-down.
The message was out there, ‘Think smart, party smart’.
If you choose to take drugs into a party you must assume the risk that you are doing something illegal.
Do not be afraid to say hello to the police officers and then quickly walk through those gates. Think smart.
If you get pulled up for a pat-down, empty your pockets and say nothing. When asked if you have taken anything, your response should be just one word, “Nothing”. If asked are you concealing anything, your response should be the word, “Nothing”.
After the pat-down, if the officer finds nothing on you, say, “Have a good night officer”.
I mention all the above hypothetical scenarios, because I witnessed them all between 10pm and 2am on Saturday night. Many people were arrested, read their rights (being the right to remain silent till a lawyer is present) and when I went to enquire and offer legal advice to a friend, I was politely told to leave. When I informed them that I was acting in the capacity of my friend’s legal advocate I was told to fuck off.
Using drugs is illegal, but if you choose to take the risks, think smart, plan smart and say nothing.
— Chris
DISGRACE
Interstate tourism is not allowed to have a stall at gay Fair Day as the event is influenced by Events NSW and does not want tourism to be promoted outside of NSW.
Attempted ban of placards supporting Community Action Against Homophobia and in support of gay marriage in the Mardi Gras parade.
Talented, witty, politically aware members of the gay community have worked hard over the past 30-odd years to develop Mardi Gras to what it is today.
To have any part of Mardi Gras controlled by Events NSW is a disgrace.
If the current members of the Mardi Gras committee do not have the talent or expertise to manage and run Mardi Gras they should resign.
Peter Tully and company must be rolling in their graves.
— Ron
WELL DONE
Queer Screen — excellent job well done. This year’s movies and venues were A+. I saw 13 movies and had the best time.
Congratulations to all your hard-working staff and volunteers. The community does appreciate it.
— Andrew
PARADE ROUTE
I have been forced to voice my concerns about this year’s parade route and over-the-top crowd control.
Why was there a change from previous years with floats marshalling along Elizabeth St and then heading up Liverpool St to Oxford St? Why was the security and crowd control so over the top? It spoilt what had previously been allowed and that was interaction between the parade participants and the crowd.
— Bill
TOYBOX MIRACLE
I went to the Mardi Gras. I had no expectations. I love dance parties with a passion.
I went to Mardi Gras this year because I missed out on Toybox party tickets. I was excited because this was my boyfriend’s first, and I haven’t been to Mardi Gras party for a long time.
The Hordern Pavilion seemed like a great place to hang out, with Carl Cox as DJ. Not one of my favourite DJs, but that’s cool. Well, for a few hours it was.
I must admit, it’s very hard to dance to this style of music, but I kept trying. I felt great — it was just the music.
The final DJ left me mortified. No matter what I did, or searched for in the music, there were no high points at all. I stayed to the end, hoping for a miracle.
We did go into the RHI for a moment, just to hear pop music. I thought this was very strange.  The miracle did happen. We found Toybox tickets at the last moment.
Even though the music at Mardi Gras nearly killed me. The Toybox music was at the opposite end of the scale. It lifted us all to new heights and helped me forget about MG, even though the music wasn’t as cutting-edge as I would have liked.
I’ve never been so grateful.
— Kiros
TOYBOX HEIGHTS
Toybox again took us to the the heights of partying in Sydney.
Squillions of silly hugs, kisses and thanks to Andy, Duncan and the team, which I was proud to be part of as an ACON Rover.
And a special thanks to toilet lady for her always fun toilet experience and also to Sydney’s top DJ Mark Alsop in his 26th year of entertaining us.
— Ulo
PROUD LIFESAVERS
Winning the Mardi Gras 2010 Judges’ Choice Award is a great honour for us.
As a group we love being part of the Mardi Gras parade and celebrating in the diversity of the gay and lesbian community and introducing everyone to the surf lifesaving community.
We were devastated when our generator failed on Flinders St and we lost all lights and sound. But we were energised by the crowd who, with our choreographer Laurence Stark, urged us on into the Glamstand.
We would like to thank everyone for their support at our first beach BBQ at Tamarama. We are enjoying being a younger member of the gay and lesbian community and injecting our style into the Sydney and Australian communities.
For all those who would like to know more about being a surf lifesaver on one of our wonderful beaches please let us know at info@lifesaverswithpride.com or look for details on our website www.lifesaverswithpride.com.
— Lifesavers with Pride Committee
NOT MUGS
It’s a trite saying that music tastes are subjective and you can’t please everyone, but I was shocked how NMG and its international big name DJs played us all for total mugs.
How badly can you misread a crowd and make no attempt to win them back? Total self-indulgence. David Guetta managed to empty the RHI. Once Bimbo Jones and Dan Murphy finished their sets in the RHI we were left with a choice of tribal in the Dome and techno/hardhouse in both the Hordern and the RHI. Good luck to you if you like that, but the rest of us didn’t spend $140 to dance like robots to soulless machine music.
Worst party in the 15 years years I’ve been going. Shame on you, NMG. I think I’ll be spending my money elsewhere in future.
— Patrick
IT’s OVER
This was the 30th season I have been part of. I’ve coped with all the ups and downs over the years.
This year’s season had as much oomph as a deflated balloon. The screw-up re dates caused me to attend Carnival after a parade that was as flat as a tack.
Carnival — sad. It was like Fair Day at night. I thought I was at Eastgardens Mall.
Harbour Party — even with a forecast being for inclement weather there was almost no cover. The $10 drinks were so weak, it appeared the vodka ran through on stilts.
The party — smaller duller and so much security. I left at 7am. As I walked away I said goodbye to some of my most fabby memories.
My membership is due for renewal later this year. I will not renew. For me, Mardi Gras is over.
— Fred

DELIVERY FAILURE
Reading the comments from New Mardi Gras CEO Michael Rolik in last week’s SSO that he was satisfied and pleased with the reduced number of tickets sold at this year’s Mardi Gras Party leaves me in a state of total disbelief.
Get out of your Mardi Gras bunker, Mr Rolik, and start living in the real world or we’re going to see a repeat of 2002 and Mardi Gras face financial collapse again.
Happy they sold 12,000 tickets when 18,000 were on sale? Let’s do the maths here, that is 6,000 tickets unsold which is $810,000 in lost revenue and if you’re happy with that, Mr Rolik, then you should not be in your job.
We’re given the limp and lame excuse that ticket sales were down because of the parade/ party split. Yes, I suspect ticket sales were impacted by the split but with both Kelly Rowland and George Michael appearing they should have more than compensated for that and ensured a party sell-out. God forbid how many tickets they would have sold had the rumour not surfaced that George Michael was to perform — they would have struggled so exceed 10,000 ticket sales.
Mardi Gras promised great shows and they did a great job with George Michael and Kelly Rowland, with George Michael being one of the best shows Mardi Gras has produced in its 32 years.
But they also promised great lighting that would move and evolve through the night and they failed to deliver. They promised great production and they failed to deliver. They promised great scenic and they failed to deliver. They promised great music and David Guetta failed to deliver. They promised a safe and comfortable space but with the RHI dangerously hot, again they failed to deliver.
Will they now come clean and confirm that when they realised they would be left with 6000 unsold tickets they were far from happy and that they either slashed the production/ lighting/ scenic/ sound budget or they never intended to deliver on what they promised in the first place.
Why can the boys at Toybox get it so right with attention to detail and Mardi Gras consistently get it so wrong and cut corners on the basics?
I had a great time at Mardi Gras despite all of its failings in production because I made my own fun with the cute and sexy boys on the dancefloor so I will be back next year but I’m getting just a little bit miffed that Mardi Gras cannot deliver on what they promise and appear to take us for granted.
Many party boys voted with their feet this year and stayed away giving the Mardi Gras Party a big F for fail. Lift your game Mardi Gras and invest in production as you’re only as good as your last party.
— Paul
LOO RIGHTS
In regards to Luke’s letter (SSO 1012) regarding toilet shortages, that was obvious.
However, that had nothing to do with any of the volunteers.
These are decisions made by Mardi Gras management.
Volunteers have the right, in all the years I’ve done it, to go to the front of the toilet queues.
We spend entire days attending training briefings, get paid nothing, don’t get to watch the parade, turn up long before you parade entrants, and leave long after to ensure your safety. As you sit around drinking and dancing we get no meal or toilet breaks all day.
If we wait in a toilet queue, there is nobody to usher panicking parade entrants to their areas, keep yobbos from jumping fences, and lug around weighty equipment. Jeering and booing a parade volunteer, who gave up his/her time to put on a parade for you because you didn’t want to wait 30 seconds longer in a queue for them to go first really sickens me.
Several volunteers were verbally abused, one racially, who went home. None had anything to do with Mardi Gras’ decision on toilet numbers.
Volunteers make Mardi Gras happen. Abusing them or jeering them really is disgusting behaviour. Luke, I suggest you volunteer next year so you get another perspective.
Hats off to the volunteer who stood up for his/her rights in front of an abusive, drunken mob and spent their time in the loo!
— Lorraine
SORRY SHOWING
Can SBS please take back the telecast of the Mardi Gras parade?
The coverage this year was particularly uninspiring with too much inane chatter and little street action. It appeared at times that the cameramen were unable to handle the varying light levels, if indeed there was more than one camera.
The parade deserves more than this sorry showing.
— Peter

© Star Observer 2017 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex (LGBTI) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.