NEW SLEAZE
The decision to leave the Hordern this year came after extensive thought and research, and some vigorous debate among the Board between options ranging from a co-production to not having Sleaze at all.
A co-production was proposed when a booking was made for the Hordern the night after Sleaze. This would have meant reduced production time and compromising on staging, lighting and sound to meet the needs of a very different event. We attempted this in 2009 but it fell through after months of time and resources, so we weren’t keen to try again.
We wanted Sleaze to continue this year. But it needed to become a viable fundraising event for New Mardi Gras, and by moving into the Entertainment Quarter we felt we could achieve that.
After years of marginal profitability, we saw the EQ as the option where we could spend less on ticketing and venue hire, while generating more income from bar sales. If attendance remained the same as last year we will make up to five times the profit.
It also gave us the opportunity to reduce Sleaze ticket prices, particularly to benefit NMG members and increase accessibility to groups who often cannot afford to attend.
The board discussed whether the change in venue was significant enough to qualify consultation, and it was decided that not having Sleaze at all would be the significant change. A change in venue, where Sleaze retains the iconic Dome venue and remains on the same footprint, combined with the time constraints led us to decide it was not necessary or possible.
Lower ticket prices, more freedom in production and an increased ability to fundraise for Mardi Gras 2011 led us to make this decision, which we continue to believe was the best in the circumstances and the best for Sleaze in 2010. We look forward to seeing you there.
— Steph Sands
Co-chair, New Mardi Gras

NOT MY CHOICE
I write to discuss the changes to this year’s Sleaze Ball. As a board director of NMG I had a direct involvement with the decision to move the venue on the October long weekend. However, unlike the majority of the board, I did not support it. I supported alternative options and also for the Board to seek as much consultation with the community as possible before making any decision.
Ultimately the plan that the Board has approved will still allow Sleaze to be the creative, sexy, big party that we know and love. Sure, it’s not in the same big halls that we are used to but it is also an opportunity to try some exciting new things.
It enables the tickets to be cheaper while maintaining excellent production standards and a better chance at profitability. It wasn’t my first choice, but it’s still a bloody good one.
­— Josh Keech
Director, New Mardi Gras

WHY MARRIAGE?
As a gay man, I can not understand why gay people would want to engage in a heterosexual ritual called marriage.
Marriage is something recognised by religious bodies, the same ones that persecute gay people.
Why do gay couples want to buy into this ridiculous notion is beyond belief. The laws need to be changed so that gays are treated equal under the law, but this is not to be confused with marriage as these are two separate issues.
Change the wording to a commitment ceremony and those objectors will probably go away.
And really, do you really want to be divorced and as miserable as those you know in heterosexual marriages?
— Michael

PUB REJECTION
Last Friday my partner and I went to have a drink at the King’s Cross Hotel. We both work for a local hospital and had just finished our shift.
As we approached the entrance a security guy blocked me and said, “How many drinks have you had tonight?”. I told him none as we finished work a few minutes earlier. He said, “You two are not coming in here”.
I approached the second security person and asked to speak to a manager. An employee came over and I explained the situation. He agreed we were not intoxicated but said he could not overrule a decision made by security. I was surprised by this and said I would be making a complaint to Solotel, the company that owns the hotel.
During this discussion another manager stood nearby. When I said I would be making a formal complaint the second security person yelled out “like we care, we are all out of a job on Sunday.” The hotel was closing for renovations in two days and re-opening in a few months.
My partner and I waited outside while other friends came to meet us. We watched as security welcomed several groups of heterosexuals. Five minutes later a gay couple were refused admission. They were not intoxicated.
Solotel is a major player in the hospitality industry with 18 venues including the Green Park Hotel, Darlo Bar and Opera Bar at Circular Quay. Some of these venues are strongly supported by our community.
Its website states that “honesty, integrity and service are central elements to the company’s operations”.
I ask Solotel – since when have you had unprofessional managers and homophobic thugs (who can overule them) in charge of one of your venues?
If they cannot answer this then I suggest we all vote with our feet and choose other establishments in which to spend our money.
— Daniel

NMG CRITERIA
A parade with floats like in Rio! Sure, some community organisations won’t be able to afford that but put something interesting in the parade other than people walking or those flat beds with tacky decorations.
Cut the numbers back and make them move so people don’t get bored.
­— Andrew

NMG #2
NMG is guilty of double-standards. It fails to properly explain how it approved Spencer Tunick’s nude photo-shoot at the Opera House, yet refuses a nude entry in the parade. Claims that council gave permission because the shoot was at 5.00am don’t wash, as it was broadcast live on breakfast-television that morning.
It’s time NMG came clean on naked matters.
— Stuart

NMG #3
How pleasing to see New Mardi Gras listening to its members again. Though the Sleaze decision isn’t one that pleases me, I can understand how conflicting parties on the same weekend would make it difficult.
But, that said, I was excited to read about the planned changes to the parade; the commitment to make it artistic and political again, and even happier to read about the additional toilets promised for the pre-parade marshalling area.
New Mardi Gras – you have my full support once again.
— Andrew

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