A turf war between rival New Year’s Eve party organisers in Lismore looks set to become entrenched, with both groups already charging ahead with plans for their 2003 New Year’s Eve parties.

As has been the case over the past few years, some 2000 lesbians and gay men descended on the northern NSW town over New Year’s Eve: however this year for the first time they had a choice of two parties to attend.

Erif Benham, chair of the Tropical Fruits social group, said 950 people attended the Rainbow Circus party, while Craig Truslove, promoter of the Tribal Fruits Party Platoon, claimed a crowd of around 1100.

The two groups also organised recovery parties, which drew around 300 to 400 people each.

It was a very, very big success for Tropical Fruits, Benham said of Rainbow Circus. With the light and sound, we created an amazing, magical village.

Benham said the party had drawn people from as far away as Perth and New Zealand, but noted that if Tribal Fruits had not staged their event, they would have had a bumper night.

Truslove said the two events had definitely made a dint on each other’s crowd numbers, but added that New Year’s Eve party crowds had been generally down everywhere.

But everything went well; the shows were great, as were the DJs and the lighting, he said. Gay men had tended towards the Platoon party while Rainbow Circus seemed to attract more lesbians, he added.

Both Benham and Truslove said they were proceeding with plans for New Year’s Eve parties again this year.

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