Eighties pop icon Boy George and a range of high-profile Australian performers will be the headline attractions at next year’s Mardi Gras party, as organisers reshape the event in a bid to attract new interest.

The party, on Saturday 3 March, will also feature extended live shows by local bands and seven venues celebrating everything from Australian cultural icons to the retro appeal of lycra.

New Mardi Gras is confident the new-look party will build on the success of this year’s event, despite a slight rise in 2007 ticket prices.

We’re taking the Mardi Gras party in a new direction and I think it’s really going to reach out to new audiences, New Mardi Gras chair Marcus Bourget told Sydney Star Observer.

The seven party spaces will celebrate various community icons, reflecting the 2007 Mardi Gras festival’s Objects of Love theme.

We want to give a really diverse experience to everyone who comes to the party, Bourget said.

Former Culture Club lead singer Boy George is scheduled to play a DJ set in the Hordern Pavilion. The venue will have a Journey theme, a nod to the many overseas visitors Mardi Gras attracts.

Boy George is an awesome DJ and a worldwide icon in the gay and lesbian community, Bourget said.

The d?r in the Sunburnt Country-themed Royal Hall of Industries will pay tribute to national icons such as the Chesty Bond T-shirt and the Big Banana. Performers will include local stars Young Divas, singer Katie Noonan and British DJ group Freemasons.

The Forum will go retro with a We Love Lycra theme. Community identities Bob Downe and Vanessa Wagner will play a DJ spot.

The retro space has always been a huge success and again we really want to do something a little bit quirky and quite entertaining there, Bourget said.

Other venues will include a Women’s Bar featuring pole dancers and roaming performers. In the Sensation-themed Dome there will be live music with Australian bands Paul Mac and Friends and The Presets playing extended sets.

It’s going to be a proper set, rather than just having a band that comes on and plays two songs, Bourget said.

New Mardi Gras hopes the longer live performances and range of venues draw interest from new sections of the community.

I think we’ll be attracting a bigger and a younger audience as well, Bourget said.

Regular DJ favourites including Sveta, Scott Pullen, Dan Murphy, Feisty and Seymour Butz will also play at the party.

Ticket prices have risen slightly as New Mardi Gras tries to ensure season profitability. Tickets for the 2007 party are $130, or $100 for New Mardi Gras members or concession.

For the 2006 party New Mardi Gras cut ticket prices significantly to increase sales. The event almost sold out, attracting nearly 16,000 revellers.

Members tickets last year were $79. A small number of limited release non-member tickets were $99 and general tickets cost $125.

There are no earlybird deals for the 2007 party. The platinum ticket scheme has also been dropped.

Bourget played down concerns the price rise would affect sales.

I think when people see the line-up for the party, they’ll realise what they’re actually getting is really good value for money.

Bourget would not be drawn on the targeted party attendance figure.


Party tickets are on sale now through Ticketek on 132 849 or at www.ticketek.com.au.

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