The demise of Sydney 2002 could have a knock-on effect for other gay and lesbian community organisations relying on dance party revenue for fundraising.
A lack of revellers at the Farewell party was one of the main reasons given for the financial failings of the Gay Games -“ organisers hoped for 30,000 attendees and got 15,000, and the list of companies yet to be paid is expected to include party suppliers.
Pride co-convenor Lou-Ann Lind said that when Pride picked up this year’s Sleaze Party after the collapse of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, the organisation found creditors and suppliers slightly hesitant to provide party services without up-front payment.
This could exacerbate the situation, she said.
[But] in the broader sense, away from the trading stuff, it could create a reputation for GLBTI organisations not being able to pay their bills. We do work within an environment of discrimination and when something like this happens we can all get tarred with the same brush, she said.
New Mardi Gras co-chair Michael Woodhouse said the collapse of the old Mardi Gras had already affected suppliers’ confidence, and the new organisation had worked hard to rebuild it.
It’s an area where the old Mardi Gras brand has done some damage -“ but we’re dealing with that already by being really clear with [suppliers] about how we are managing the company, he said.
We’re quite a different company to the Gay Games and indeed to the old Mardi Gras. We’re operating without having to live on credit.
Woodhouse said it was important to look at the positive knock-on effects of the Gay Games as well as the negatives -“ the Games had showcased Sydney as a great gay destination for thousands of visitors who might not have come to a Mardi Gras.
On one level the Gay Games was a very successful event -“ in terms of how people experienced it, he said.