The first New Mardi Gras party was a sell-out success on Saturday night, raising hope for the future as well as much-needed funds.

After Mardi Gras increased the number of available party tickets to 17,000 last week, all were sold by midnight Saturday.

Co-chair Michael Woodhouse told the Star the party’s success would translate to a $350,000 surplus in New Mardi Gras’ accounts, which would be used to secure the future of the festival.

It means we’ll have some cash flow to move forward into Sleaze and then into next Mardi Gras, he said.

Woodhouse, who got into the spirit by fronting the stage after the 12:30am show in a pair of white Speedos and blue feathery leg accessories, accompanied by his more covered co-chair Stevie Clayton -“ told a packed Royal Hall of Industries crowd to get down and get dirty.

If the parade is what we do for the world, then the party is what we do for ourselves, he said.

Woodhouse said the staff in the party medical tent had a reasonably busy night, with 10 people taken away in ambulances. Most were related to overdoses of party-drug GHB.

The two international performers, Suzanne Palmer and c-Vox were a success, he said, although they weren’t as well known as some of the acts rumoured to be playing. Woodhouse said the party planners had stuck to their brief -“ providing quality international talent without breaking the bank.

Saturday night wasn’t such a success for the 250 or so under 18s who arrived at Fox Studios to find the Velocity Party had been cancelled. After a chain of unfortunate problems including trouble securing public liability insurance and last-minute licensing issues the party was cancelled on Friday night.

A Velocity crew member told the Star news of the last-minute cancellation did not reach hundreds of people who turned up for the underage gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer dance party at Channel V studios. The crew members sat outside for four hours looking after teenagers who had been dropped off and were getting picked up by family members later in the night.

We took our duty of care very seriously, she said.

Woodhouse said members of the Mardi Gras board had done a lot of work with the Velocity organisers to secure a venue and insurance: We had insurance for them on Thursday, but then the venue that had been organised fell through. It was just a chain of really unfortunate things.

The Velocity organisers have sent out a message to the partygoers, parents and friends with a promise of future events.

The Velocity Crew is determined to come back bigger and better and to continue to look after a neglected part of our community -“ the under 18s.

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