New Mardi Gras says it is “satisfied” with season 2010, despite smaller crowd numbers at the party, as everyone awaits a decision about the future of the split weekend for season 2011.
Party night gave revellers five acts throughout the evening. In return, they provided more than $1 million dollars in revenue for the organisation.
NMG CEO Michael Rollick said NMG was still pleased with the 12,000 person turn-out, down on the usual 15,000 attendees who flock to the Hordern after the parade.
“The separation between the parade and party always meant that we would struggle, but we are satisfied with the result,” he said. “It was enough to ensure the party still retained its big party feel.
“Mardi Gras party is the key fundraising event in our calendar. I’m delighted that, despite difficult circumstances, its brand and reputation have grown in 2010 and we can approach 2011 with confidence.”
Events NSW estimated the split, combined with the presence of the Atlantis Cruise, added up to $5 million extra revenue to the state’s coffers.
Questions about the future of the festival format are expected to be raised at a special NMG general meeting for members on March 28.
Saturday night’s party began with Mitzi Macintosh’s drag ode to Dame Shirley Bassey.
For some, it was a bittersweet way to start the party, knowing that this would be Mitzi’s — Graeme Browning’s — last party performance before moving to the UK.
The party continued with George Michael’s performance of Outside — the show many had come to see. Media were made to sign an agreement not to publish photos of his performance.
At 3am, when love was well and truly in the air, Kelly Rowland took to the stage for an anthemic performance of When Love Takes Over with DJ David Guetta, staged as an ode to same-sex marriage.
Amanda Lepore injected colour into the evening, surrounded by dancers in bright green cut-offs, as she performed a mash-up that included excerpts from her hit, My Hair Looks Fierce.
Adam Lambert — resplendent in a codpiece — put the final touches on the evening as he harnessed up and took to the stage for a performance of For Your Entertainment.
Police searched 102 people during the evening, 50 of whom were issued with court attendance notices for ecstasy, amphetamine, LSD and amyl nitrate possession.
Four people were issued with cautions over cannabis possession and eight others charged with attempting to discard their drugs.
The largest bust saw a 29-year-old Leichhardt man charged with supply of 61 ecstasy pills.