Despite indications that tickets to next week’s Mardi Gras party are still in a sales slump, party organisers have remained buoyant this week, promising ground-breaking scenic and an exceptional line-up of guest performers.

Mardi Gras has earmarked a dazzling showcase of projection screens, mirror balls and lasers as the focus of this year’s party scenic in an apparent aesthetic reprise of the Mardi Gras parties of the late 80s and early 90s.

The RHI will host live performances from international and local talent, including Canadian diva-in-the-making Deborah Cox, who rose to prominence through her anthemic club hit Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here. Cox acquired international praise for her sophomore album One Wish and her work as backing singer for fellow Canadian singer Celine Dion. Also performing in the RHI is Swedish pop group Alcazar, who are known for their dance hit Crying At The Discoteque, (see story page 23).

There are more unconfirmed rumours that Australian performers Human Nature and Bardot will also appear at the 2002 party.

A representative at Sony Epic confirmed that Human Nature and Bardot will perform together in Newcastle on the eve of this year’s Mardi Gras and are due to make an appearance in Canberra on the night of the Mardi Gras party, but this would not necessarily preclude a performance at Mardi Gras in the early hours of Sunday morning.

While other rumours point towards Olivia Newton-John performing at this year’s party, it is unclear whether the rumours arose from information that Newton-John’s 80s hit Let’s Get Physical will be the feature song for the Mardi Gras Marching Group at the 2002 parade.

Details on this year’s scenic have indicated that Mardi Gras is opting for more lighting and fewer props compared to recent Mardi Gras parties.

The Hordern Pavilion will feature the largest mirror ball chandelier ever seen in the world and projection screens displaying live footage from the dance floor. The scenic will form the backdrop to live jelly-wrestling between celebrities, drag queens and community members in the venue throughout the night.

It has also been revealed that The Dome will feature a unique lighting truss encompassing the internal Dome feature, complemented by suspended mirrored stars.

Four other venues will be utilised for the 2002 Mardi Gras party. City Live will be open once again this year to host the popular Mardi Gras Costume Pageant and the return of American house guru Frankie Knuckles.

Mardi Gras has also secured the Fox + Lion Bar as a men’s-only playroom for the night, while the Asian Kitchen will be transformed into a women’s-only dance floor and play area. Drag shows will be run throughout the festivities at the Drag Diva Bar.

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