Sydney Leather Pride is unlikely to hold a New Year’s Eve party this year because of continuing debts from its 2005 event, raising the possibility year-end celebrations will go ahead without a traditional Pride-themed night.

The recent Sydney Leather Pride Week made a profit, with about 1,800 tickets sold to the Inquisition dance party on 20 May.

There wasn’t one [event] where we’re upset that it came in massively over budget, Sydney Leather Pride president Gary Kennedy told Sydney Star Observer.

Sydney Leather Pride will use the festival profits to pay off about half of the $100,000 debt from its low-selling Fantasy party last New Year’s Eve.

But the organisation does not expect to clear the whole debt until after the 2007 Leather Pride Week, making a large-scale New Year’s Eve party this year highly unlikely.

I think if I went to the members and said I want to hold a New Year’s Eve party again I’d get shot, Kennedy said.

That’s two years in a row it’s been a disaster for the two organisations that have run it.

I think it’d be a very game organisation who took it on, unless you wanted to scale it down substantially.

Sydney Leather Pride held Fantasy at Fox Studios last year after Sydney Pride opted out of a year-end party because of financial concerns. Fantasy sold only about 800 tickets, well short of the target of 4,000.

Outgoing Sydney Pride president Sean Addison told the Star a Pride New Year’s Eve party this year was also unlikely after its last year-end event -“ in 2004 -“ lost about $15,000, with 1,900 tickets sold.

Pride New Year’s Eve parties were once highlights of the gay social calendar. The millennium party at the end of 1999 drew about 10,000 revellers.

I can’t see it happening [this year] but, again, I won’t be on the board then, so you’ll have to ask those people then, Addison said.

Addison will step down as Pride president at a long-delayed annual general meeting this Saturday 3 June. He said he was bowing out because of time constraints.

The Pride AGM at Erskineville Town Hall is expected to appoint a new board.

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