Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) celebrated the start of Sydney Mardi Gras 2012 yesterday with a record-breaking Fair Day crowd.
Organisers thanked the community for its support, with crowds of 70,000 turning out to catch up with friends, watch the live acts and browse the stalls.
Showers in the late afternoon did not put a dampener on the event, with bustling crowds descending on Victoria Park.
Community members and supporters gave generously at the gates and throughout the park, topping last year’s record fundraising numbers.
Thr line-up of entertainment at the ANZ Main Stage included Mary Kiani, Brendan Maclean, Miss Gaynor Tension, Maxine Kauter as well as Candy Royalle and Sloppy Joe.
The blackcat showcase delivered a playful queer cabaret preview of the blackcat lounge kicking off this Tuesday as part of the Mardi Gras season.
Crowd highlights around the park included the Sea of Hearts, hosted by the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, where thousands joined to plant a heart in support of equality.
Groups such as community health organisation ACON used the day to raise needed funds, as well as share important community messages.
For the first time, Fair Day featured a special space for young people, with the Youth Hub – a stage programmed directly with those under 25 in mind.
Highlights of the day were a cheerleading demonstration from Ignite, performances from young people involved with Twenty 10 and an afternoon DJ set from popular Sydney DJ Nat Noiz.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras thanked crowds for their contribution in ensuring that Fair Day remains a free event.
“Thank you to everyone who came far and wide to be a part of Fair Day 2012,” said Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gra CEO Michael Rolik.
“The atmosphere around the park was buzzing, and it was wonderful to see many faces – both old and new – show their support. Thank you to the volunteer and production teams who made Fair Day possible.
“We could not be more thrilled with this kick-off to Sydney Mardi Gras 2012, and look forward to seeing you at more events over the next three weeks.”
See our galleries from Fair Day below: