With almost 10,000 people in attendance, Sleaze Ball organisers are claiming Saturday night’s party was a resounding success -“ but whether the party raised much money for New Mardi Gras remains unclear.

We definitely broke even. Whether we met our profit targets, I don’t know at this point, New Mardi Gras co-chair Michael Woodhouse told Sydney Star Observer.

Once considered a cash-cow for Mardi Gras, the Sleaze Ball party has suffered declining attendances over the past few years. This year’s party may have bucked that trend, but the line-ball profitability of the event has serious implications for New Mardi Gras.

We’ve got to diversify our income base away from the parties. People in the Mardi Gras leadership have been saying that for 10 years; now it actually has to happen, Woodhouse said.

While New Mardi Gras directors count the night’s takings and assess the event, they are being widely praised for having delivered a fun and successful party.

We needed to prove that we could pull it off, Woodhouse said. We wanted to prove to everyone that this year’s Mardi Gras was not a one-off; that New Mardi Gras produces really good parties.

Patrons were treated to a dramatic opening show in the RHI starring the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir and Cirque de Soleil aerialist Dmitri Kalinine, and those punters still standing at 8am were witness to a Priscilla tribute show starring DIVA winners Vida Las Vegas and Sexy Galexy. In between, patrons had the choice of four dance venues and a number of different styles of music, with dance anthems the highlight in the RHI and a distinctly dark, dirty and Dome-like ambience prevailing in the Stage 11/City Live venue.

New Mardi Gras co-chair Steph Sands praised the event.

The weather cleared for a great night and New Mardi Gras has received nothing but praise from partygoers who loved the shows, the DJ line-up and the fun vibe of our first Sleaze Ball, she said.

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