The viability of Sleaze Ball as a mechanism to financially assist Mardi Gras is in serious doubt, after Mardi Gras administrators Sims Lockwood again failed this week to announce a plan to keep the event on the calendar.
Currently Pride are the sole bearers of a proposal to run the event. However, the organisation were not able to come forward this week with a definite answer on whether they run Sleaze Ball, with their bid yet to go on the table with Sims Lockwood.
Although Pride dropped out of negotiations to run Sleaze Ball on two previous occasions, Pride co-president Chris Maynard said the organisation was approached by Playbill Venue Management last week to step back in the area. Playbill are a division of Fox Studios responsible for managing the Hordern Pavilion and the RHI.
According to Maynard, Playbill reduced the financial risk of running Sleaze Ball by offering to obtain sponsorship on behalf of Pride and to be lenient with venue hire fees.
Maynard said Pride would make a final decision on whether they would run the event definitely by Monday.
From there it will be up to the administrators to decide whether the conditions we want to impose on him are acceptable, but I can’t go into any further detail on that point, Maynard told Sydney Star Observer yesterday.
At first, financially, Sleaze Ball wasn’t an acceptable risk, but now we have gotten it down to a level that is acceptable. The time frame situation poses a greater risk for us now. We have five or six weeks and while we professionally think it can be done, it will certainly be tight, said Maynard.
While Sleaze Ball has traditionally been used by Mardi Gras as a fundraiser, any profit going to Mardi Gras this year would only assist the organisation in minimising its current liabilities.
However, the shrinking time frame for getting next month’s Sleaze Ball off the ground has been cause for concern to Mardi Gras’ administrators.
[Any profits] will support Mardi Gras in the context of being part of a broader rescue package, but in the same right Sleaze Ball is unlikely to raise significant money for Mardi Gras because [preparation] is starting late compared to previous years, administrator Scott Pascoe told the Star on Tuesday.
Last week, the Star reported on a proposal to run Sleaze that was to be put forward by a consortium of party organisers, including the organisers of Ice, Frisky and Ruby parties. A source close to the consortium told the Star on Monday that the proposal fell through late last week.
It’s been very disappointing for everyone involved in the consortium that this proposal didn’t get legs. Everyone involved were willing to devote their time to help Mardi Gras without getting anything directly in return. Unfortunately it became clear late last week that the risks involved in taking on this party [Sleaze] were just too high, the source said.