As always, many gay and lesbian Sydneysiders saw in the new year to the sound of a thumping disco beat.

But unlike previous New Year’s Eve celebrations, this time around there was no single major dance party to gather us all together. To welcome 2004, we dispersed -“ partying on at Kooky Karousel or Resolution or Tropical Fruits or Eve or Indulgence -¦ or any number of private parties hosted around the city.

Pride sold 1600 of a planned 1900 tickets for its Kooky Karousel party at Stage 11 in Fox Studios. Pride co-president Lou-Anne Lind said this result would give the organisation a profit, although final figures were not yet available.

This is a significant turn-around from the $40,000 loss incurred last year, Lind said. We outsold all our other GLBTQ competitors -“ it’s important to note that New Year’s Eve is a very competitive night and we compete with the private sector.

Organisers had received outstanding feedback about the party, Lind said, especially for the outdoor dancing/chill-out space, which she described as a feature of the event, rather than just an -˜add on’.

Encouraging feedback was also received about the noticeable presence of drug rovers at the party, Lind said. Only one patron was taken to hospital after taking GHB.

While attendances at the Pride New Year’s Eve party have declined each year since the 1999/2000 party (which sold 10,000 tickets), organisers of the Tropical Fruits Carnival party in Lismore have announced a record crowd of over 3000 for their series of parties held over the new year’s period this year.

The main party featured a swag of Sydney-based DJs playing in two big pavilions, while punters were also treated to an 11-minute pyrotechnics display.

Last year’s Tropical Fruits party was affected by a rival party held in Lismore, called Tribal Fruits, but there was no such competition this year, and Tropical Fruits organisers have already promised that their party will be back again for NYE 2004/2005.

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