Former Mardi Gras president and current Gay Games co-chair Bev Lange said that if Mardi Gras does not make it through voluntary administration then it is likely the community would still band together for a parade next year.

Maybe we as a community can come up with some answers. One of the struggles for Mardi Gras is that it is clearly not being seen as relevant. If some sort of new community event is going to go ahead in the future, then people are going to have to stand up and say they want it to continue, be clear about what they want for the event and get their hands out to do the work, Lange said.

If it’s something we consider to be valuable, then we’ve got to bloody well fight for it.

Former Mardi Gras president Richard Cobden was more pro-active and last night called upon the gay and lesbian community to meet, whether or not Mardi Gras goes into voluntary administration.

The community would still need to get together in order to salvage the wreckage and it should take place on 24 August whether or not the AGM is held.

Further, Cobden issued a call to the community to meet at Museum Station on the usual night of the Mardi Gras parade next year in order to march up Oxford Street to the showgrounds in costume.

I don’t care whether a corporate entity exists to run our parade, as far as I’m concerned that is still our day and the parade will happen regardless of what happens to Mardi Gras. We also have to ensure that the Mardi Gras name and logo is never snapped up by a commercial buyer, Cobden said.

Referring to the potential loss of Mardi Gras as being like a death in the family, ACON president Adrian Lovney said that he was less convinced about the future for Mardi Gras-style events.

I wouldn’t see it continuing. It’s difficult to start these things again. Mardi Gras has gone along on the smell of an oily rag and the only reason it has been able to deliver the parade and the whole event every year is because it managed to secure essential concessions on things like the cost of using the showgrounds that Mardi Gras negotiated over the years, Lovney said.

Sponsorship would also be difficult. If you were a sponsor you would make your judgement of what’s happened in the past to Mardi Gras. It would be very difficult for this organisation to be kick-started again and that is a great pity.

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