The big disappointment of this year’s Mardi Gras was that Velocity, the under 18s queer dance party scheduled to follow the parade, was cancelled at the last minute due to venue and insurance problems. Not to be deterred, the Velocity organisers are planning a Velocity 3 (V3) for later this year, and by all accounts it’s going to be bigger than ever before.

We’re back and ready to go with V3, says 17-year-old Chris Rouse, who is part of the V3 organising team.

We’re in negotiations with one of Sydney’s hottest nightclubs and we’ve got some great new acts and some fantastic big name DJs, he says. We’re rearing to go again.

Velocity is an under 18s dance party for queer youth and their friends. It was set up by the old Mardi Gras as a party to cater for young people who couldn’t attend some of the other Mardi Gras activities. Despite the cancellation of the February party, Velocity organisers have teamed up again to organise V3.

We’re aiming to let queer youth connect, make friends and get out there and experience a bit of fun, Rouse says. It’s just another time when queer youth can get together and have a good time, and learn that they’re not alone out there.

The party will include two live shows and four DJ sets, although the exact venue and DJ line-up is yet to be released.

We can’t confirm any of the names for you, but we can tell you that they are some of the hottest in Sydney, and the shows are really fantastic, Rouse says.

As with previous Velocity parties, V3 will be an alcohol-, smoke- and drug-free event. The venue will have some chill-out space, as well as two rooms for partygoers to dance the night away. Approved marshals and gay and lesbian liaison officers will be supervising the party.

Any parents wondering whether it’s safe for their children to be at the party only have to look to the fact that it’s fully supervised, and that there’ll be police officers on the site, Rouse says. But there are a lot of supportive parents out there who send their kids along.

Rouse says that even though V2 was cancelled, many young people still had a great time just by meeting other queer kids outside the intended venue. He hopes that V3 will provide another opportunity for queer youth to have fun and make new friends.

The whole point of it is to be able to connect and get into contact with other queer youth, Rouse says.
It really is a great environment. I know a lot of people who went to Velocity 2 not knowing anyone, and came away with people they’re really great friends with now, he says.

The Velocity dance party organised for earlier this year attracted a crowd of almost 250 people. Organisers are hoping that V3 will be just as popular.

If V3 becomes a success we’re hoping that in the future there’ll be countless possibilities, Rouse says. We’d like to see a lot of Velocities in the future.

The event is planned for 2 October this year, which will be during the school holidays. Rouse says that further details such as location and ticket prices will be released closer to the party date.

We just want to get out there that Velocity is back and this time it won’t be cancelled, he says. We’re going for a really big night, so hopefully everyone will show up and make it a big hit.

Visit the Velocity website: www.velocity.org.au for further details.

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