An enthusiastic response from young partygoers helped last Saturday’s Sleaze Ball meet attendance targets and make a profit, reversing the event’s disappointing results of 2005.

About 7,600 people turned out for the 25th anniversary ghetto fabulous-themed party, including significantly more young revellers than last year, according to sales of youth concession tickets to people aged under 23.

It is a focus for Mardi Gras to really engage and attract the younger audience, New Mardi Gras chair Marcus Bourget told Sydney Star Observer.

It was really great to see such an increase in the number of younger party people there partying with their gay and straight friends and making such a big effort to dress up on the night.

Ticket sales were about 1,000 short of a sell-out, but were still 1,100 higher than last year, when about 6,500 went to the New Mardi Gras fundraiser.

Performers at the event at the Entertainment Quarter at Moore Park included singer Katie Underwood, electro pop outfit Vandalism and a swag of Sydney DJs. Drag queen Kitty Glitter and drag king D-Vinyl led a 6am ghetto fabulous show.

Bourget said the strong Sleaze Ball showing meant New Mardi Gras could plan the 2007 season with confidence. The organisation is still calculating how much money Sleaze Ball made.

We did a lot of hard work on the theme and researching the theme and finding out what people wanted from the event, and making sure we actually delivered on that research, Bourget said.

Earlier this year, New Mardi Gras said it missed out on as much as $250,000 because of disappointing Sleaze sales last year.

We’re in a lot stronger position now than we were this time last year, Bourget said this week.

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