When I first heard the news that New Mardi Gras had decided to separate the parade and after-party and then cut the festival to just two weeks, I thought it was a joke.
Surely this couldn’t be right. I’m all for change but this is crazy talk. It took a while to sink in. I asked myself if the organisation was making decisions with the only goal to squeeze money from our community. Who really knows?
I am disappointed the festival has been cut to two weeks. Even in this year’s festival it was impossible to see everything. I think it will be hard for many in such a shortened time period. For some it isn’t just about parties.
As for the parade and party being split, I’m confused. Does this mean the parade is no longer the celebration of everything that has happened in the festival?
I am concerned for the safety of people in costume with nowhere to go. Verushka and I hosted GlamStand this year. Once it had finished, we proceeded to the Midnight Shift, copping abuse all the way. We put our heads down and charged to the venue, hoping we wouldn’t hit trouble.
Without the safety of a destination to head to, what will happen to the thousands of parade entrants? Will there be measures in place for their safety? I mean good measures, not one timid security guard appointed to a section.
The parade prides itself on being diverse and accepting, I hope that entrants aren’t going to curtail what they wear from fear of being caught with nowhere to go.
This is a monumental decision and I hope those who made it have thought about it very hard. We still struggle to be heard in society, but our community seems to band together and keep up the fight.
New Mardi Gras, please don’t forget you are representing a community.

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