Following a barrage of complaints and an investigation by Fair Trading, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has issued an apology to the 10,000 ticket holders who attended this year’s Mardi Gras after party.

Thousands of attendees – some who paid up to $300 for a ticket – were barred from entering the Hordern Pavilion where international guests Dua Lipa, Sam Smith, Kesha, and Pablo Vittar all performed their shows.

Although the party site, which included Max Watts, PJ Gallagher’s and a number of other smaller venues, could arguably accommodate a 10,000 strong crowd, the Hordern Pavilion only has 5500 capacity.

Ticketholders felt they had been misled by Party promotion, believing their ticket guaranteed they would see the guest performers.

Patrons took to social media to vent their frustration about spending hours in queues and missing the superstar guests.

Albert Kruger, CEO of SGLMG today issued this statement:




“Mardi Gras has listened closely to the people who expressed frustration about the long delays they experienced trying to enter the Hordern Pavilion at this year’s Mardi Gras Party.

Mardi Gras and its Board are truly sorry and apologise for those experiences, which were unacceptable and must never occur again.

Mardi Gras has been working with the NSW Commissioner for Fair Trading to investigate various ways of compensating people who made complaints about their experience, given that it would not be financially viable for us as a not-for-profit to provide refunds.

Therefore, we are pleased to announce that Mardi Gras has provided a response to NSW Fair Trading to those people who formally registered complaints on this matter with Mardi Gras, Ticketek and Fair Trading before Friday 20 March 2020.

Mardi Gras should reflect what our members and our community want in a fast-changing world – whether it’s our party or festival events, causes, campaigns, grants or partnerships.

It is clear many people in our community are seeking changes and improvements to the Party and indeed other Mardi Gras activities. So, we want to hear from you to find out how we can make things better.

To do this, we will conduct a survey shortly and facilitate several town hall events to get your valuable feedback on how we can improve things. We also want your thoughts on new ideas to keep our movement fresh and relevant. The town hall event dates will be determined and announced after COVID-19 related meeting restrictions are lifted. The feedback from these engagements will be used to help shape next year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras activities.

We thank you for your patience and understanding. We will continue to listen openly to ensure Mardi Gras maintains its place in your hearts and serves and reflects our community well into the future.”

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