Traditionally one of the must-have experiences of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras season, the 2002 Pool Party looks set to sell out yet again.

With Victoria Park transformed into a sultry deep-sea grotto where all the kingdom’s creatures come together to celebrate and play, even a little rain would be unlikely to spoil the festivities. Partygoers have been advised to put the maximum effort into their fishy fashions, as prizes -“ including Mardi Gras party tickets -“ will be awarded for the most innovative designs.

According to Mardi Gras’ annual guide, Pool Party punters will be able to explore the deep with your friends Barry Reef, Tickly Tentacle, O.J. Stur-geon, Murray Carp and Coral Burnette for a night of marine madness. Marine madness? Yes, they are real, Pool Party host Gillian Minervini said when pressed on these characters. We’re all going underwater, so we need new personas to cope with it all.

Minervini is thrilled to be back working with DJ Kate Monroe on the event. I’m just so excited to have Kate back in, she confided. We’re working together on the music really intensely -“ we’re taking everything -˜back to the original’ pool parties with this one.

Mardi Gras marketing manager Terry Harding told the Star that there was excellent movement on Pool Party tickets and it was expected to sell out shortly.

The main party was also selling well, Harding said.

The US market is starting to move, but perhaps the most surprising is the international ticket sales coming out of Asia and especially Europe. Europe has been the big mover ticket-wise in 2002, Harding said.

F*ck Fashion is also selling really quickly, and quite frankly, given the interest so far, She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not will be -˜the’ lesbian event of the season, he added.

Also in just-released Mardi Gras news, the DJ line-up for the boys and girls spaces in the main party has just been announced. Last year, we had complaints about the single-sex spaces, but we’ve sorted everything out this year and separated the groups, Harding said. The boys space is upstairs in the Fox & Lion and the girls will be upstairs opposite the Asian bar.

DJs for the men’s space are DJ Chip (10pm to 2am), Richard Weiss (2am to 5pm), and an unconfirmed third DJ (5am to 8am). DJs for the women’s space are Renae (10pm to 2am), KDJ (2am to 5pm) and Feisty (5am to 8am).

Harding adds that Bent Street will be bigger than ever this year. The emphasis is on having a safe and secure space, but at the same time, we also think that it’s excellent value to have seven venues for the ticket price, he said.

The 2002 Pool Party is on Saturday 9 February from 8pm till midnight at Victoria Park Pool. Tickets $38, $35 (Mardi Gras members), or $25 (concession) from Ticketek 9266 4822 or -“ booking fees apply.

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