The Mardi Gras parade and official after-party will be held on different weekends in 2010.
Next year’s parade will be held on February 27, while the party will be held on March 6. Fair Day will be held on 21 February and Harbour Party on 28 February.
The festival will also be cut back to two weeks.
New Mardi Gras CEO Anna McInerney said the decision to split the parade and party was an evolutionary one.
We’ve looked at how other major festival-type events are produced around the world and one of the clear lessons is that they run as a series of parties, she said in an official statement.
Rio and New Orleans are not just a single parade Â-” though they have that as their core. They encompass many small parades and parties and go on for days. That is what we want to bring to Sydney at Mardi Gras and in particular that final week.
The 2010 season theme, Mardi Gras’ History of the World, will be an exploration of gay people’s stories through the ages and a queer take on some of the great moments and figures of history.
Festival executive producer Danielle Harvey said the decision to further cut the festival back, now to two weeks, was also based on other international events.
A review of major arts festivals around the world showed they were typically two-week festivals, she said.
By moving to two weeks we will be able to create a much more impactful experience for both local and international audiences.
NMG chair David Imrie said the changes to the festival would continue to make it one of the best in the world.
Mardi Gras has already evolved out of all recognition from the 1978 march to become a major arts festival, party promoter and world-famous event, he said.
This would not have been possible without flexibility and creativity in how we program. A good example was the move to a summer parade. If that hadn’t happened the event would never have grown to the stature it has.
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