The president of Melbourne’s Pride March and the general manager of the city’s Midsumma will both step down this year.

Jamie Ivarsen, president of Pride March Victoria for the last three years, will exit the organisation at its AGM in May. And Midsumma general manager Jarrod Hughes has indicated he would be tendering his resignation at a board meeting last week.

Questions are being raised about the future of the Midsumma festival after poor ticket sales to many events earlier this year.

It is not known if the Mardi Gras 30th anniversary celebrations this year had any impact on Midsumma 2008.

Midsumma chair Lisa Watts paid tribute to Hughes’s energy, passion, visibility and drive. She said his resignation was not unexpected, which meant the organisation was well prepared.

We will have a smooth transition. Luckily we have a lot of very hands-on people on the board this year with a good understanding of what’s required, she said.

He indicated some months ago that this, his second festival, would be the last one, and we’ve been planning for this for the last five or six months.

Pride March president Jamie Ivarsen said he was looking forward to spending more time with his partner, home and job.

Reflecting on his future after 10 years’ involvement, he said, I’m going to lie low for a while and concentrate on things like my real job.

I’ve achieved many of my own personal goals, and also some of the very ambitious goals I set for Pride. One of those was the reinvigoration of the event. And this year is really the pinnacle of the event. This year was spectacular in all sorts of ways.

From bnews -“ www.bnews.com.au

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