In a Same Same exclusive, New Mardi Gras have announced what has long been speculated: one of the most iconic dance parties on the Australian calendar Sleaze Ball will not be held this year.
But it isn’t all bad news. In place of the long running event will be a new community focused initiative called Big Weekend.
The Big Weekend will see a series of smaller events held throughout the October long weekend to raise funds for Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
The concept was born out of a successful consultation with community party promoters and venues held last night.
“There are essentially three strands coming out of last night’s meeting,” NMG Head of Marketing & Communications Damien Eames says. “First is in the run-up to the weekend there would be a range of events that focus on the Parade. A mini-festival of ideas and non-party social events that focus on what the following year’s Parade should be about, what cultural themes we should pick up on and how people can get involved.”
In a partnership between New Mardi Gras and key community players, New Mardi Gras hopes to reclaim Oxford Street and inject the community vibe back into the world renowned street.
A host of promoters will be involved in throwing parties throughout the weekend, all with the common theme of a “Big Weekend”
Same Same will be involved in raising money and getting people back into local venues on the Friday night of the October long weekend. “We are going to sit down and work out with venues in detail how we can drive the maximum traffic on the night, raise funds for the Parade and give people a great time,” says Eames. “We will engage with Parade entrants to get them out on that Friday night and throughout the weekend, moving between venues in little crews, doing spontaneous performances as well as using spaces like Taylor Square for performance if we can. It should be a real carnival-type atmosphere.”
“For the rest of the weekend we will look at other easy-to-implement free and fun moments that make people get out and about and drive big numbers to the community parties that are going on.”
Specific details of what will take part exactly over the Big Weekend are yet to be announced, but make sure you check back here at Same Same to see what is coming and how you can be involved.
Are you happy or sad to see the end of Sleaze Ball after 28 years? And what do you think about the Big Weekend? Tell us below.