Despite notifying the community of a small financial loss in its annual report released today, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras team are upbeat about what’s been an unforgettable season in 2012.
The entire festival was hampered by bad weather but culminated in a spectacular sold-out Kylie-themed Party. Earlier in the night, parade participant numbers were the highest in three years at 9,800, and over 29,000 interstate and international visitors viewed the Parade.
This year’s financial loss is confirmed at $73,057 – approximately 1.8% of the festival’s total turnover – which is the smallest loss posted in recent years. 2010 saw a loss of $575,627 and 2011 lost $133,678.
“Given this trajectory of improvement and the measures that have been implemented over the last year, we are on track to return to a sustainable profit in the next financial year,” says Mardi Gras.
The LGBTI festival’s crew say they weren’t expecting a loss this year, but a few factors unfortunately led to it. “The wettest summer in years meant actual revenues from ticket sales, bars, and food vending at events like Fair Day, Harbour Party and Parade Viewing were significantly lower than budgeted,” says the Mardi Gras Board.
The sold-out Party was not quite the earner it could’ve been too. “We kept Party ticket prices at or below 2011 levels, whilst making significant investments in enhancing programming, production values and audience experience at Mardi Gras Party and other events,” the Board explains. Plus, “due to new licensing restrictions imposed in December, the capacity of Mardi Gras Party was reduced by 1,000 tickets, greatly reducing its profit potential as our main fundraiser.”
Acknowledging that this is a difficult time for LGBTI festivals worldwide – Pride London is the latest one to be stripped back – Mardi Gras says it has plans in place to raise more funds and keep its event costs for the next season. October’s long weekend is the traditional time for some serious Mardi Gras fundraising – we’ll let you know the plans when they’re confirmed.
March 3rd, 2012