Organisers of Sydney’s Mardi Gras are considering changing their annual celebration, worth $46 million (£19.8m)to the Australian economy, because of lack of support from the government and community.
Marcus Bourget, chief organiser, revealed the possibility yesterday while speaking at the launch of Mardi Gras 2008.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the event and is based on the theme, Brave New Worlds.
A poll of readers of samesame.com.au, an Australian Gay and Lesbian online community, also revealed that more than 72% favoured scrapping the current parade.
According to the site, Mr Bourget, said: “A 2005 study commissioned by New Mardi Gras for the Premier’s Department concluded that Mardi Gras was responsible for bringing $46 million into the New South Wales economy.
“It remains one of my great frustrations that we are still unable to share in the millions of dollars we generate for the state.”
He added that while Mardi Gras receives some support, it is only a fraction of what the event generates for the economy.
“As we celebrate the 30th anniversary the question I have for you is a simple one – can we imagine a Mardi Gras where we commemorate 1978 without the Parade?”
His suggestions for change included stripping the flamboyant parade back to it’s original roots as a protest, and removing floats and music so that it becomes just a march for the gay community
A poll of samesame.com.au readers showed that only 27.27% were happy to keep the parade as it is.
Just over 30% voted for scrapping the parade in favour of a march to a party in Sydney’s Hyde Park.
And a majority favoured scrapping the parade, both to introduce a march and to help focus on Fair Day, the day of Mardi Gras celebrations, as a day of remembrance.