The Mardi Gras parade concluded its successful 31st year last night with the Mardi Gras Party 2009 at Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter. People lucky enough to get a ticket were treated to 10 hours of partying in 7 extravagant venues. The party was headlined by International DJs Paul Oakenfold and The Freemasons.

The 18,000 capacity area welcomed revellers who were in great spirits after watching the parade. Many partygoers dressed up for the occasion in an array of costumes; from Scottish kilts to bondage outfits, lady boys to camp fairies: no theme was left untouched. It was the place to be on the biggest night of the Mardi Gras calendar after the glamour and glitz of the parade.

This much hyped party did not disappoint with the 7 venues, combined with the outdoor space, creating a village feel to the event. There were surprise acts, spectacular shows and an enthusiastic crowd ready to celebrate being gay. The ‘Nations United’ theme was a prominent fixture throughout the venues in the décor and the costumes. Key elements of the parade were also incorporated into the party area.

The Hordern Pavilion blended house and progressive house music in an impressive environment. Headlining DJ Paul Oakenfold opened his set to a rapturous crowd. His two hour set was packed full with crowd pleasing tracks, demonstrating his status as a world class DJ. He played to a backdrop of spectacular visual effects including an acrobat and laser show. Also playing were DJs Brent Nicholls and Alan Thompson from the UK.

The Freemasons also headlined last night’s event in the Royal Hall of Industries. The main room’s centre stage was transformed into the theme ‘it’s a gay world after all’; also the theme for the lead float at the parade. The atmosphere was high energy with an array of exuberant live performances, including Natalie Bassingthwaighte, lead singer with Rogue Traders, who closed the show.

Other venues included The Forum which featured live music from young and exciting bands such as Miami Horror who are touted as being the next big thing in Australia and Fuse Bar which was the women’s space; a new edition due to popular demand.

Emma Cullingford is PinkNews.co.uk’s Australia Correspondent