Sydney’s gay parade live online

PinkNews Staff Writer March 2, 2007
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The Sydney Lesbian Gay Mardi Gras parade will be steamed live on the internet on Saturday night.

The parade, one of the best-known gay events on the planet, will be viewed live across the world for the first time this year.

The internet broadcast is being shown by Australian company Viocorp, and will cost $7.50 (£3.85) to watch online.

This year’s parade, the 29th, should feature some of the satirical floats which it famous for.

Claire de Lune, a drag favourite, will host the proceedings.

Mardi Gras chairman Marcus Bourget said: “We’re very excited to be working with Viocorp to bring all the fun, glitz, glamour, diversity and pride to an online audience that won’t be able to be there on the night.”

The parade normally takes around three hours to move through central Sydney, starting at Hyde Park.

The broadcast will be one hour long, and will use four cameras to capture the parade.

“We want people to actually watch the thing from start to finish,” Viocorp managing director Ian Gardiner told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“You want to keep people’s attention and just having float after float coming through is potentially not that interesting.”

This year’s Mardi Gras has been marred by a police raid at a dance party that forms part of the festivities.

Around 5,000 people were attending the Harbour party on Sunday night.

Police subjected revellers to strip searches behind specially-constructed screened areas. 26 people were arrested.

Police successfully applied to a magistrate to close the event two hours early.

Jason Scott, 33, from Sydney, was unhappy about the attitude of police:

“It seems over the top and homophobic and its like a number of recent raids on clubs which makes gay people distrust the police,” he told Rainbow Network.

“The message to drug users is clear,” Drug Squad Commander Greig Newbery told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“These drugs are illegal and people taking them or possessing them can face criminal charges.”

Gay activists suspect the fact that 2007 is an election year has something to do with the police’s decision to target one of the flagship events of Sydney Mardi Gras.

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