Mardi Gras Ceremony Canned Over Public Safety

Sydney A list LGBTI have been left all dressed up with nowhere to go, after the City of Sydney hastily cancelled the unveiling of a major Mardi Gras landmark in an email late Friday afternoon. 

The original invite to the Emerald City’s well-heeled gAy-list read:

There’s still time to join Mardi Gras’ 40th Foundation Circle in time for our Anniversary celebration on 24 June.

As an important part of our family we are inviting you to be an inaugural member of the Circle, to leave a legacy for the next 40 years of Evolution of Mardi Gras.

The Lord Mayor of Sydney, the Honourable Clover Moore will acknowledge the generous support of the inaugural 40th Foundation Circle supporters at the special anniversary celebration on 24 June 2018 at Taylor Square Darlinghurst. The celebration will honour Mardi Gras’ first parade that took place 40 years ago on that same date – 24 June 1978, celebrating the original marchers, the 78ers.

At this event, the Lord Mayor will also unveil an extraordinary new public art work commissioned by Mardi Gras with support of the City of Sydney. The work has been commissioned from artists Maurice Goldberg and Matthew Aberline, specifically for Taylor Square to commemorate the 40-year history of Mardi Gras and the diversity of our vibrant community.

As a member of the 40th Foundation Circle you will be part of a special group of invited supporters invested in the future of Mardi Gras. Members give donations of $2,000 or more to enable support programs with a focus on social justice and increase access for isolated communities to participate in Mardi Gras.

But at 5.36 pm Friday, launch was cancelled, apparently because the planned erection is unsafe. The second email, sent at the traditional hour and day for sneaking out bad news you don’t want the media to notice, reads:

UPDATE Friday 22 June 2018, 5pm

Due to an unforeseen technical construction issue, the installation of the Taylor Square Public Art Commission and our gathering at the Beresford have been postponed. Public safety is always of top priority, and we are working closely with the City of Sydney to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.

We plan to move the launch date and event to next weekend tentatively. A new invitation will be sent to you soon with confirmed details.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused, and hope you can join us next weekend to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)