• Home
  • News
  • From Taylor Square to Darling Harbour: Mardi Gras to explore new parade route
From Taylor Square to Darling Harbour: Mardi Gras to explore new parade route

From Taylor Square to Darling Harbour: Mardi Gras to explore new parade route

LAST UPDATED // Saturday, 23 August 2014 17:01 Written by // Reg Domingo

Organisers of the Mardi Gras Parade have revealed they will be looking to explore the idea of turning the march around. 


  • Mardi Gras to look at new route for the parade in 2018
  • Mardi Gras to set up permanent workshop by 2017
  • Mardi Gras CEO Michael Rolik announces final season
  • Members cast vote in board elections

The proposed new route will see it start at Taylor Square in Darlinghurst and end in the city near Darling Harbour.

It hopes to implement the change on the 40th anniversary of Sydney Mardi Gras in 2018, by which time the entertainment complex in Darling Harbour will be complete.

Organisers have flagged Darling Harbour as a possible new home of the Mardi Gras Party.

Sydney Mardi Gras said it was already in talks with relevant agencies such as Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority about the move.

The move is part of a suite of goals revealed at Sydney Mardi Gras’ annual general meeting as the organisation looks to reinvigorate its events, broaden its audience and generate more revenue.

The organisation said it will now look at developing the festival with the aim of making the Mardi Gras season as the ‘Rio of Asia’.

It hopes to have a permanent workshop by 2017 and a proper internet video streaming network by 2018 so revellers can live stream the parade and host parties in their own homes.

The strategies come amid ongoing concerns about the organisation’s finances and future, with Sydney Mardi Gras posting a $177,000 loss for the 2014 season.

In a lively and spirited meeting, members were told revenue from the Mardi Gras Party, the organisation’s primary revenue generator, was behind $200,000.    

Its poor performance was attributed to increased competition, the high ticket prices and not being able to secure key programming choices because Mardi Gras was outbid by rival promoters.

Members were told that the organisation had been in discussions with artists such as Robbie Williams, Ricky Martin, Katy Perry, Will I Am and Kylie.

Coupled with unbudgeted expenses, this led to results that put the 2014 season in the red.

Treasurer Damien Hodgkinson warned Mardi Gras can no longer rely on the party to underwrite the organisation.

Hodgkinson outlined some actions the organisation was now taking to reduce costs which include staff cuts, reducing comps for tickets in exchange for discounted model, and moving the season to a two-week model.

He said Sydney Mardi Gras is now bolstering its volunteer workforce and will build better partnership agreements with external stakeholders.

The meeting was told that the coming season would be CEO Michael Rolik's last and the organisation has begun the recruitment process for a successor. Both Rolik and the incoming CEO will be on hand during the 2015 season after which Rolik will handover to the successful candidate.

The election of directors took place despite calls from some members for a deferment in the wake of the discovery of false membership applications.

Members were told their discovery prevented around 150 new members from voting in the election.

The outcome of the election is expected to be revealed on Monday.

Meanwhile, members voted to introduce two-year terms for the board of directors.

Proponents of the motion said it would ensure stability in the organisation and would eliminate the need for candidates to embark on annual campaigns for a seat on the board.

Debate on the motion unearthed comments about the vicious nature of this year’s election campaign period, which some candidates say has been characterised by online bullying, attacks and allegations of corrupt behaviour.

A motion to handover the Mardi Gras Parade to the City of Sydney was withdrawn.


Reg Domingo

Reg Domingo

Reg Domingo is the editor of SX.

Comments (3)

  • Michael Fenaughty

    19 October 2014 at 11:02 |
    As a 78er I fully support going down Oxford Street because that is what the first Parade did. I want to stop and shout "out of the bars and into the streets!" at sacred sites such as the buildings that were once home to Capriccios and Patches. I want to pass the Connaught, site of the long gone Paris Theatre, where I saw the film Word is Out 9 times. Because of that film, I came out! :-) And most importantly, I want the future of Mardi Grass to be financially secure. Bar proceeds from the Party bars to Mardi Grass? Yes please!


  • richard allen

    24 August 2014 at 09:19 |
    if the change of route for parade in 2018
    in my eyes will be a bloody nightmare as you can see
    first where do the floats set up as to what streets (oxford,flinders) think of ED 5 who uses flinders
    go down oxford to hyde park on to liverpool then cross over elizabeth,pitt,sussex then the road ends what way then.
    given when the parade was in elizabeth st all excess street closed for floats
    i just cant see this happening.
    further more if the prices to registertion and the parties were cheaper a lot more people would go


  • Terry

    23 August 2014 at 22:32 |
    Mardi Gras only earns money from ticket sales, they really need to earn some proceeds from the bar. RHI has received decades of business from the party so should let up


Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.