‘Reverse the Mardi Gras Parade’ says board candidate James Brechney
Picture this for a moment: after marching in the world-famous Mardi Gras Parade, you don’t end up in some cultural wasteland but rather at the beating heart of Gay Sydney – Oxford Street – for a massive block party.
That’s what radio broadcaster James ‘Breko’ Brechney is suggesting.
Brechney, best known as the man who founded the DIY rainbow campaign, is running as a candidate for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras board.
As part of his campaign, he has released a handful of suggestions to improve the organisation, dubbed ‘Breko’s 7 point plan to save Mardi Gras’.
So far, four points from the action plan has been released with the remaining three to be unveiled over the next few days.
Among them are calls for the parade to be broadcast live on national TV, urging the current SGLMG board to defer the election in the wake of the recent controversy surrounding fake memberships and a commitment to turning a profit in 2015.
But the one point proving most controversial is a suggestion of ‘reversing the parade’.
Currently, the Mardi Gras Parade begins at Hyde Park on the intersection of Oxford and College Streets. It travels along Oxford Street and Flinders Street in Darlinghurst. Then the parade snakes along the Anzac Parade busway, ending just outside the Sydney Cricket Ground, near the Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park.
“It strikes me odd that we finish the Parade at Moore Park,” Brechney said on a statement published on his website. “A lot of parade participants head home for a shower before returning to the Official SGLMG Party at the nearby Hordern Pavilion and the rest of those not interested in Party have quite a walk in front of them to find a post parade drink.
Below: The parade should go the other way, Breko says...
“If we reversed the Parade direction not only is there a lot more space to deal with the increasing numbers of floats and participants at Moore Park during bump in but you get to finish the show at the heart of LGBTQI Australia right on Oxford Street.
“Ending the night with a Castro style block party involving all venues, keeping the road closed until 11pm or Midnight and/or a party in Hyde Park South would be incredible,” he said.
Brechney said by reversing the parade, more venues and business could get involved in the festivities.
“The perceived Us versus Them mentality between SGLMG and our venues needs to stop. It's time to embrace and include those who know how to pull off great events and how to generate a profit from them.
“Imagine a Mardi Gras Party wristband that could get you into our local venues with, for example, Ricky Martin at Stonewall, Anthony Callea at the Oxford and RuPaul at Palms – heaven!”
Below: And end here ...
Brechney cited other previous suggestions of where the Parade could end, including southern end of the CBD like Darling Harbour.
“I'm realistic about what one board member can achieve and how many years it may take to get something like this to happen but we need new, fresh and exciting ideas to evolve the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras,” he said.
“I’d be thrilled to hear your thoughts.”
Many have already taken to social media expressing their support for the idea while some have outright rejected it.
Let us know your thoughts below.
The board elections will be held at Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras annual general meeting on Saturday, August 23, at ACON, 414 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills.
Top image: James Brechney at San Francisco Pride. Photo: Isabell Hiew