The weather in "Sin City" Sydney may be wet, but spirits are high.
This morning Mardi Gras Sydney held its press conference at Sheraton on the Park.
The following speakers were present and addressed the conference of 200 people...
Damien Eames (MC) Party Director Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Peter Urmson - SGLMG Chair
Michael Rolik - SGLMG CEO
Bruce Notley-Smith - Member for Coogee
Ignatius Jones - Artistic Director - Sydney Mardi Gras Parade
Shelley Argent OAM - Chief of Parade
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) are thrilled to announce that high-profile LGBTQI campaigner, marriage equality crusader and much-loved Queensland mum, Shelley Argent OAM, will be Chief of Parade for the 2012 Sydney Mardi Gras.
Mrs Argent is the national spokesperson for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and a prominent campaigner for marriage equality and to stop bullying in schools. She has appeared on Australian Story and been awarded an Order of Australia and QLD Senior Australian of the Year for her work.
The appointment has been graciously accepted by Mrs Argent who is said to be honoured.
"This is an acknowledgement of all those parents and families who are supportive of their gay and lesbian loved ones, Argent said. "It also shows me that the community supports and appreciates the work I do."
Kylie Minogue news...
Yes, Kylie is returning to Mardi Gras Sydney tonight.
"Please dear, dear Sydney, just keep the rain away while we party, Kylie told Fairfax Media "A lot of effort is still going into the performance on Saturday night and, personally, I'm excited to see the parade and feel the spirit of the city, the spirit of the people and to be part of that is a beautiful thing." Her upcoming appearance at the Mardigrasland Party in the Entertainment Quarter is sold out. Its been 14 years since she graced Mardi Gras and said her 2012 return "just felt right". "It's hard to believe I've been in music for 25 years, and in showbiz even longer," she said. After Mardi Gras, she will present her music in a more stripped-back setting as part of the ongoing K25 celebrations. On Thursday night, she attended the Sydney Mardi Gras VIP party at Sheraton on the Park, but no Kylie at today's media call, but lots of discussion about her of course, with police sniffer dogs, Dykes On Bikes and the Love Muscle float all enjoying healthy discussion.
Kylie! Australia's pop queen will not only perform at the Mardi Gras party, but it will be a 20-minute medley of songs stretching from her first album to her most recent, Aphrodite.
Minogue's song arrangements are completely tailor-made for the show, to be held in the Royal Hall of Industries at an unspecified time during the night, backed by 16 dancers, all Aussies. The songs are a surprise. RuPaul is confirmed.
Well done to everyone involved in the preparation of Sydney Mardi Gras.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) are proud to announce today, Optus as the Official Digital Rights Partner for the 2012 Sydney Mardi Gras Season.
The Sydney Mardi Gras Parade will be shown online, in high definition on, SGLMGs new dedicated website mardigrastv.org.au , powered by Optus, making the world- famous Parade accessible to a global audience for the first time ever.
This is a game changing opportunity for SGLMG and Optus to transform Sydney Mardi Gras 2012, and deliver a digital experience to the world.
The Sydney Mardi Gras festival will be showcased to a world-wide audience, for the first time at mardigrastv.org.au. The 2012 Sydney Mardi Gras festival is already shaping up to be extra exciting. SGLMG along with strategic partner Destination New South Wales are bringing pop star Kylie Minogue to Sydney to share Sydney Mardi Gras so it is sure to be a show stopper of a year.
Mardi Gras TV will feature exciting content from the three- week festival, high profile artist interviews, official K25 celebrations with Kylie Minogue, and behind-the-scenes highlights that will capture the heart, celebration and soul of Sydney Mardi Gras. Additionally, a special one-hour package of Mardi Gras Parade, will be available to watch from 7.30 pm on Sunday 4 March on mardigrastv.
mardigrastv.org.au will be live from Monday 27 February bursting with competitions, compelling stories and exciting content. You can also access mardigrastv anywhere, anytime, on any device if you want to see all things Mardi Gras on the run! There is no cost to and no log-in requirement to access mardigrastv.org.au. This is on demand, available anytime, anywhere with internet connection.
We are ecstatic that this partnership between Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Optus provides us with an amazing opportunity to share our LGBTQI Parade with a wider audience, says SGLMG CEO Michael Rolik. The digital medium is in-line with current viewing trends and means that people from small regional towns in Australia through to the biggest cities in the world can share in the unmatched excitement that comes with Parade. It will allow our community's diversity and unified message of equality to shine across the world and we couldn't be more pleased.
Located at http://www.mardigrastv.org.au/, the website will allow visitors to instantly access the Parade package the day after the Parade has finished without the need to register or log into the site. This will be live on Sunday March 4th at 7.30pm (EST)
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has enjoyed a great relationship with Optus over the past few years, says Rolik. From a time where the company's gay and lesbian employees marched in the Parade on foot through to the company's Wizard of Optus float last year. They have been a great supporter of our organisation, and this partnership further cements that.
Michael Smith, Managing Director, Optus Consumer said, We are excited to be bringing the world renowned Sydney Mardi Gras to the world stage for the first time. This unique opportunity is an example of how Optus continues to innovate by bringing exciting digital content to our customers through a range of devices and platforms. It builds on our digital partnership with the ARIAs, which saw us bring exclusive behind the scenes content to our customers via mobile, as well as our digital partnership with Football Federation Australia.
http://www.mardigrastv.org.au/ will remain online and active for some time after the Parade so audiences who missed out on the first screening can relive all the excitement that is uniquely Sydney Mardi Gras any time.
The digital rights partnership and mardgrastv concept was developed by Sydney Mardi Gras sponsorship agency, mixitup, a independent brand entertainment company.
Mardi Gras TV
Kylie Minogue official website
Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr
Eva Rinaldi Photography
Music News Australia