Sleaze Ball Poster
Sleaze Ball Poster

On Sunday, October 23rd New Mardi Gras (NMG) sat down with the community for a debate on fundraising plans at the Member & Community Forum.

The results from the fundraising debate are in.

NMG invited the community along to consider the direction of events such as Sleaze, Hallowe’en, and Party as primary fundraising sources, in addition to new opportunities with Parade, Fair Day and other activities that could support Mardi Gras in the coming years.

Around 50 people heard NMG CEO Michael Rolik and Co-chairs Peter Urmson and Steph Sands set out the recent fundraising history of the organisation and their view of the challenges ahead.

“The truth is that when you factor all aspects of the party, the marketing spends and the amount of staff time it takes to put it on, that it hasn’t really raised significant funds for years and this year lost us a significant amount of money,” said NMG CEO Michael Rolik.

“The question is not just Sleaze or no Sleaze. There are other options for us and in some ways to remove Sleaze Ball from the calendar might make it more plausible for the organization to pursue those other opportunities.”

Amongst the suggestions from the floor for Sleaze were to work with other promoters to create a Sleaze festival, finding a new venue and looking at a move to a different weekend.

Other ideas for fundraising included virtual mobile telecoms provision, running a series of Fair Day-type events throughout the year, introducing more events aimed at an older audience who no longer attend dance parties and setting up an event on the June long weekend.

“There was an encouraging level of engagement with the difficult choices we face,” said Peter Urmson, Co-chair of NMG. “The Parade is the absolute core of what we are about and I think the community appreciates that we must do whatever is necessary to ensure its future. There can be no sacred cows.”