Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade – Sydney

March 4, 2006

Five years apart is just too long!  For the first time since 2001 the MRB travelled to Sydney to take part in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.  Twenty-four performers, four volunteer flag and banner bearers, and Drum Major Pramote made the journey to Sydney (including 3 lucky members who drove all the heavy stuff up in a hired Tarago).  The majority of MRB members stayed at Aaron’s Hotel in Haymarket.

Re-establishing our relationship with the Sydney Homotones, we performed a joint concert at Darling Harbour on Saturday morning, before rehearsing marching steps outside Fox Studios and Aussie Stadium in the afternoon.  Finishing just in time to be swamped with fans from a major rugby match leaving the stadium, we moved on to our marshalling area to perform in Foreplay.  Foreplay is the ‘pre-march entertainment’: 1 or 2 entrants marching from the end to the beginning in order to entertain hundreds of thousands waiting in the crowds lining the streets.

With dance steps added to our marching repertoire, the applause and cheers of the crowd made us forget how hard it was to stop, twirl, bend, step, and play music all at the same time.

Following Foreplay we were marshalled in our waiting area for 2 hours before the march started.  We spent this time fixing flashing lights to uniforms, ears, noses, glasses and instruments – it looked fantastic and very glam.  There was no way anyone was going to miss us!

The march began!  Hundreds and thousands of cheering people lining the streets!  Choreography!  Music!  Lights!  It was intense and so much fun!  The band had an amazing time, and relived the experience that night in the hotel bar.

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