Mardi Gras Survival Tips From Tom Ballard And Brendan Maclean

Sydney Mardi Gras is upon us. If you are planning on getting involved in an LGBT or an LGBT-friendly kind of way you better be prepared. We checked in with a couple of lads who’ve been to Mardi Gras and came out (LOL!) unscathed. Here are Mardi Gras Survival Tips from our very amusing pals and advocates for “It Gets Better”, Brendan Maclean and Tom Ballard.

Tip #1: Considering Sydney doesn’t really “do” sunny anymore if you haven’t bought yourself a vajazzled poncho by now then, good grief, what are you doing with your life, Charlie Brown?

Tip #2: Feel free to bring your own plastic seat or milk-crates, they are actually sold street side for $15, you know the things you can find for free next to any Coles or Woolies. The sad thing is by the time you’ve drunken all your electric blue Bacardi Breezer’s and you’re five rows back from the nearest float you’ll be desperate [and thus fork out the 15 clams].

Tip #3: I can’t stress this tip enough: Plan your spot and don’t move, not for anyone, not for Hungry Jacks, not because Sarah thought you said meet near the “Dildo store” when you clearly said “the leather goods store with the Dildo on display”. If you even look behind you then some backpacking Irish bear will literally pick you up and move you out of the way. Wars have been started over holding parade viewing spots and those Drag Queens are not above sticking a 6 inch stiletto into your foot.

Tip #4: Most of all have fun, plan and be safe. If you’ve never been you should know the Parade isn’t just a few people walking down the road, it’s a giant festival. Every year thousands of people travel from all across the road gather in Sydney to celebrate sexuality and the right to be who you are. But it can be a little spooky too. Lots of people, lots of lights and there is a lot of alcohol too, so it can get a little uneasy. It’s sounds lame but getting lost at Mardi Gras is hell. Meeting points and buddy systems are essential lest your iPhone runs out from talking to the thousands of gays that will be on Grindr.

Find Brendan on Grindr. This is him with a ukelele:

Tip #1: Don’t bring condoms. You will have thousands of free ones thrown at your face over the course of the evening. If you get to the end of Mardi Gras and you’re not fully prepared for every possible horrific sexual adventure your dirty mind can think of, you got a REALLY shit seat.

Expect crotches:

Tip #2: Pretend to be Ruby Rose. Free drinks!

Tip #3: If you’re dressing up, remember this year’s (and every year’s) theme: “Gays With Sequins”.

Child-sized wings, also okay.

Tip #4: Bring your conservative grandparents and really rub their faces in 2012.

Tip #5: DON’T BUY DRUGS. It increases demand in the marketplace and jacks up prices for others.

Tip #6: Love yourself and have a good time! You are beautiful and Peter Madden’s a dickface.


All images by Byron Spencer