micenet Logo
0 - MH - DGC
1 - T1 - BCEC
2 - T2 - Sanctuary Cove
3 - T3 - Australian Event Awards
2 - T2 - Sanctuary Cove

Major Sydney Mardi Gras event cancelled less than a week out

Share this story

Major Sydney Mardi Gras event cancelled less than a week out
The annual Fair Day held as part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras will not go ahead this Sunday after asbestos was found on the event’s site.

Fair Day was set to be held in Victoria Park, with over 70,000 people expected to attend. However, the park has been identified as one of multiple green spaces in the City of Sydney which has asbestos contamination in the mulch used in the park.

In a statement released on social media today, Mardi Gras organisers said they had been working closely with the City of Sydney to get the park cleaned up in time for the event, after tests on Monday confirmed asbestos contamination.

“Following a more detailed investigation into the safety concerns at Victoria Park, it has become clear to the city and Sydney Mardi Gras that an event of the scale of Fair Day is unable to proceed this Sunday,” said the Mardi Gras statement.  

“Fair Day is one of our most loved events,” said Mardi Gras CEO Gil Beckwith. “It breaks our heart to see this Sunday not go ahead, but given the safety concerns we must put our communities’ wellbeing first.

“This cancellation is a setback, however it presents us with an opportunity to unite and support one another more strongly. The rest of our festival continues unchanged, offering more chances over the 17 days for our communities to come together in celebration and solidarity.”

After asbestos was first identified in Rozelle Parklands in January, a NSW Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigation discovered that the City of Sydney’s mulch supplier may have received mulch contaminated with asbestos. This prompted testing of the mulch at more parks within the local government area, including Victoria Park. Testing of further parks is set for the coming weeks.

“This is an incredibly disappointing decision, as Fair Day is a pivotal part of the Mardi Gras calendar,” said Sydney’s Lord Mayor, Clover More. “But we have to put the safety of our community first.

“We will continue to work with Mardi Gras once the asbestos issue is resolved. Today’s decision underscores how serious this is.”

Updates to your inbox

More News