Sydney Gay & Lesbian mardi gras sorry for overselling tickets to after-party featuring Sam Smith, Dua Lipa, Kesha

The organisers of Sydney Gay & Lesbian mardi gras are being criticised online for overselling tickets to an afterparty featuring headline sets from singers Sam Smith, Dua Lipa and Kesha.

Tickets to the show at the Hordern Pavilion started at $200, but many attendees were disappointed to find that the simple act of buying a ticket didn’t allow them to see what was described as a “holy trinity” of performers.

Party-goers were forced to watch the show on screens outside the venue after the 5500 capacity hall filled up with ticketgoers eager to see what was described as a “holy trinity” of performers.

Queues stretched for hours to get in and it appears the event was massively oversold by the organisers.

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media_cameraEnglish singer Sam Smith performed at the after-party. Picture: Nikki Short
English model turned singer Dua Lipa also performed. Picture: Nikki”/>
media_cameraEnglish model turned singer Dua Lipa also performed. Picture: Nikki Short

Frustrated ticketholders took to social media to vent their frustration, replying to posts celebrating the event as a success from the organisation in charge.

“Last night was a very poorly planned party. It will be a tough gig to recover from this. Especially if you expect people to pay again next year. It’s unlikely I will, sorry,” one user wrote.

“This party was simply terrible,” said another.

“Lining up for the Horden just wasn’t an option. The line was so long is had started a crushing crowd near the toilets and it had become completely unsafe.”

“Next time you want to sell 10,000 tickets to a 5,000 capacity venue how about you tell us what a rip-off it’s going to be before we pay our $270,” a more riled up commenter said.

Others used the latest scandal as a chance to criticise the mardi gras event some see as becoming too corporatised and fiscally focused, with calls to “stop ripping off the community” with “profit-chasing”.

Mardi gras is registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.

Last year it reported an income of almost $2.25 million, around half of which is spent on its staff.

Parade attendees had a lot less to celebrate at the mardi gras”/>
media_cameraParade attendees had a lot less to celebrate at the mardi gras after-party.

The organisation apologised in the comments of some posts but is yet to make an apology in the form of a post people would see come up in their news feed.

It said the problems were caused by the loss of the Royal Hall Of Industries, which is being redeveloped after being leased to the Sydney Swans, who play at the nearby Sydney Cricket Ground.

“We are deeply disappointed and apologise that this has occurred. It’s no secret that this year we lost the Royal Hall of Industries as a venue for the annual mardi gras Party. We recognise significant changes are required for the smaller party footprint to be successful.

“After exploring a range of other options across the city, it was determined the Hordern Pavilion and surrounding areas were still the best venue for The Party. There just isn’t another inner city space that is big enough for our audience that would allow an all-night dance party,” the organisation said.

“We’ve received some valuable feedback this year, which will help us continue to develop and evolve the Party experience.”

Originally published as Mardi gras sorry for ‘terrible’ party

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