I must say that Newtown Festival on the surface is the same event as every year or other events that have been rolled out in Spring-Summer. But it is on a big scale with an estimated 80,000 punters. I look for something fresh to photograph just to discover that the trash interests me the most. While we are enjoying a good time, do we consider what we leave behind before moving on the next stop of decadence? A stream of bubbles is a symbol of joy and dream but it does not really last.
13-15 April is Songkran Festival, traditional Thai New Year. Thai community in Sydney has the celebration called Thailand Grand Festival in Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour. Last year I explored the Buddhist ceremony and the entertainments on stage. This year is pretty much the routine with merit making and blessing in the morning then stage shows in the afternoon. No Aboriginal welcoming protocol has a presence here, just the Premier representative. Do we need a black fella to officially open every single event in Australia or, at least, just an acknowledgement?
The best improvement this year must be Singha Beer tent and the promotion girls are willing to table serve the customers while gulping some beer with her friends along the way. It feels like home. Of course, there are loads of food. Many of them you cannot find in typical Thai restaurants in Sydney. Other than that is largely tourism promotion.
The hi-light performance would be Joe Louis Traditional Thai Puppet Theatre. Unfortunately, the show has to stop due to the rain. The best Thai attitude is still applied here by stating it is the shower of the angels even though everything is on hold for a while. Nevertheless, when weather is clear, the event continues and the crowd is back again despite of the soggy ground.
I would like to use the word Songkran on this post which unofficially unannounced in the event. It is the best we can get on such a special occasion away from home in Sydney.
69 shots of where people set there bottoms down at Fair Day of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras 2008 Festival.
While New Mardi Gras is releasing their official images of Mardi Gras Slide Show, I have my own angle of the events. It is obvious what fascinates my eyes at Fair Day. The colourful stuff they bring along on the day reflects the diversity of the community.
The peak of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival for the public is definitely the parade. The vibe starts to kick in when people come in early to Oxford Street in order to get the best spots to see the floats. Once the roads are closed for the march, more and more audiences pile up outside the barricades whereas the show is being prepared inside. The lucky ones who reside on the buildings along the streets can watch the glamour from above while the crowd further away from the actual parade gets wilder and wilder as the night goes along. The community has successfully thrown another party to the city which seems to be hungry for decadence.
Fair Day is one of the key events of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. It is actually the most inclusive and diverse program of the festival. Kids run around with their straight and gay parents. Dogs sniff and play with others. Friends and families drink and BBQ together while watching stage entertainments. Dressed-up queens gracefully glide to demonstrate their pride of beauty. Half-naked men and, sometimes, women lie on the ground, flirt with each other and finally end up on the dance floor.
Although it does not sound different from previous years, essentially, this social event is for the people to hang around in Victoria Park for a picnic as one community once a year.