Mardi gras - 2007 NOT 500,000 after all, but suddenly, overnight, they lost 200,000 people in 2006.
A new counting method they said, only nobody could say exactly what it was! When the Sydney Morning Herald asked a Mardi Gras spokesman why, overnight, they had REDUCED their crowd estimate from 500,000 DOWN to 300,000, "Scott Gillespie, assured the Herald the 300,000 figure was accurate, because organisers were using a new internationally recognised system of crowd-counting... something to do with so many heads per square mile or something", he said.
"But he was unable to provide further information..." What was that? 'WE DON'T KNOW HOW WE ARRIVED AT THE FIGURES... BUT THEY ARE ACCURATE'! Heads per sq mile in a 35 metre wide street? What a bad joke!
Interestingly, the NSW police stated that "Our estimates have always been very different to [the organisers'] numbers." Adam Carr, a prominent homosexual journalist/activist had the right answer back in 2001 and he supports our contention that Sydney's Mardi Gras parade ONLY draws a crowd of 60-75,000 people. (see Melbourne Star, titled "Mardi Gras crowd puzzle" - March 7, 2001 p. 6) He should know, he counted them too, according to an article he wrote in 2001" Stokes said.
"Even the police stopped releasing 'official' crowd figure that year after admitting they were really the organisers 'estimates'.
"Yet even this smaller figure could be an exaggeration," Stokes said, "We were very generous in our counting and so was Adam. We used a 10 row average and he assumed that three people can squeeze into one metre. That is very, very squashed together - far more likely is a 5 row average and two people per metre - this would mean that 40 -50,000 is a far more realistic MAXIMUM crowd figure," Peter Stokes said "Using a more reasonable 2 people per metre, a more accurate 2km (4,000 people per row) and 6 row average, this amounts to just 48,000 people with perhaps 5,000 on rooves/balconies - 53,000."
Why are numbers important? "Because numbers mean dollars," Stokes said. "Major commercial sponsors have realized the people are not there and have stopped sponsoring Mardi gras - unfortunately the government has not yet seen the light and continues to support it." Given that almost all of the media have been pushing the organisers' very unrealistic, deliberately deceptive, and exaggerated figures we have to ask, "Who are they afraid of?" Is it homophobic to tell the truth, or are they embarrassed to admit that they have been supporting the lies for so long?
"It is time for both the mardi gras organisers, and the media, to come clean and put this charade to an end.
Mardi gras is not the biggest cultural event in Australia - it appears, though, that it is possibly the biggest lie," said Peter Stokes.
Peter Stokes is available for interview: 0413 084 146 Co Founder & ExecutiveOfficer