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Cardiff Mardi Gras

Cardiff Mardi Gras

There was a slight shift of emphasis at this year’s Cardiff Mardi Gras as, for the first time, organizers had a parade through the city before the entertainment at Cooper’s Field.

The theme of this year’s event was “visibility increases understanding and reduces fear” and organizations, business leaders, politicians and the general public were encouraged to take part. Around 600 people did take to the streets to be visable and vocal in their support and as one of the organizers Richard Lawson said: “Despite legislative changes the facts are all too stark, reported hate crime against the LGBT community is on a significant increase.”

For the third year running Cardiff Mardi Gras hosted a Youth and Family Zone. John Bond, Mardi Gras Youth Officer explained: “The Youth Zone offers young people the chance to speak to qualified youth workers about any issues they may face (Substance Misuse, Sexual Health, ‘Coming out’) and signpost young people onto the relevant agencies in their areas.

When the celebrations started in Cooper’s Field a strong cast of entertainment took the huge crowd by storm. Artists included Ruth Lorenzo, Marcus Collins and Heather Small and a terrific selection of top drag and tribute acts. For the first time Cardiff Mardi Gras hosted their own official after-party. Despite a last minute venue change due to Council restrictions in the Dance Arena on Coopers Field it moved to Solus, Students Union. The best World Party travelled from Spain to Wales as the SuperMartXé World Tour, presented The Freemasons with DJ Abel the Kid and performer Sandra Criado.

Photos: Jon Pountney