Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) has announced that former Adelaide Fringe Director, Greg Clarke, has joined the organisation as Creative Director.

Clarke led the Fringe for five years, an event that thrived under his leadership to become the largest arts festival in Australia. When his contract ended in 2015, he decided to return to Sydney, where he previously held a number of high-profile arts and events management roles, including at the Sydney Opera House and Belvoir Street Theatre.

On his appointment Clarke said, “Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras holds a special place in my heart. It is a wonderful celebration of the diverse LGBTQI communities as well as an impetus for driving social change. I’m looking forward to joining the hard working and enthusiastic team behind this incredible Festival.”

More than a seasoned administrator, Clarke is an Australian visual artist and performing arts producer, becoming one of the most respected voices in the Australian arts and theatre scene.

Mardi Gras also has a new CEO in Terese Casu, who was appointed to the role a month ago.

Casu said, “Greg is a formidable force in the arts and major events industry. His experience in successfully growing and managing large scale festivals is unparalleled. We’ve had some early broad discussions on exciting new event ideas we would like to introduce to the Festival, as well as ways to improve experiences at some of our flagship events. We are both looking forward to sharing these with the community over the coming months.”

The event, which happens in mid-February each year, now regularly attracts around 70,000 people.

Clarke understands that Mardi Gras is the ultimate political act for Australian LGBTI communities, and 2017’s festival may well happen in the middle of the plebiscite debate and vote on marriage.

The 2017 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras runs 17 February – 4 March. For more information, visit: www.mardigras.org.au for details.

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