Gary Frisch and Henry Badenhorst, the South African born owners of Gaydar, the online gay dating website, have come to the financial rescue of the New Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in a three-year AUD $1.5 million partnership.

This new partnership deal provides London based QSoft Consulting (operators of the international Gaydar brand affiliates), and owners of and, the two biggest gay and lesbian dating sites in Australia, presentation rights to the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras season.

The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras season, a four week festival celebrating gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender culture, will be held from Friday, 3 February till Saturday, 4 March 2006. The four main events in this period attract and involve more than 750,000 people.

Marcus Bourget, Chair of New Mardi Gras, said: “We are very excited to be able to announce our partnership with This partnership will allow New Mardi Gras to continue to invest in, and grow, our world famous celebrations and events, while helping to secure the financial future of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.”

A recent report commissioned by New Mardi Gras and undertaken by Professor Ian Marsh and Doctor Sean Wilson put the contribution of the 2005 Mardi Gras visitors to the Australian economy at $46 million, a figure which does not include Sydneysiders who also attend the annual celebrations.

The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras features a number of world class events including: Festival, Fair Day, Parade and Party. The most famous event, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade features more than 120 entrants and traditionally attracts approximately 450,000 spectators. Equally as famous is the parade after-party, with 17,000 people partying well into the early hours.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2006 presented in partnership with, takes place from Friday 3, February and will culminate with the Parade and Party on Saturday, 4 March 2006.

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