Cardiff Mardi Gras 2001

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This years Pride and Mardi Gras festivals have all been hectic yet great fun, from the first one in Birmingham (back in May) to this one in Cardiff, the last one of the season held on Saturday 1st September. The Welsh capital is still relatively new to hosting its own gay celebration; this year was only its third year, yet busier and better than ever with 20,000 people.

Once again it was set in the beautiful grounds of Cardiff Castle which added to the fantastic friendly atmosphere that Welsh boys and girls create with ease. The sun was out shining from the early hours, so by the time the park opened at 2pm it wasn't long before it got busy and the boys got their tops off and you can't beat a topless Valley boy!

Eurovision claim to fame - Nicki French was the first of many acts to hit the main stage, which kicked off at 3pm, to entertain the lively crowd. Other names included Welsh Diva - Iris Williams, Fragma's Coco, Liberty X and N-Trance's Kelly Llorenna, to name a few. There were also personal appearances from the new Mr Gay UK Carl Austin and the mum of Britain's gay community Angela Mason (Stonewall). Us gogo boys did the dancing onstage with various acts throughout the day, wearing very little as usual, which always seems to get peoples attention and a few screams from the straight girls. When the main stage came to a close at 9pm all the acts come back on for a final sing-song, everyone joined in, a great end to the day.

Other entertainment came from a banging dance tent, sponsored by Club X - Cardiff's gay nightclub. Inside was a spectacular lazer and light show to go with the hard house music spun by the local DJ's. The cabaret tent (sponsored by the local based insurance company Admiral) was also very popular, providing five hours of entertainment from singers, comedians and drag queens.

All the gay bars around the city had extended licences, which meant late night drinking and partying till the early hours. Club X was rammed to the rafters and the place where most people ended up at the end of the night. Sweaty, sticky, sexy boys weren't in short demand!

Specials thanks to all the Cardiff Mardi Gras crew for laying-on yet another fantastic event, well done.

Richard Abbott, Sarah Cole, John Dash, Karen Ingram, Liz Morgan and Haydn Price.

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