Ganja Faerie Chanitco Love in the main march at Nimbin MardiGrass.
Ganja Faerie Chanitco Love in the main march at Nimbin MardiGrass. Marc Stapelberg

Nimbin to 'light up' for MardiGrass

IT LOOKS like Nimbin MardiGrass will be adding some dynamic lighting to this year's festivities.

Nimbin's HEMP Embassy and MardiGrass founder Bob Hopkins said the idea was born out of the need to remain dynamic and modern.


Bob Hopkins is honorary guest speaker at this year's Mardi Grass.
Bob Hopkins said MardiGrass needed to bring in new ideas to remain dynamic and modern. Marc Stapelberg

"Small town festivals struggle greatly for ways to be pertinent and to be ahead of the game, if such things are still possible," he said.

"Of all recent directions in community festivals the most awesome has been the Vivid Light festivals of Sydney and Melbourne.

"Nothing like that has ever happened - lighting up a rustic setting of a country town."

"The Nimbin MardiGrass has stumbled almost inadvertently into this ground breaking realm for village celebrations of our size and sense of place."

Resident festival consultant local sculptor, musician and show person Donato Rosella suggested they work towards lighting up the village and its streets and buildings.

Mr Hopkins said the initial quote gathering was something of a shock as they hadn't considered lighting to be such a costly business.

"The quotes we received far out stripped our capabilities to hire an all encompassing cast and crew," he said.

"So we decided to try and raise money through a crowd funding call which had the effect of a mini avalanche of suggestions, contacts and best of all enthusiastic young lighting buffs only too willing to pool efforts and gear."

They made contact with a lighting cult figure, Ellis D Fogg, a legend from the Australian music scene of the 1960s, and retired resident of Goonellabah.

Ellis was acting as the challenge co-ordinator working with young interested lighters both as an inspirational role model and suggester of creative and improvised techniques.

"Together with members from the local outdoor dance party and travelling festival promoters, lighting techs have arrived keen to participate.

"Many of these are local young people who have strong memories and recollections of MardiGrass from earlier years and just yearn for the opportunity to participate: and so it goes."

"The ultimate outcome is to be a surprise," Embassy President Michael Balderstone said.

"Even for the organisers, as this area has developed a life and project of its own, a magical fairy world of light effects to charm and delight.

"Street theatre performers and musicians are encouraged to come this year and celebrate the beginning of the end of the war on pot.

"We aim to keep the streets lively and enjoyable for the day visitors.

" Admission prices to the festive activities are cheap and more a way to collect donations and support to keep the juggernaut afloat."

The pre-MardiGrass night will be preceded by the Nimbin HEMP EMBASSY's annual May Day March through Lismore to the office of retiring local National's member Thomas George.

Marchers will assemble at the Lismore Court House to leave at 1.00 pm, Tuesday May 1.

There's a huge program for the three day protest and gathering, May 4, 5 and 6, onine at