16 Tips for safer partying this Mardi Gras
New Year’s celebrations have concluded and we start getting ready for the hottest LGBTI party season, Mardi Gras. Here are some tips to keep yourself and your mates safe this Mardi Gras season.
- Stay hydrated – make sure you keep hydrated and drink plenty of water.
- Eat – give your body plenty of sustenance to kick on all night.
- Take regular breaks – take some time out to chill out and prepare for your next round on the dance floor.
- Communicate with your friends – if you choose to use drugs, advise your friends what you will be taking so should something go wrong they can let medical staff know.
- Use sterile equipment- if you inject drugs ensure you use your own sterile equipment. You can pick up supplies Monday-Friday from 9am-6pm at ACON’s NSP
- Safe sex – no doubt there will be lots of hotties out and about this Mardi Gras, make sure you’re prepared and carry condoms.
- Plan your travel – make sure you have a plan for how you’re getting home.
- Plan your comedown – if you choose to use alcohol or other drugs this Mardi Gras, make sure you plan your comedown and give yourself time to recover. Remember that if you’re using more than usual your recovery may take longer.
- Expect to see police – possessing or supplying drugs is illegal. Police and drug dogs may be present at any event during the Mardi Gras season at pubs, entertainment venues and public transport. Police may also have sniffer dogs with them. If a sniffer dog smells drugs on you, they will indicate to police by sitting down and this may result in police searching you.
- Keep calm – if you are searched by police keep calm during the search. If you are arrested, you don’t have to say anything and you can ask for a lawyer.
- Legal advice – if you find yourself in trouble with the law, it is a good idea to get some legal advice about your options. Legal advice is available from Inner City Legal Centre (ICLC), Legal Aid NSW and LawAccess.
- Know your rights – you have a right to make a complaint about the way a police officer has conducted themselves. You can make a complaint to the police after they have searched you. You can do this by contacting the NSW Ombudsman.
- Report it – everybody has a right to celebrate who they are and feel safe. If you experience violence this Mardi Gras season, you can report it to ACON or the Police.
- Take care of yourself and your mates – remember if you need assistance let venue staff know or find a Rover. ACON Rovers are teams of volunteers trained to give harm reduction information to partygoers and get medical assistance if required. The ACON Rovers will be out and about this Mardi Gras at: Trough, Mardi Gras, Laneway, Candyland, Apollo and Kiki pool party Mardi Gras finale.
- Fairplay- There is likely to be a large police presence at events throughout the Mardi Gras season. FAIR PLAY* is an LGBTI community initiative to help party-goers understand their legal rights and how to keep safe during the Mardi Gras Festival. Fairplay volunteers will be out and about so feel free to go and have a chat with them.
- Get Support – if you have experienced violence and need support, get help. Friends and family may be able to help; ACON can also provide confidential short term counselling. Contact ACON to make an appointment.
Party safely; look after yourself and your mates.
- ACON: 02 9206 2000
- The Inner City Legal Centre: 02 9332 1966
- Legal Aid NSW: 02 9219 5000
- LawAccess NSW 1300 888 529
- Police Assistance Line: 131 444
- Emergency: 000