The City of Sydney today announced the cancellation of Fair Day, after further investigation revealed traces of asbestos at multiple sites around the park. But the Inner West Council – which has hosted Fair Day in the past, at Camperdown Memorial Rest Park – has stepped up with an offer to save the event.

“The cancellation of Fair Day is a big blow to the LGBTIQ+ community,” Mayor Darcy Byrne said in a statement. “We can make an inner-west park available at short notice to ensure the event can proceed this Sunday.”

Fair Day is a highly anticipated fixture of the Mardi Gras calendar, with over 70,000 people attending each year. The 2024 line-up was set to include the much-loved Doggywood pageant, performances from the cast of Max Martin musical & Juliet, as well as DJ sets, a “karaoke cave” and the inaugural Fair Day Trans Camp, which was to unite transgender and gender diverse community groups, health services, business and creatives.

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In January, asbestos-contaminated mulch was found at Rozelle Parklands. Since then, contaminated mulch has been found at more than 22 parks across the city – including Victoria Park, which was set to play host to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Fair Day this Sunday.

Premier Chris Minns says the presence of asbestos at public facilities is “completely unacceptable”, promising increased fines for companies that do the “wrong thing”, according to the Guardian.

Head here for the latest updates on Fair Day and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.