Cairns ‘Sleaze Ball’ Costume Party Celebrating 30th Anniversary This Month


Cairns Sleazeball

Cairns will this month celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first explicitly “gay” event held in the north Queensland city.

Revellers at the Cairns Sleaze Ball on August 25 are encouraged to dress up as they enjoy drag shows, costume prizes, a wax table and utilising the latest technology, “be their own DJ” at the event.

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Organiser Jack Foulstone said they had discovered local cabaret performer Destiny “packed away in the back storage room of a local museum,” and she’ll return to the Sleaze Ball stage in a tribute to the event’s controversies of years past.

“In 1988 the recently opened Cairns office of the Queensland AIDS Council organised Sleaze Ball ’88,” Foulstone said.

“The event caused a stir in a town where LGBTIQ events were held under the auspices of the Cairns Hospitality Industry Social Club, fronted by straight allies to avoid police raids on functions.

“The event caused controversy even in the local LGBTIQ scene with some judging Destiny’s performance of ‘Sweet Transvestite’ as too sleazy for a Cairns Sleaze Ball, claiming that sort of thing ‘belonged down south.'”

The 2018 Cairns Sleaze Ball will be held from 7pm at the Serpent Bar of Nomad’s Hostel.

The party will be a fundraiser for this year’s Cairns Tropical Pride festival in October.

Tickets to the Cairns Sleaze Ball event can be purchased online for $10, or at the door for $18. For more details visit the Facebook event here.

From the 1980s until the 2000’s the iconic Sleaze Ball dance parties were held around the country, modelled after the New York City parties of the same name celebrating everything from high camp drag to sexually-charged S&M leather.

Last month, a fetish-themed Sleaze Ball revival was held in Fortitude Valley in Brisbane after an 11 year hiatus.

Sydney’s first Sleaze Ball was held in September 1982 as the annual Mardi Gras evolved from a protest to a party.

Brisbane’s Sleaze Balls first began in 1989 when Patches nightclub manager Wayne Cable staged the first event in The Roxy, next door to his nightclub.