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Surprising skill jumps 34% in demand

Lucy Dean
·3-min read
A participant smiles as he prepares for the annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney, Saturday, March 2, 2019. The 41st parade features almost 200 floats. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
How will you celebrate 2021 Mardi Gras? (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

If you’re a makeup artist with some free time this weekend, you could make some serious cash, according to new analysis from Airtasker.

With Sydney’s Mardi Gras celebrations only hours away, requests for makeup artists have jumped 34 per cent, hospitality related tasks including catering and bar staff have soared 66 per cent, and the gig platform has also registered 411 requests for dancers and performers.

For drag queen Dolly Partman, this trend is exceptionally good news.

Image: Supplied
Dolly Partman. Image: Supplied

“Mardi Gras is such an important time of year for LGBTQI artists and performers and given how terrible 2020 was for everyone there has never been a more important time to keep the Mardi Gras spirit alive,” she told Yahoo Finance.

“There has definitely been a huge drop in earning opportunities this Mardi Gras. Typically, once Mardi Gras season kicks off there are multiple events every weekend and for most LGBTQI artists, they make the most money during Mardi Gras.”

The Sydney Mardi Gras parade has evolved from a historic civil rights protest involving 3,000 in 1978 to become a highlight of the city’s festive calendar. It’s now a national event with around 200 floats, 12,000 participants and 300,000 spectators. It’s also considered to generate around $38 million for the national economy.

While there has traditionally been a large, sequinned and bedazzled parade through the streets of Sydney to celebrate LGBTQI pride, the COVID-19 pandemic means this year’s parade will occur only within the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Partman said performers, creatives and the hospitality industries have also been dented by the fact that there are no international tourists, who also usually help Sydney come to life.

“Our venues have really had it tough this past year so If you can go to a bar and watch a show-it would make such a huge difference in keeping these safe spaces thriving,” Partman said.

Image: Supplied
Dolly Partman performs at Mardi Gras. Image: Supplied

“There are thousands of talented local LGBTQI artists around so if you are having a Mardi Gras celebration book a performer or makeup artist on a platform like Airtasker to really make it sparkle!”

But even faced with a different Mardi Gras, Partman said she is “definitely feeling optimistic”.

“If the LGBTI community is one thing- it’s resilient... If COVID has taught the community anything, I think it’s the importance of safe spaces and venues where the community can come together.”

Partman said this is the first time in 10 years that she won’t be marching in the parade.

“This year I'll be showing my support for smaller venues and watching the parade from there (while of course looking fabulous).”

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Image: Yahoo Finance
Image: Yahoo Finance