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Sydney Mardi Gras adds web content

Not even the rain could dampen the spirits of those attending the 2012 Sydney Mardi Gras (March 3), as 300,000 visitors descended upon Oxford and Flinders Streets to watch the many floats and sequined dancers brave the elements.

But for those who didn't make it to the city for the iconic LGBTQI event, parade organisers struck a deal with telecommunications provider Optus to distribute exclusive online content.

Available to a global audience for the first time from March 5 via the Mardi Gras TV website, the video programming includes a one-hour package of parade, behind the scenes footage and festival highlights.

"The production of original video programming specifically for the web suggests that online video is challenging TV," managing director of entertainment company mixitup Greg Segal said (February 23).

"In America alone there are 100 million people who access online video on an average day, up 43 per cent from last year, so the potential audience for mardigrastv is enormous."

Now in its 34th year, the event attracts over 20,000 tourists from around the world and included international headliners Kylie Minogue, RuPaul and Chicane as part of this year's festivities.

Ms Minogue was an essential drawcard for the parade, which honoured her 25 years in the music industry with a float and dance performance at Taylor Square.

Sydney Mardi Gras expanded its online presence this year as part of its rebranding, boosting its social media strategy to also include a comprehensive Twitter account.

The official account reached almost 5,000 followers and was actively replying to and retweeting posts from float organisers and parade attendees, including Ms Minogue.

The pop star provided fans with a running commentary of her Mardi Gras experience, even tweeting photos from rehearsals and photo shoots once she arrived in Sydney.

Posted by Elise Ferrari