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Byron Shire
May 6, 2021

Tropical Fruits a sell-out success

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Chris Dobney

The Tropical Fruits New Year’s Eve party was filled to capacity, it has been confirmed, with 3500 people partying the night away at the Lismore Showgrounds and the gates having to close on some would-be partygoers for the first time.

The Beyond Atlantis theme received rave reviews from attendees, including a celebrated Ibiza icon (who wished to remain nameless) who referred to the magically decorated Showgrounds as ‘gay Disneyland’, according to event coordinator Shane Duniam.

As if that wasn’t enough, 2000 returned the following night to enjoy the more laidback recovery and hundreds splashed New Year’s Day away in the Lismore pool.

Shane said he was ‘not at liberty to disclose how money had been much made from the event’ for the Lismore-based gay and lesbian community organisation.

But he did reveal, ‘it’s enough to pay our mortgage for next year on the clubhouse and means we’ll be able to do some necessary renovations, including an access ramp and deck around the side. It’s great for the club and guarantees the employment of part-time contractors, administration staff and a bookkeeper.’

A highlight of the event is the massive art installations, and Echonetdaily wondered how they came into being.

‘We have a weekly get-together called “crafternoon”. We start the design process from the end of February. After we have our AGM we have our vision meeting. The community informs us what they want, we have DJ wish lists, then we design names, themes and colour schemes – a look.

‘Then it’s the committee’s job to make that happen.

‘Committee member Naomi Seller is our art director and she takes on the role, and with artist in residence Martin Pedder, pulls it all together.

For those who attended the party, Shane gave away some secrets about just how much recycling is part of the creative process.

‘The spiky flowers are macadamia harvesters, backdrops were made by a well-known local artist and the fabric for the backdrops consisted of rejects from a local laundry service sewn together. We also have a really good working relationship with the Lismore tip shop,’ he said.


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