Peace, love and flow­ers

It’s time for the Mother City Queer Project and some out­ra­geous, colour­ful fun, writes MELANIE PETERS

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

MUL­TI­COLOURED, tinted John Len­non sun­glasses, wigs, ban­dan­nas, flow­er­pat­ter ned T-shirts and bell­bot­toms are spread across the lounge ta­ble. “The MCQP is a must-do on our party list. There’s just so much ex­cite­ment in the build-up to the event. This year I’m sure more peo­ple will be there be­cause the (Cape Town) sta­dium is a draw­card it­self,” says Keith Coven­try.

He and his friend, Daniel Broek­man, are putting the fin­ish­ing touches to their cos­tumes in Bantry Bay for the Mother City Queer Project to be held at the Cape Town Sta­dium next Satur­day. This year’s theme is Flower Power.

“There are 12 of us in a group. My friend Kyle is very cre­ative so we let him come up with a cos­tume idea for the group ev­ery year. This year we de­cided to be more prac­ti­cal, be­cause cos­tumes can get very out­ra­geous. You got to think about where you’re go­ing to carry your money and more im­por­tantly, your drink.” He said they would dress like hip­pies. “My mother is do­ing all the al­ter­ations, turn­ing our den­ims into bell bot­toms; we have glued flow­ers in a pat­tern of a peace sign onto white T-shirts. I just got our wigs, Len­non sun­glasses with dif­fer­ent colour lenses and flo­ral ban­dan­nas.

“It’s go­ing to be a hoot. We have ar­ranged for a minibus to drop us off and pick us up. This is my sev­enth or eighth one. There’s a great vibe and it’s a good party. There’s a mix of straight and gay and old and young. When peo­ple dress up they lose their in­hi­bi­tions. It’s the kind of event that if you go­ing on hol­i­day around about this time of the year, you plan your trip around it. You have to be in town.”

Broek­man de­cides to model his cos­tume for the event. “I love the wigs and I want the blue shades. The two of us get the most out of hand in our group and they lose us early on in the evening.”

Putting on the wig for the mock dress re­hearsal, Broek­man jumps up and down, clap­ping his hands. “I’m so ex­cited. Can’t we go to the sta­dium now? We look for­ward to this party all year. On Fri­day night we will prob­a­bly meet for a team-build­ing ex­er­cise to get us all amped.”

Point­ing at Coven­try, he says: “You can be Kitty and I will be Missy.” He snaps his fin­gers. “Can we have some Kylie Minogue in the back­ground, please.”

Their friend Gary Welsh says: “This is go­ing to be such a jol.”

These three are among thou­sands who are plan­ning for one of the biggest par­ties to be held in the Mother City each year.

There is a flurry of com­ments on web­sites such as Face­book and Twit­ter about “trippy hip­pies”, “psy­che­delic rain­bows”, “flower power free­dom­fight­ers” and “rain­bow war­riors”. There are posts about cos­tume ideas, who is go­ing, where to buy tick­ets and plans around the event.

One fancy-dress shop owner says MCQP is a very busy time of the year.

Cara Khan, who owns Mardi Gras in Bree Street, said the shop, which has been around since the ’90s, was very busy at this time of the year. “MCQP is go­ing to be big­ger and bet­ter than ever this year. I am so ex­cited that it is at the sta­dium; it is the per­fect venue and I am sure that as al­ways the MCQP team are go­ing to go all out. So with this in mind we must all fol­low the most im­por­tant rule of dress-up: go big!

“Since the theme launch I have been shop­ping around all over to find ev­ery­thing and any­thing re­lated to flower power. It’s a theme you can do so much with. Tie-dye , peace signs , psy­che­delic colours, big Afro wigs, funky glasses, braided hair, those cool old dresses from Granny’s wardrobe and, of course, flow­ers, flow­ers and much more flow­ers.” She said there was only one week to go, so to avoid dis­ap­point­ment par­ty­go­ers should not leave their cos­tumes to the last minute. “I am happy to help any­body if they need any­thing to add to their out­fit or ideas.”

MCQP events di­rec­tor Tommy Pat­ter­son said ticket sales were three times big­ger than last year.

The venue was the biggest yet. “We are get­ting sets from the Artscape be­cause it was such a vast area. It’s like dec­o­rat­ing seven venues at one time. We have bought ev­ery last ar­ti­fi­cial flower from all the gift shops. There is a lot of flow­ers.

“We will start dec­o­rat­ing the venue on Wed­nes­day. There will be a trance dance floor, var­i­ous food stalls and snacks like can­dyfloss and pop­corn.”


TIME OF THE SEA­SON: Cara Khan and Franklin Julies show off some of the cos­tumes that will cause a splash at this year’s Mother City Queer Project’s party at the Cape Town Sta­dium.


A BLAST: Keith Coven­try and Daniel Broek­man will go as hip­pies to this year’s MCQP Flower Power party.


DIS­GUISE: Masks might be a good idea for this years’ bash at the Cape Town Sta­dium.


MIR­ROR, MIR­ROR: Franklin Julies tries var­i­ous looks. Wigs are al­ways pop­u­lar at MCQP par­ties.

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