'The OmBUDsman' watches the parade at the 25th annual MArdiGrass in Nimbin.
'The OmBUDsman' watches the parade at the 25th annual MArdiGrass in Nimbin. Marc Stapelberg

There's a 'buzz' in Nimbin as MardiGrass turns 25

NIMBIN had a "buzz" as an estimated 10,000 people poured into the town for the annual MardiGrass which sees tourists and locals alike protest for drug law reform.

Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone said the Saturday had seen a huge crowd but there were minimal disturbances and very few problems.

Mr Balderstone said the police had been "pretty cool" with no heavy-handedness and positive interactions during the weekend.

He said it seemed that common sense had prevailed and there was a general optimism about the event and protesting.

"The war on weed is failing and we can see it and feel it," he said.

French tourist Lacoste Djoe' said he found out about MardiGrass from friends in Melbourne and had been staying at a house with friends in the mountains.

Mr Djoe' said he was surprised by the number of police monitoring the road but had been prepared for it after reading about it on the internet.

He said he was enjoying himself meeting good people in a chilled atmosphere.

Ganja Faeries head faerie Chantico Love said this year had been awesome as all the faeries were easygoing and had turned up to all the rehearsals.

Ms Love said this year's MardiGrass had seen more people, been more organised and also appeared more mainstream while still retaining its chilled atmosphere.

She said a lot of different interest groups including 'medical', 'industrial' and 'recreational' were present at this year's festival.

Ms Love has been coming to MardiGrass since its inception 25 years ago and has taken part in the Ganja Faeries as long as she can remember.

"For me it's special every year as someone will join who is not a performer," she said.

"And they then get to feel the essence of being a woman.

"And not all faeries smoke pot.

"We are here to bring a bit of frivolity, colour and fun."

Kelly Gang performer Hone Croft said the audio set-up on the Mingle Stage was very professional.

There was a good crowd and "everyone was vibing", the performer said.



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