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Midsumma Festival

10 Dec 2019

Midsumma Festival Image

By Spencer Fowler Steen

Midsumma Festival, Australia’s premier 22-day queer arts experience celebrating LGBTQIA+ journeys and communities will kick off in January.

Running from January 19 to February 9, Midsumma will host a variety of performances, exhibitions, talks and social events, showcasing preeminent queer arts and cultural festivities with leading international and domestic artists.

Local venues that will host events include Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre, Testing Grounds, Beer Deluxe at Federation Square and the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA).

Midsumma Festival CEO Karen Bryant said festivals were important because at their core they shared stories which were the “keepers of our history.”

“Midsumma Festival is about celebrating diverse communities, in their own voice, and letting new voices move us, challenge us and most importantly entertain us,” she said.

Crowds of over 285,000 are expected to attend 194 events across 98 venues around Melbourne’s CBD and outer suburbs.

The program boasts 163 open-access events made for and by queer communities who live with shared experiences around diverse gender and sexuality, including the “Midsumma Presents” program highlighting the unsung and unheard voices within queer intersectional communities.

Midsumma will also unveil its 2020 major project, QUEER UNSETTLED, exploring themes of colonisation through live music, multi-disciplinary moving-image installations and other new exhibitions.

The Midsumma lineup includes LGBTQIA+ stars Bob Downe, Kirsty Webeck, Tom Ballard, Nath Valvo, Dolly Diamond and Drag Race Thailand’s Pangina Heals.

With seven festival venues across Melbourne including the Arts Centre, Theatre Works and Chapel Off Chapel, revelers will enjoy events every night of the 22-day festival.

The popular Midsumma Carnival, a one-day, 11-hour festival in the Alexandra Gardens, is set to start festivities on January 20.

Midsumma Pride March will party and parade in Fitzroy St, St Kilda on February 2 celebrating Pride March’s 25th anniversary, with after pride celebrations being held on the foreshore of Catani Gardens.

Midsumma Festival was also won the City of Melbourne’s prestigious Melbourne Award on November 16 in the arts and events category.

The festival beat fellow finalists Royal Melbourne Show, Pause Fest and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Sidney Myer Bowl Free Concerts for its ability to “strengthen cultural voices and broaden the language of allies by creating inclusive safe spaces and increasing visibility.”

For more information visit midsumma.org.au

 

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