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Midsumma Festival

words by niall roeder

Midsumma Festival, Victoria’s arty merriment of all things queer returns this January to celebrate. The extravagant arts and cultural fiesta that is for and is run by LGBTQIA+ communities will, for three weeks go wild through Melbourne and its surrounding suburbs.

Held annually since 1988, Midsumma Festival has been “championing diversity, cultivating queer perspectives and creating experiences that flip the status quo”, and has grown to become a significant addition to Australia’s arts and cultural festival circuit.

The “Melbourne-Mardi Gras” is a collection of visual arts, performance, sports and film events; talks and massive parties. The 2017 program boasts over 130 experimental events, with works from more than 1200 artists in 70 different locations.

The festival is based around three banging (and free) signature events; Midsumma Carnival opens the Festival with an all-day-and-night bender at Melbourne’s Alexandra Gardens, the Midsumma Pride March stomps confidently through St Kilda in the second week, and Midsumma Horizon is the experimental art closing party to close all parties at Testing Grounds.

Don’t Miss

Dragformation – A commanding photographic exhibition documenting the transformation of Australia’s premier drag performers.

10 Minute Dance Party Caravan – It’s actually pretty self-explanatory. Hosted by special guest DJs, ten people rave in a caravan for ten minutes at a time. It’s very short and very effing sweet.

 If those events aren’t your bag, there are plenty more to choose from. Cuddle Puddle is a hug and shoulder rub-a-thon in a Rajasthani wedding tent and HardQueer Death Pony is perverted performance art at its grimy best. There’s the Mad Hatters Tea Party, a screening of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, a carnival after-party sponsored by THEBEARDEDHOMO called JIZZ, and something by the name of Freaky Sexy Weird, premised with the tagline, “Have you ever had a dirty or unusual thought?”

Well, have you?

Midsumma Festival runs from Jan 15 – Feb 5 in various locations across Melbourne.

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