Home Midsumma Festival shines in 2023 with a stacked program of over 200 LGBTQIA+ events

Midsumma Festival shines in 2023 with a stacked program of over 200 LGBTQIA+ events

by Rebecca Jones
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Melbourne’s outlook is looking brighter to start 2023 – thanks in large part to the good vibes to be delivered by the LGBTQIA+ celebration of arts and culture, Midsumma Festival, which returns for its 34th edition this summer.

Running your calendars from Saturday January 21st to Sunday February 12th, the festival will once again ramp up its previous efforts to deliver its largest program yet, with this year’s slate of over 200 events. Held across eight main festival hubs and many smaller venues, you can expect shows packed with live music, performances, exhibitions, theatre, visual arts, cabarets, parties and more – all championing queer arts and culture.

It kicks off in all its explosive glory on Sunday, January 22nd with the legendary Medsumuma Carnival at Alexandra Gardens. Then, on Sunday, February 5, the Midsumma Pride March will descend on Fitzroy Street for the annual itinerant celebration of the heroism of marchers in the thousands. In addition, the full-day Victorian Pride Festival will wrap things up on Sunday, February 12, marking more than four decades since homosexuality was decriminalized in Victoria.

Midsumma Carnival

In between, you’ll catch a variety of events, including the debut of A Safe(R) Space – a business program that explains the concept of ‘safe space’, and what that means to different artists and creators. Expect illuminated displays, bending exhibitions, and total self-love.

Meanwhile, Midsumma Presents returns with another specially curated lineup championing the unheard voices of the cross-cultural communities of this era. You’ll be presenting chat sessions, stage acts, art exhibitions, a nightly dance party, and much more in between.

Elsewhere, comedian Joel Creasey and RuPaul’s Drag Race Down legend Kween Kong will helm the Sidney Myer Music Bowl at the star-studded Midsumma Extravaganza. Head to see comedians including Nina Oyama, Rhys Nicholson, and Scout Boxall, as well as an impressive cast of musical talents like Courtney Act, Tina Del Twist, Kira Puru, and Dolly Diamond.

Then, there are the range of events hosted at the Victorian Pride Centre, a new festival centre. Along with a free exhibition that delves into a century of Victorian LGBTQIA+ history and the creation of the Center itself, the site will offer events such as a giant gender diverse dress-up exchange, drag-led creative workshops, a quirky comedy show, and a pop-up piano bar complete with song requests and special guests. .

Highlights at other hubs include the First Nations Drag Festival and the star-studded drag bingo party at Pride of Our Footscray; a collection of interactive citywide installations for Midsumma x Ignite Melbourne; rope-gathering workshops and composting amusements at Abbotsford Abbey; outdoor dance parties suitable for dancing in the garden of the Theater Works; a stacked program of performances at Jaworks Art Garden and Butterfly Club; And many, many more.

Lilly x medsoma

Midsumma Festival 2023 runs from Saturday 21st January to Sunday 12th February at hubs and venues across Melbourne. For the full program and ticket reservations, see the website.

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