Melt Open, Brisbane’s major new festival celebrating queer art and culture is thrilled to unveil the program’s official ambassador and announce that registrations for a major 2024 event, River Pride Parade are now open. Hello sailor!
There simply could not be a more perfect inaugural ambassador for Melt Open than Brisbane-bred, international icon…. Courtney Act!
Boy, girl, trailblazer, artist, writer, social commentator and vocal advocate, Courtney Act (aka Shane Jenek) is so much more than the sum of her parts. One of the first artists to boldly express their gender fluidity, Courtney broke out of the box in 2003, and her star has been on a one-way trajectory ever since – both in Australia and around the globe.
Courtney boasts sold-out world tours for her stage shows, music releases garnering over 40 million online views, immense popularity in international reality TV, successful modelling, theatre and TV appearances. These are just a few of the many strings to Courtney’s captivating (rain)bow.
“I’m stoked to be coming home to Brissy to be a part of such a vibrant celebration of LGBTQIA+ culture and creativity,” said Ms Act. “Storytelling is our greatest invention, and it’s so important that we hear a variety of stories, whether they’re told through cabaret, music, art, sport, or partying!”
“I love that the festival open is access, so anyone can be a part of it. It’s going to be a great year. I can’t wait to be there and feel the buzz of the festival!” said Ms Act.
In an epic, kaleidoscopic floating celebration of LGBTQIA+ communities and allies, Melt Open invites everyone to join the inaugural River Pride Parade 2024.
This family-friendly spectacle is Brisbane’s own mardi-raft on the river, with a flotilla of vessels set to make the journey from William Jolly Bridge to Brisbane Powerhouse on Saturday 9 November 2024.
Led by Melt Open’s very own Queen of the River, Courtney Act, watercraft of all shapes and sizes are invited to register. After all, it’s how you use it that counts.
Whether you’re feeling ‘nauti’ and would like to register your own boat, would rather cruise with another or simply enjoy the spectacle from the riverbank, there’s a place for everyone at River Pride Parade. Registrations are open now. Get in early before the ship sails!
“A Pride Parade on the Brisbane River – what a brilliant twist on a cherished favourite! Just imagine the magic as we all come together to celebrate on the water, surrounded by the beauty of the city,” said Ms Act.
“As I lead the river parade, you can bet there’ll be plenty of SPF beneath my makeup! This is truly a unique and fabulous way to honour Pride and the stunning Brisbane River” said Ms Act.
“Prepare for a dazzling spectacle with the River Pride Parade fronted by the fabulous Courtney Act. Picture dykes on jetskis, drag-clad waterskiers, iconic queer boat parties and that’s just the beginning,” said Pieta Farrell, Executive Producer Melt Open.
“We welcome watercraft of all shapes and sizes to join the river parade and encourage everyone to get their spots along the river to view the carnival,” said Pieta
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said Brisbane’s world-class arts scene just keeps getting better. “Brisbane is a city with unstoppable momentum, and it is exciting new international events like the Melt Open have seen us recognised by The New York Times as one of the best places to visit in 2024,” said Cr Schrinner.
“We’re proud to support homegrown Brisbane events like this that celebrate our diverse community and culture, while championing the city’s world-class creative industry and boosting our local economy.
“Melt OPEN is an incredible addition to the city’s jam-packed major events calendar, and we look forward to sharing our vibrant culture, world-class culinary scene and sub-tropical climate with the world,” said Cr Schrinner.
And don’t forget that Spencer Tunick is currently inviting people to be part of his Story Bridge installation as part of Melt Open! There are no limitations on the number of participants as the project aims to showcase and shine the unique spirit of Brisbane.
Be a part of this homage to diverse bodies and an inclusive future by registering your interest at www.brisbanepowerhouse.org.
Melt Open 2024 runs from 23 October – 10 November. For more information, visit: www.brisbanepowerhouse.org for details.
Image: Courtney Act – photo by Jack Martin