Midsumma Festival 2017: Celebrating 30 Years of Queer Culture

Midsumma Transylvanian Gypsy Kings and Jacki Hammer at Testing Grounds - photo by Mark LoboEvery January for three decades, Midsumma Festival has transformed Melbourne into a spectacular explosion of colour and culture, celebrating the diversity, resilience and talent bursting from within its LGBTIQA+ communities.

“From small beginnings as GayDay in the 80s, Midsumma Festival has evolved into a highlight of the Melbourne arts and cultural scene,” said Midsumma Chair, John Caldwell. “In 2017 we aim to provide a stronger platform for all of Melbourne’s queer communities to have a voice, and to celebrate that expression together.”

Midsumma Festival cultivates queer perspectives and creates experiences that flip the status quo – all made possible through the annual open access Festival program. High-octane theatre, burlesque to brusque cabaret, music, dance, film, talks, sports, Hubs and social events – the program comprises more than 130 events created, installed or performed by over 1200 culture-makers, in more than 70 venues and outdoor spaces in 2017.

Midsumma will help you navigate your Festival with a great list of signature, premier and featured events happening right across Melbourne and surrounds, and a new-art party Midsumma Horizon, promises a finishing weekend, not to forget at Testing Grounds tucked away in Melbourne’s arts precinct near Southbank.

Or choose from the series’ of events to be staged at Midsumma Hub venues: the iconic Arts Centre Melbourne; brazen, bright-spark space Gasworks; and LGBTQIA+ favourite, The Hare Hole at Hares & Hyenas. The adventurous should just dive right in, to create a summer plan from the magnificent range of open access events.

The robust 2017 visual arts program will ensure there is plenty of pure entertainment on offer, with a myriad of exhibitions designed to push and provoke, including #Dragformation and the inaugural Queer Art Prize Australia (QAPA) at Chapel Off Chapel, while internationally regarded street artist, Vexta breathes life into the vibrant new artwork, Love is Love – The Seahorses for the 2017 Midsumma Festival Guide.

Printed festival guides are now available from a network of cafes, cultural hotspots and venues, as well as online. Tickets to paid performances have been specifically set to be as accessible and inclusive as possible, and are now on sale.

The 2017 Midsumma Festival runs 15 January to 5 February. For more information and complete program, visit: www.midsumma.org.au for details.

Image: Transylvanian Gypsy Kings and Jacki Hammer at Testing Grounds – photo by Mark Lobo