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Melt OPEN Is the New Fringe-Style Queer Arts and Culture Festival That's Taking Over Brisbane From 2024

Building upon Brisbane Powerhouse's LGBTQIA+ fest Melt, this newcomer will host events from Fortitude Valley to Woolloongabba.
By Sarah Ward
August 07, 2023
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By Sarah Ward
August 07, 2023
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New festival alert: adding to Brisbane's always-busy cultural calendar, the River City will soon be home to Melt OPEN. From spring 2024, this fringe-style event will celebrate LGBTQIA+ art and performance everywhere from Fortitude Valley to Woolloongabba, showcasing queer work, talents, legends and allies.

Brisbanites should already know that Brisbane Powerhouse has hosted Melt Festival for seven years and counting, with that event considered a predecessor to this newcomer. As its name makes plain, Melt OPEN is broadening its scope by building upon Melt's success — spreading beyond the Powerhouse, featuring more artists and venues, and operating as an open access-style shindig.

Basically, Melt fans, rejoice: the OG festival is still occurring, but Melt OPEN will also expand upon it from 2024. That means more excuses to revel in LGBTQIA+-led lineups as Brisbane ramps up to hosting the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

While exactly what'll be on the bill is yet to be revealed, "prepare to be enthralled by captivating events that engage the city and boundary-pushing art that challenges norms," advises Brisbane Powerhouse CEO and Artistic Director Kate Gould.

"Expect mass community participation events that celebrate the rich diversity of Queensland's LGBTQIA+ communities and their allies."

When Melt OPEN takes over Newstead, New Farm, the Brisbane CBD and West End, too, Powerhouse, the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council all expect it to be a tourist drawcard, attracting more than 4000 people to Brissie each year.

"Anticipated to generate more than $8 million for the visitor economy, Melt OPEN is terrific news for the city's accommodation, hospitality, transport and tourism operators and Queensland jobs," said Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe.

Dylan Evans

"We're proud to support homegrown Brisbane events like this that celebrate our diverse community and culture, while supporting the city's world-class creative industry," noted Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner.

"Melt OPEN is an incredible addition to the city's jam-packed major events calendar, that will not only attract thousands of visitors to Brisbane but showcase and support our thriving cultural precincts."

Melt OPEN will debut across October–November 2024 at various venues around Brisbane, with specific dates, locations and other further details yet to be announced. Head to the Brisbane Powerhouse website for additional information in the interim — and to submit expressions of interest to be a part of the fest.

Top image: Laura Lewis.

Published on August 07, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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