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Midsumma Festival Is Blazing Into 2023 with a Stacked Program of More Than 200 LGBTQIA+ Events

Victoria's major LGBTQIA+ arts and cultural celebration is back for its 34th year, delivering a jam-packed lineup of performances, theatre, exhibitions, parties and more.
By Libby Curran
January 05, 2023
By Libby Curran
January 05, 2023

Melbourne's forecast is looking extra radiant to start 2023 — and much of that is thanks to the good vibes set to be served up by iconic LGBTQIA+ arts and cultural celebration Midsumma Festival, which returns for its 34th edition this summer.

Hitting your calendars from Saturday, January 21–Sunday, February 12, the fest will once again be one-upping its previous efforts to deliver its biggest program yet, with this year's lineup featuring more than 200 events. Held across eight major festival hubs and many more smaller venues, you can expect a jam-packed offering of live music, performances, exhibitions, theatre, visual arts, cabaret, parties and more — all championing queer arts and culture.

It kicks off in all its explosive glory on Sunday, January 22 with the legendary Midsumma Carnival at Alexandra Gardens. Then, on Sunday, February 5, the Midsumma Pride March will descend on Fitzroy Street for its annual roving celebration starring marchers in their thousands. Plus, the full-day Victoria's Pride fiesta will wrap things up on Sunday, February 12, marking more than four decades since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Victoria.

Midsumma Carnival

In between, you'll catch a diverse array of events, including the debut of A Safe(R) Space — a program of works unpacking the concept of the 'safe space', and what that means for different artists and creatives. Expect illuminating performances, perception-bending exhibitions and a whole lotta self-love.

Meanwhile, Midsumma Presents is back with another specially curated lineup championing the unheard voices of this era's queer intersectional communities. It'll serve up panel chats, theatre works, art exhibitions, a Nocturnal dance party and a whole lot in between.

Elsewhere, comedian Joel Creasey and RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under legend Kween Kong will take over the Sidney Myer Music Bowl for the star-studded fiesta that is Midsumma Extravaganza. Head along to catch comedians including Nina Oyama, Rhys Nicholson and Scout Boxall, as well as a sparkling cast of musical talent such as Courtney Act, Tina Del Twist, Kira Puru and Dolly Diamond.

Then, there's the swag of happenings hosted at the Victorian Pride Centre, a new festival hub. Along with a free exhibition delving into a century of Victoria's LGBTQIA+ history and the creation of the centre itself, the site will dish up events like a giant gender-diverse clothes swap, drag-led creative workshops, a queer comedy showcase, and a pop-up piano bar complete with song requests and special guests.

Highlights across the other hubs include a First Nations drag festival and a star-studded drag bingo party at Pride of Our Footscray; a citywide collection of interactive installations for Midsumma x Ignite Melbourne; rope bondage workshops and cabarets about composting over at Abbotsford Convent; dance-friendly al fresco gigs in the Theatre Works garden; a stacked program of performances at Gasworks Arts Park and the Butterfly Club; and much, much more.

Nocturnal x Midsumma

Midsumma Festival 2023 runs from Saturday, January 21–Sunday, February 12 at hubs and venues across Melbourne. For the full program and to book tickets, see the website.

Published on January 05, 2023 by Libby Curran
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