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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Midsumma Festival Returns This Month With a Big, Bold and Busy 2021 Program

The long-running LGBTQIA+ celebration will dish up over 145 events across 17 huge days.
By Libby Curran
April 16, 2021
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By Libby Curran
April 16, 2021
  shares

Summer might be over, but there's another bright spark of sunshine waiting just over the horizon. Namely, the grand and glorious 2021 edition of Midsumma Festival, which takes over venues, spaces and screens across Melbourne from Monday, April 19–Wednesday, May 5.

The long-running annual LGBTQIA+ celebration is gearing up for its biggest and boldest run yet, thanks to a program chock full of art, music, performance, conversation and parties promising to help reignite the city's soul. Featuring over 145 events — and 100-plus open-access events made for and by queer communities — it's set to serve up a little something for everyone. The theme: the art of the possible.

Highlights include the sold-out Midsumma Live At The Bowl, a free, huge two-night concert series at Sidney Myer Music Bowl, featuring a roll call of Aussie queer icons — plus A Strange Space, an openair exhibition embracing the idea of resilience over at the newly revamped Collingwood Yards. In Williamstown, The Pier Festival serves up a diverse celebration for queer women and their allies, featuring a program of food trucks, market stalls and live entertainment. And, multifaceted show After Dark will see a lineup of leading drag performers take audiences on a lively trip back through the ages of cabaret.

A stack of events will be firing up nightly at the many festival hubs, too, including Arts Centre Melbourne, Theatre Works, Gasworks Arts Park and Chapel Off Chapel. Loads of return favourites are also on the event bill, such as the unique variety show that is Dolly Diamond's Star for a Night, long-running female-led music showcase Goddess Grooves, and the Midsumma and Australia Post Art Award exhibition.

Those playing along at home will find a whole crop of virtual events and live-streamed goodness as well. Check out screenings of Maxie Dara's award-winning digital short play Alone Together from your couch — or opt for a hilarious online storytelling series dubbed Drag Storytime.

The fun continues post-festival on Sunday, May 23, as the Midsumma Pride March hosts its supercharged 26th anniversary edition, transforming St Kilda's Fitzroy Street into a rolling parade and party. COVID-19 has ensured a few changes to this year's run, but no one need miss out — audiences can live-stream the entire thing at home, or book a spot at one of the street's venues to catch the parade up close.

Midsumma Festival 2021 runs from Monday, April 19–Wednesday, May 5 at various locations across Melbourne, with the Midsumma Pride March taking place post-festival on Sunday, May 23. Jump over to the website to check out the full program and grab tickets.

Top image: Midsumma Pride March by Dean Arcuri .

Published on April 16, 2021 by Libby Curran

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