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Iconic LGBTQIA+ Festival Midsumma Returns This Month with Its Most Jam-Packed Program Yet

Delivering 195 dazzling events across 22 days, Midsumma's 34th edition is leaving no room for boredom this summer.
By Libby Curran
January 12, 2022
By Libby Curran
January 12, 2022

Summer holidays might be over for most, but there's still plenty more sunshine and good vibes in store for Melbourne's balmiest season. And a bunch of those are coming at you courtesy of iconic LGBTQIA+ arts and cultural celebration Midsumma Festival, which returns this month for its biggest edition yet.

Back for its 34th year, Midsumma is set to deliver a truly enormous program of 195 dazzling events as it descends on venues across the state from Sunday, January 23–Sunday, February 13. With live music, performances, exhibitions, theatre, visual arts, cabaret, film screenings, parties, forums and more in the mix — all championing queer arts and culture — this is set to be one crowd-pleasing affair.

It all kicks off in a blaze of colour on January 23, with 11-hour-long al fresco party Midsumma Carnival at Alexandra Gardens. Then, on February 6, the Midsumma Pride March will transform Fitzroy Street with a roving celebration featuring over 8000 marchers — and the full-day Melbourne Pride fiesta will wrap things up on February 13, marking the 40th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Victoria.

In between, you'll catch a diverse array of happenings and events, headlined by Midsumma Presents — a specially curated program championing the unheard voices of this era's queer intersectional communities. Expect everything from a whimsical cabaret about composting to a comedy exploring the complexities of coming out, as well as a Galentine's Day screening under the stars.

Coal Photography

Midsumma's major project for 2022, AND/OR, is dedicated to showcasing disability-led works, inviting audiences to experience a range of new perspectives through its own broad-ranging program. Here, a collection of LGBTIQA+ artists share their lived experience of mental health challenges in the Queer My Head exhibition, one-on-one performance Benched examines the portrayals of bodies with disability, and a panel discussion explores the complex realm of intersectional identities.

Also on the bill, you'll find Friday night drag showcases headlined by three legendary First Nations artists, a rollicking queer day party hosted by Poof Doof, a glittery glammed-up gala celebrating the iconic David Bowie, and an interactive fashion show dedicated to the art of upcycling.

Elsewhere, catch thought-provoking theatre shows, side-splitting stand-up and a whole swag of drag, plus exhibitions, markets, illuminating talks and parties galore.

Midsumma Festival 2022 will run from Sunday, January 23–Sunday, February 13, hosting a program of events at venues across the city. For the full lineup and to book tickets, visit the festival's website.

Images: Dean Arcuri and Midsumma.

Published on January 12, 2022 by Libby Curran
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