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Summer Camp

This inclusive fest is bringing Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Years & Years and Big Freedia to Sydney in November.
By Sarah Ward
November 18, 2021
By Sarah Ward
November 18, 2021

The southern hemisphere's biggest (and only) multi-city inclusive festival is almost here. Summer Camp is finally taking place in November after it was postponed last summer. Luckily it's going to be with the wait, with the stacked bill of performers including a jaw-dropping lineup of queer icons and experiences.

Get ready to murder the dancefloor, and no, you'd better not kill the groove. And if ain't love you're feeling about Sophie Ellis-Bextor headling the fest, then why does it feel so good? The UK pop star — aka the reason that you now have her hit 'Murder on the Dancefloor' and Spiller's 'Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)' stuck in your head — is set to headline the celebrations, and she has company. Also making their way to the festival's debut shows in Sydney and Melbourne in November: DJ Kiddy Smile, DJ Jodie Harsh and Coucou Chloe.

Ellis-Bextor and company join Years & Years, aka British singer and actor Olly Alexander (It's a Sin), as well as New Orleans' Big Freedia, Australia's own The Veronicas, plus Cub Sport, New Zealand's Ladyhawke and JessB, Kinder and more. DJ, gonna burn this goddamn house right down indeed.

After first kicking off at Sydney's Centennial Parklands on Saturday, November 5, it'll then head to the Velodrome in Melbourne on Saturday, November 12. If the latter venue sounds new, that's because the fest is moving to a bigger site since its first announcement.

In addition to live tunes from all of the above across two stages, the festival will feature dance, performance art and art installations, as well as food and beverage offerings. More than 200 artists will be involved all up, including over 150 DJs, drag queens, dancers and performance artists in each city.

Given the name, it's clear what kind of vibe that festival founders Kat Dopper (creator of Heaps Gay) and Grant Gillies and David Gillett (creators of Red Mgmt, and former Sydney Mardi Gras marketing and international talent managers) are going for. So, expect a cruisy summer camp-meets-arts and music playground-type atmosphere that's also all about inclusivity and supporting young diverse artists – and some big-name ones.

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