Midsumma is Melbourne's annual queer celebration with numerous arts and cultural events ranging from visual arts to music, sports to films, performing arts to parties, which are held in various venues throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria.
From Sunday 12 January to Sunday 2 February, a diverse mixture of artists and performers will unite at Midsumma Festival to celebrate gay and lesbian arts and culture with an exciting program attracting over 160,000 visitors each year.
To see the full program, please visit the Midsumma Festival website where you will also find information on dates, times, venues and booking. To receive the latest news, like their Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter and Instagram.
There are over 100 events lined up for 2014 encompassing a wide range of activities, many of which are free. The following pages merely highlight some of the free events to give you an idea of what's going on. Some may require registration so make sure you check the website for further information.
Party with the People
Party goers will absolutely love the pop-up glittery Kylie-themed bar - Bar Kylie from Wednesday 15 to Saturday 18 January. Expect bling (and lots of it), Minogue hits on a loop, fun competitions, superb DJs and drag superstars on top of screaming queens, queers, butch bears, and what have you. It doesn't matter if you dress up in your best feathers or leathers, sequin tops or super tight singlets, gold hot pants or silver miniskirts, just bring your sense of fun and frivolity to the Kylie shrine. And if you want to party without breaking the bank, then take advantage of free entry from Wednesday to Friday.
If you're between the ages of 12 and 17 and like to party, then Rainbow Party on Friday 17 January is just for you. There's no booze, but wear your brightest hues, put on your dancing shoes and groove to your favourite tunes. Incredible DJs, the canteen, door prizes and heaps of other entertainment will keep you partying like there's no tomorrow.
Last but not least, is T Dance on Sunday 12 January. This ultimate queer outdoor dance party will be the biggest and the best with an amazing line-up including Emilioh, Miss Beats, Antonio Di Dio, to name a few. Come celebrate diversity, pride and coming together at this extreme dance party.
You'll have cool sea breeze in your hair, warm sun on your skin, and spectacular views of waves splashing and rippling at Free Sailing Day on Sunday 19 January. Hop on a boat and let the sailors take you for a ride, or enjoy the festivities with your crew on land with live music blaring and drinks in hand.
Register for Nomads Community Walk on Sunday 25 January for a scenic walk along the beautiful Port Phillip Bay foreshore, through St Kilda Beach, St Kilda Marina, Point Ormond, Elwood Beach, Middle Brighton Beach and ending in Sandringham. This is a 14km walk so bring some water, pack your lunch and don't forget your bathers if you want to cool down with a dip in the Bay.
Whether you're the casual bike rider or a cycling fanatic, Normads Cycling by the Bay will suit you. This is a picturesque ride on cycle paths beginning from Federation Square with a caffeine and a lunch stop. Participants have a choice of a 16km ride or continue on for a further 19km after lunch.
Saturday 1 February is Team Melbourne Midsumma Sports Day. Come and enjoy over 15 sports including tennis, volleyball, and swimming. Bring your sporty spirit, aim to have a fantastic time, recharge with a BBQ lunch and conclude with boisterous activities
There is an abundance of visual arts during Midsumma Festival in various galleries and spaces in Melbourne, most of which are free to enter.
On Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 January, come and be part of AIDS Memorial Quilt Making Weekend where you design and make a panel, or get fit while having fun at Just Dance while a bit of fun and fitness on Saturday 18 January.