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Feast Festival 2013

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
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It's time to party
Feast Festival

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The Colourful Pride Parade (Courtesy Ian Buckland)

Adelaide's Feast Festival is a major community event in Australia's gay and lesbian calendar. It may be a little smaller than Sydney's Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras or Melbourne's Midsumma, but it makes up with spectacular variety and enormous enthusiasm.

Since its inception in 1997 the Feast Festival has grown quickly, and it is now very popular and well known outside the lesbian, gay and transgender (LGBT) community.

Its best known events include the Pride March at the start of the Festival, and the Picnic in the Park held on the final day. Between these two events are a mass of activities which will have wide appeal to people of all ages.

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Feast Festival's Opening Night Party (Courtesy Temyahro)

Of course no Feast would be complete without a plethora of parties, and these will be complemented by the Feast film festival, literary events, cabaret, theatre, and forums. Like previous years many of these events are free, and if you join the Feast Club you can obtain discounts for the others.

This year Adelaide's iconic Mars Bar will be hosting the huge Genderfukd dance party and also two monster after parties too. It seems that rumours of a downturn at the Mars were a bit premature, as the place will be packed with locals and interstate visitors during the festival.

For more information you can download the Feast Festival program online, or pick up a paper copy at locations around the city and suburbs. Check the website for details.

Pride March Adelaide

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Pride March Adelaide (Courtesy Ian Buckland)

Cities around the world hold annual Pride Parades to celebrate the diversity of their LGBT communities. London, New York, San Francisco and Amsterdam are just some of the cities that hold massive marches, but you can find a complete list of Pride Parades here.

This year's Pride March Adelaide will start in Rymill Park, with people gathering from 5.30pm and the march departing west along Rundle Street at 6.30pm. The free march will be led by a cavalcade of motor bikes, and DJ Lush will be entertaining the crowd to get their toes tapping before heading for the Feast Cluster at the Lion Arts Centre.

On arrival at the Feast Cluster, join in the Opening Night Party (entry $10) with a dance drag spectacular featuring Malt Biscuit, Dungeon Boy, Paul Lukovich, Paul Harris, Mel Bourne and Oktavia on the main stage. After the entertainment hots up the main party will start when the doors are thrown open to The Blender and Queer Nexus, although some may choose to relax in the relative quiet of the Piano Bar.

Adelaide's first Gay Pride March was held in 1973, causing quite a stir. To celebrate its 40th anniversary the State Library is hosting the fascinating (and free) Gay Times Are Here Again Exhibition with photos, TV footage and newspaper accounts of the original march.

Moveable Feast

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Party Time at the Feast Festival (Courtesy Ian Buckland)

The home base for this year's Feast Festival is at the Lion Arts Centre on North Terrace, but this year Feast is spreading out to the suburbs too. There is a free Pink Parent Picnic at the Semaphore amusement park, a series of exhibitions at Port Adelaide, a Cabaret night in Unley, a book launch at Salisbury, and a Hills Soiree at Mount Barker.

There is even a Dolphin Drag and Disco Cruise from Port Adelaide, where you can dress up in your favourite sailor outfit (or drag) and dance the night away to 70's and 80's disco tunes. Hellooo sailors!

Gay and lesbian people in South Australia's country areas are not being forgotten either - Feast has set up an exchange program to help young country people to come to Adelaide and experience all the fun of Feast. See the Feast program for more information.

Picnic in the Park

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Revellers at Picnic in the Park (Courtesy Ian Buckland)

The free Picnic in the Park is one of the Feast Festival's highlights - it's an inclusive event designed to be enjoyed by the whole family. This year it is at beautiful Bonython Park, making it easy to catch a free tram out from the city.

The whole day is packed with fun activities - the tug of war is something of a tradition, and this year the Metropolitan Fire Service will be pulling their weight.

Picnic in the Park is a dog friendly event, so bring along your pooch and enter it into the equal opportunity Dog Show where all breeds are welcome.

BYO picnic hampers, shade, chairs or blankets, but not BYO alcohol this year. There will be plenty of kids entertainment including face painting, roving performers and a choice of two fabulous playgrounds at Bonython Park which have been recently refurbished by Adelaide City Council.

And if you haven't had your fill of fun at the Picnic, come down to the Picnic After Party at the Lion Art Centre - entry is free from 5-7pm, and only $5 afterwards. There will be DJ's bands, laser lighting and all bars open to make sure your Feast ends with a bang!

For more information, see the Feast website, Pride Adelaide website, or Pride Adelaide Facebook page.
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Why? Come out of the closet
When: See website
Phone: (08) 8463 0684
Where: Adelaide, SA
Cost: Varies, many events free
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