Australia's Midsumma is an arts and cultural experience that celebrates diverse journeys and communities. In partnership with Arts Centre Melbourne, Midsumma Festival announces its inaugural festival, Live at the Bowl. New festival dates are from 19 March to 5 May 2021, and you'll find the wholeprogram of events here.
Look forward to a spectacular line-up of live performance, comedy and music hosted at the iconic Sidney Myer Music Bowl at Kings Domain Gardens in the city, on Friday 30th April and Saturday 1st May. Unfortunately due to government restrictions to keep COVIDSafe, the Midsumma Carnival will not go ahead this year. Undeterred and focusing on the art of the possible, the festival has the unique opportunity to activate an iconic venue in an entirely new way.
Midsumma Festival Live at the Bowl will host a soirée of FREE queer live entertainment across the two nights, in the second week of the 17-day festival. It will take over the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in a joyous smorgasbord of the very best queer performances on offer, with the venue transformed into a socially distanced and COVIDSafe space. It'll bring together a diverse mix of artists, performers, communities and audiences as it premieres its FREE two-night extravaganza for 6000 audience members.
Following its live launch and announcement of the exciting lineup on 18 Mar, you'll find your just released Midsumma tickets at Eventfinda by searching for the festival and it'll come up with a calendar of events. The easier way would be to follow the ticket link via the event you choose on the website. The final tickets will be released on 9 April 2021 for an exciting lineup of sensational queer icons from across Australia.
Each night the Concert will have the same line-up performing, giving Midsumma Festival audiences two opportunities to see the show. It'll also be live-streamed from the Midsumma Festival and Arts Centre Melbourne Facebook pages, giving everyone the opportunity to see this premiere event, and to ensure that Midsumma Festival Live at the Bowl is as accessible as possible for any audiences that may be vulnerable, regional or interstate, who want to be a part of the important connection that Midsumma Festival brings. The event will be Auslan interpreted as well as the livestream event assisted by captions.
The other big ticket event is the Midsumma Pride March which will be held on Sunday 23 May, which you'll note is just outside festival dates. Once you've registered for the March, you'll be kept up to date on contingent numbers and evolving plans. In fact, subscribing to the festival is the way to go to stay updated via their eNews and to hear about free offers and giveaways.
Other highlights include Miss First Nation 2021, Australia's only national competition for First Nations drag entertainers. Blak Queens compete for the crown in the final fishnetted leg of Australia's only national competition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander drag entertainers. Expect the fiercest entertainers to set the stage on FI-YA! They'll show you what FAB-U-LOUS is all about with Heat 1 on Tue 4 May for Best National Costume and Miss Talent, Heat 2 on Wed 5 May for Lyp Sync Superstar which promises to be fun-filled; and the Grand Finalé on Fri 7 May. Be sure to book early!
Entertaining is not all these artists do. Check out the Midsumma and Australia Post Art Award which is in its 6th year. A selection of queer artists from across the country showcase their personal and political perspectives of the world. Open to early career and established artists working in any medium, the finalists' artwork are available to the public for viewing and voting during Midsumma for the People's Choice award.
What is Midsumma without Melbourne's Queen of Cabaret, Dolly Diamond! Dolly Diamond's Star for a Night is making dreams come true! She'll be rescuing contestants from their mundane lives, transforming them into their idols and making them stars for a night! Dolly's special guests for these performances include Bob Downe, Silvie Paladino, Rhonda Burchmore, Lucy Holmes, Tash York and Matthew Hadgraft.
Diamond has converted Chapel Off Chapel into a television variety show soundstage where each night she will put local contestants through their paces. They will perform the songs and take on the look of their favourite entertainment idols – and this can be any music superstar, alive or dead. This is an unpredictable song contest to rival all song contests.
There's just so much happening at the festival, it's enough to put your head in a spin! Stay in touch via Facebook for updates and livestreams, and take a look at Upcoming Events as well. Kerrie and Dolly have an online event called Midsumma Specials with guests galore. Then there's Drag Storytime which is not your average storytime. It's the queer playschool of your dreams and influenced by early nineties Play School, Lift Off, Sesame Street and with a healthy glitter sprinkle of RuPaul's Drag Race. A comedy TV show sure to make little and big kids giggle
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Seriously, there are seemingly endless events for this exciting, colourful, and fun festival which also includes the Queer Woman's Music Festival, featuring none other than our own Casey Donovan alongside Hart & Harlow, MZ Ritz, Tom Boy DJ set, and a Burlesque performance by Bettie Bombshell. We could just keep on going, but it'll be best that you check out this huge program on the website and pore through it thoroughly so you don't miss a thing. If you'd like to truly immerse yourself in the festival as a volunteer, see here! Other than that, all that needs doing is for you to enjoy as many events as you can to support our artists and check out the Festival Hubs and Venue Maps.