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Midsumma Festival

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by Fiona Anderson (subscribe)
A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Event: -
LGBTIQ taking pride in this festival
The Midsumma Festival has had its sparkling program launch, with the expected level of fun, flirtatiousness and fervour, ahead of its official opening on 14th January 2018.

A self-proclaimed 'celebration of queer arts and culture', Midsumma 2018 features more than 170 events taking place over 22 days, including 12 'Midsumma Presents' events. There are also two new event hubs (Chapel Off Chapel and La Mama), new major venues (Melbourne Recital Centre, ACMI), and a new festival bar at Arts Centre Melbourne's Bombini Buzz.

Midsumma Festival 2018
Performers at the program launch for Midsumma Festival 2018. (Writer's image.)

And the good news is that about 50 percent of the program is free!

Get into the Midsumma spirit by participating in the Pride March, which takes place at 2pm on Sunday 28th January. The march will bump and grind its way along Fitzroy Street St Kilda. Please note that if you want to participate in the march, you need to register by Monday 4th December.

Headline festival acts include The Cocoa Butter Club: Midsumma Special. Described as 'a special cabaret and performance event curated by queers of colour', The Cocoa Butter Club is co-presented with Arts Centre Melbourne, and follows a sold-out debut season at the Melba Spiegeltent. The Cocoa Butter Club plays for one night only, at 9.30pm on Friday 19th January. Tickets are from $25. Click here for more information.

We Are Here, curated by Angela Bailey, sees five outstanding contemporary visual artists bring to life queer histories drawn from State Library Victoria and Australia Lesbian and Gay Archives. Based on documented - sometimes incomplete - archives, the artists bring to life actual or imagined queer histories. The exhibition runs from 19th January to 1st April, at the State Library (Palmer Hall), 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne. Admission is free. You can find more information here.

Midsumma Festival 2018
Leather Lungs displays his extraordinary hamstrings. (Writer's image.)

One performer who was putting himself out there at the launch was Leather Lungs, whose show Son of a Preacher plays at the Hare Hole (Hares & Hyenas), 63 Johnston Street, Fitzroy, from 18th - 21st January. Undoubtedly irreverent, Son of a Preacher promises a show where falsetto meets stiletto, with a dash of Dusty Springfield thrown in. Tickets are $24, and you can find more information here.

As always, the festival will close with a bang rather than a whimper. Midsumma Horizon, at the State Library, promises a party to celebrate queer history. Revellers can have their portraits taken throughout the night, to be zipped up and archived for posterity in a time capsule to be held at the Australia Lesbian and Gay Archives. This is a free event, with door prizes on offer to the best dressed. More information here.

Midsumma Festival 2018
Midsumma Horizon - be photographed for archival posterity. (Image from the Midsumma Festival website.)

With a 15% discount available for early bird tickets until 9th December, it's worth checking out the program soon. Click here to see the full list of events.
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Why? (03) 9296 6600
When: Various times and dates between 14th January and 4th February 2018
Where: Various locations around Melbourne; check the festival program
Cost: Ticket prices vary. Check website for details. (Many events are free.)
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