22 days, 198 events, 119 locations

The 2022 Midsumma Festival will host one of the biggest and most spectacular festivities Melbourne has seen in years, and it kicks off in less than two weeks, between January 23rd and February 13th.

The incredibly exciting program features awe-inspiring performances, exhibitions, visual arts, live music, theater, spoken word, cabaret, film, parties, sports, social events and public forums. The sheer size and scope of the festival has to be seen to be believed.

Now a whopping 34 years old, this year’s Midsumma Festival focuses on queer arts and cultural festivities at its 198 events, with the stated goal of showcasing arts events for everyone in every body.

The three-week festival will span 119 venues, with more than 500 culture-makers performing in metro Melbourne and regional Victoria. 161 of these events will be open access; presentation of shared experiences around gender and sexuality.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around Melbourne here.

Don’t Miss Annual FREE Midsumma Festival Highlights

January 23 – Midsumma Carnival: The opening event of the Midsumma Festival is an 11-hour fun-filled celebration held at Alexandra Gardens and kicks off three weeks of partying, art and culture with a bang. Over the decades, this celebration has become an iconic date on the Australian LGBTQIA+ calendar and promises to be a catharsis of the love, passion, artistic talent and positive energy that Midsumma Festival is known for. With fun in the sun all day and late into the evening to celebrate the start of another fantastic Midsumma Festival, enjoy performances, picnic with friends and see the iconic Dog Show. With stalls, food and live entertainment galore, we head to a warm summer evening at T Dance – the biggest outdoor dance party this year!

February 6 – Midsumma Pride March: A parade and party in lively St Kilda with over 8,000 protesters – but a whopping 45,000 in attendance – making it one of the most attended, most colourful, riotous and generally sensational street events on the Australian calendar. The Midsumma Pride March turns Fitzroy Street into a sea of ​​color and party from 11am. Join the revelers or cheer for the protesters from your balconies or the footpath and arrive early to see the traditional Dykes on Bikes followed by the Boon Wurrung Elders and a Rainbow Aboriginal Float. Until 4pm, enjoy the post-March celebrations in the Catani Gardens with local food, stalls, bars and performances.

February 13 – Melbourne Pride: In its inaugural premiere, Midsumma will be presenting Melbourne Pride on February 13, commemorating 40 years since the decriminalization of homosexuality in Victoria with a day and night street party (Gertrude St X Smith St, Fitzroy/Collingwood) from 9am to 10pm FREE. The large number of events on this day will have a special resonance in the further path to equality, and as always will be a recognition of the strength and values ​​of the LGBTQIA+ community through an inspiring array of art, community engagement, food and culture .

As part of the event, Smith and Gertrude Streets in Melbourne will be transformed into full-stage block parties with live performances from Yorta Yorta wife, composer and educator Deborah Cheetham; singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Vetta Borne; Australian newcomer, KYVA; multi-award winning cabaret company, YUMMY; art experience creators, All The Queens Men; multidisciplinary artist and musician, Kira Puru; two of Australia’s most award-winning drag duo, Jawbreakers; the quintessential comedian, Reuben Kaye; Australian electronic musician, Alice Ivy; and the headliner of the event is electronic music duo Electric Fields.

The focus of Midsumma Presents in 2022: AND / OR

As always, Midsumma Presents is the curated aspect of the festival program, each year focusing on a particular topic and unpacking it through an unparalleled array of artistic performances and discussion forums. Midsumma Presents’ 2022 program is focused on communities with disabilities. his title, AND/OR, refers to the wide variety of people encompassing the umbrella terms for gays and disabled; those who are queer (and/or LGBTQIA+, and/or rainbow people, and/or…) and disabled (and/or deaf/hard of hearing, and/or blind/visually impaired, and/or neurodiverse, and/or or autistic, and/or living with a chronic illness, and/or…)

AND/OR is the festival’s main project, so Midsumma 2022 will feature a series of disability-led performances showcasing the diverse experiences of Melbourne’s disabled communities. At the same time, the Midsumma Presents program will showcase 34 events highlighting the unsung heroes in Australia’s queer communities, highlighting the intersectoral nature of modern life, the constraints of labels and the limitless range of shared cultural experiences.

“AND/OR is a disability-led program of works from multiple perspectives ranging from brazen to vulnerable, celebratory to questioning, reflective to riotous,” said Karen Bryant, CEO of Midsumma Festival, of the festival’s focus in 2022.

“The artists in the program include leading companies and soloists, emerging artists and iconic ensembles. There is so much variation to be seen within and outside the broad umbrella labels of ‘queer’ and ‘disabled’. After such a challenging few years, we are delighted to once again offer such a wide range of events that highlight the talent and diversity of our artists and our communities in such a vital way.”

Beats Picks for Midsumma Events in 2022

AND/OR’s Access All Areas Workshop

February 12, Fringe Common Rooms, Free

Arts Access Victoria CEO Caroline Bowditch and a panel of exceptional artists; Irene Zhong, Jax Jacki Brown, Sam Martin and Gemma Mahadeo of The Disabled QBIPOC Collective, all form a keynote discussion panel to discuss the intimate relationship between their experiences as queer and as disabled.

Reconstruct (the) heteronormative

January 28 – February 10, Federation Square, Free

Australian photographer Soraya Zaman brings her incredible photos of transmale communities from across the US to Melbourne’s Fed Square, where they will be presented in stunning fashion. “The binary days and outdated stereotypes of what it means to be born a girl or boy are finally being undone,” Zaman says, and you’ll be able to experience that transition in its full artistic glory.

All Star Drag Bingo Party

January 29, Pride of our Footscray Community Bar, $20-25

For the self-described campest, draggiest & most ridiculous drag bingo night, head to Footscray to see Aurora Arsenic, Abril La Trene, Tequila Mockingbird and Freddie Merkin pull out all the stops, with tons of prizes up for grabs.

A list of the most important dates and events of the Midsumma Festival in 2022

  • Multi-Tony Award-winning musical, nice house, is central to Art Center Melbourne – Music by Jeanine Tesori. Book and text by Lisa Kron. Based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel
  • Queers in Science – on neurodiversity of AND/OR, Midsumma’s major program will highlight the daily experience of neurodivergent individuals at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health on Jan. 27.
  • International comedians and beloved Melbourne performers Thomas Jaspers and Kyle Minall will return to Midsumma Festival for just two nights on January 27 & 30 at Comedy Republic for their hilarious show”An intimate evening with grandma Bingo”.
  • Midsumma is very popular Bowie Ball is back for an all-you-can-eat extravaganza. The David Bowie celebration, which lasts only one night, is hosted at The Night Cat and brings together the best of music, art, fashion and entertainment.
  • Hilarious cult indie choral sensation and winner of two Melbourne Fringe Awards, Sailors! The Sea Shanty Spectacular, will add a modern pop spin to a plethora of seafaring songs in The Curtin.
  • The Toff in Town will host the long running and much loved cabaret show, .CHURCH. from 3rd – 6e Featuring some of Australia’s most bizarre and cherished cabaret, circus and burlesque treats, the spiritual experience will leave you dripping with sin.
  • Perfect for gin lovers, The Seven Gins of Pride organizes a 2 hour gin masterclass with a twist on 12e February at The Laird, which is guaranteed to teach you a new cocktail or two.
  • An adult party inspired by Mini Beast Disco’s investigative game, Composting Cabaret
  • Award winning comedian, Charlie Lewin, will bring his ever so popular show cockatiel to the Comedy Republic for a bellyful of laughter.
  • An all-star cast of queer performers let you sing the most beloved queer anthems for a night of queer-okay.
  • Collingwood City Hall will host the Coming Back Out Tea Dance. Perfect for the older LGBTQIA+ communities, it will feature a stunning constellation of rainbow and related artists from Naarm.

for fmore information about Midsumma Festival and the exciting program for 2022, visit www.midsumma.org.au

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