It’s the middle of Melbourne summer and between you and me, there’s a little bit of magic in the air. That’s because the City of Melbourne is hosting its 25th year of the annual queer festival, Midsumma. Midsumma is Melbourne’s biggest celebration of modern queer arts and culture. The program for this year showcases theatre, art, film, music, poetry and sport. The festival also plays host to amazing community events and workshops for those who are gay, straight and somewhere in between.
Couturing has highlighted our top choices within the festival that will entertain you, educate you or simply take you on a ride. So grab your friends and make a night of it. You’ll laugh so hard you won’t see straight.
The film screenings of Midsumma are renowned for their choice of location, crowds and incredible cinema. Each year they host films that are held outdoors and are called, ‘MUTS’ or, ‘Movies Under The Stars’. These flicks make for a perfect evening picnic, so grab a bottle of your finest, and come raise your cultural capital.
MUTS: The Wise Kids
In a Baptist church community in Charleston, South Carolina, three teenage friends contemplate the next stage of life. There’s Brea, an introspective pastor’s daughter experiencing debilitating doubt; the hyperactive Laura, Brea’s best friend and a devout believer; and Tim, the open-hearted son of a single father, confronting his homosexuality for the first time.
When: Sat 26 Jan, 7pm.
Where: Fairfield Amphitheatre.
How Much: $15 full, $12 concession & MQFF members
MUTS: Leave It On The Floor
There’s a little bit of Rent, a little bit of Dreamgirls and a whole lot of passion. Leave It On The Floor follows Brad, a young man who having been kicked out by his homophobic mother, explores the underground LA scene of dance, catwalks and glamour. With Beyonce’s choreographer as the main force behind the scenes, Leave It On The Floor will have you urging to get up and dance.
When: Friday 18 Jan, 7pm.
Where: Fairfield Amphitheatre
How Much: $15 full, $12 concession & MQFF members.
The Little Queer Film Festival:
Midsumma, in combination with The Little Queer Film Festival brings us the best in local and international queer short films. Screenings begin on the 19th of January and show at 7:30pm each Saturday until the 2nd of February. The nights are not just for films, each week brings an added element of entertaining delight, such as the opening night’s Burlesque performances by Honey B. Good and Betty Blood. Book now!
When: 19 Jan – 2 Feb
Where: Paloma Bar, 480 Collins Street
How much: $10.
Music, cabaret, theatre; or a blend of all three, when it comes to performances at Midsumma, there is no shortage of quality. The venues range from CBD hideaways to suburban hangouts, so whether you’re in Prahran or Preston, these shows are only one ride away.
Bohemia Cabaret Club Midsumma Showcase
Melbourne’s premier Burlesque bar plays host to some of our raunchiest razzle dazzlers. It’s a New York style piano bar with a splash of Melbourne bohemia. Book together for a group discount and leave all inhibitions at the door.
When: 13 Jan – 3 Feb
Where: Bohemia Cabaret Club, 226 – 228 Coventry Street, South Melbourne.
How much: $25-$30 full, $18 concession (not available on Saturdays), Group Discounts and Dinner & Show Packages are available for all shows.
One of the festival’s favourites, Gaybies stages real-life stories from children of same-sex parents, surrogate mums, donor dads, co-parents and guardians. Created by Midsumma favourite Dean Bryant and presented at MTC’s astonishing Southbank Theatre, Gaybies is a special 25th birthday commission from Midsumma.
When: 15 – 19 January
Where: Southbank Theatre
How Much: $29 Full, $19 Concession.
Goddess Grooves presents to us some of our best female local talent for a night of musical splendour. It’s folk-y, it’s arty and it’s not to be missed!
When: Saturday 26th Jan, 8 – 11 pm.
Where: Thornbury Theatre, 859 High street, Thornbury.
How much: Full $22, Concession $18.
It’s vibrant, it’s thoughtful and it will provoke conversation between strangers, Art at Midsumma is a feast of creative delights. There are exhibitions and installations all over Melbourne so pop your culture cap on and have a little wander.
Moreland Arts; Nomadic Design
‘Nomad’ is an Ara Dolatian and Michele Donegan collaboration that fills everyday spaces with vibrant webs of woollen string. The concept is to re-create the ‘safe havens’ frequented by nomads during long journeys. Keep an eye out for these urban dream-weavers around Victoria Street mall and Coburg library.
When: 13 Jan – 1 Feb.
Where: Victoria Street mall and Coburg Library.
How much: FREE!
Yarra Arts; Energy From Stillness
Mixed-media aesthetics come together to create an exhibition that is overflowing in power. This exhibition features some of Melbourne’s most vibrant artist’s interpretations of the energy bubbling in and around us. The theme was inspired by Midsumma’s feature artist Matto Lucas and spans beautifully across a varied mix of two and three-dimensional works.
Date: 16 Jan – 2 Feb. Wed – Sat, 11am – 5pm.
Where: Red Gallery, 157 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North.
How much: FREE!
Young queer Victorians paint, create and share their experiences within the confines of a square. Queer Square conveys what it means to accept one’s identity at a time where even the smallest changes seem enormous. This is an event not to be missed.
When: 15 – 30 Jan
Where: City Library, 253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
How much: FREE!
Midsumma is bursting with a culture as uniquely Australian as a wombat. Take advantage and explore your city, you’ll have a gay old time.