A Welcome Message from Judy Small AM, Chair of the Management Board for Midsumma Festival
On behalf of the entire Midsumma Board, and after the record-breaking Midsumma Festival 2023, I say a heartfelt welcome to Midsumma 2024!
Midsumma Festival’s research tells us that roughly two-thirds of the people reading this program are returning participants, and about one-third will be attending their first Midsumma events.
For the first group, who know what a fabulous three weeks Midsumma Festival 2024 will be, the anticipation will be palpable. They will hover over their diaries to work out which of the more than 200 events they will go to, whether they’ll go alone or with friends, and how they can fit as much into those three weeks as is humanly possible – and then some. They know that Midsumma is a festival full of celebration, reflection, surprises, challenges, laughter, tears and plain good fun, all presented through a huge range of Queer arts.
The second group, who have never attended a Midsumma event before, might be wondering what they’re in for – so much to choose from, so many different and exciting art forms, so many venues, so much partying, and three weeks of celebrating and reflecting on being part of this amazing community we call LGBTQIA+.
Both groups will find that in addition to the three now iconic, large, public, free outdoor events - Midsumma Carnival, Midsumma Pride March and Victoria’s Pride – our signature Midsumma Presents program for 2024 is called “A Brave(R) Space”, a fully commissioned and curated festival within the Festival, led by Queer artists celebrating and reflecting on the courage, resilience, points of intersectionality, and forward vision of our community through contemporary visual arts, theatre, music, literature, dance and multi-disciplinary art forms.
In addition to our Midsumma Presents commissioned and curated program, our Open Access program gives artists the opportunity to present their work to new and perhaps otherwise unreachable audiences, setting some of those artists on the way to professional careers in the arts.
Midsumma prides itself on providing disability access to audiences in all its forms, again allowing and encouraging as many and as varied audiences as possible to experience contemporary Queer artistic works in all their glory.
So, get out those diaries and start filling in the dates, and I’ll see you at Midsumma Carnival on 21 January 2024 and beyond. And remember, if you feel as though there wasn’t enough time to experience all the fabulous Queer arts you wanted to experience/participate in by the end of the three weeks of the festival, there’s always Midsumma 2025!
About Judy Small AM;
Judy Small AM (she/her) is a lesbian/feminist folksinger/songwriter known as the Grande Dame of Australian Folk Music whose songs are sung all over the English-speaking world at festivals, clubs and concert halls. She is also a proud 78’er having been active in the LGBTQIA+ community since 1975. Judy worked as a lawyer for 22 years, including the last 7 as a judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, before retiring in 2020. She returned to the stage in early 2021. Judy joined the Midsumma Board in January 2019 and has served as Co-Chair since the 2019 AGM, and Chair since the 2021 AGM.