Bent, After Dark and A Strange Space among the reveal of Midsumma Festival’s 2021 program
Australia’s premier LGBTQIA+ arts and cultural experience, Midsumma Festival, has revealed the highly anticipated 17-day 2021 program, set to take place from 19th April until 5th May 2021.
In 2021, Midsumma Festival returns to Melbourne bigger and better than ever, offering audiences an entirely unique experience that’s unlike anything on the calendar! With an incredible line-up of spectacular performances, exhibitions, visual arts, live music, theatre, spoken word, cabaret, film, parties, sport, social events, and public forums, the event aims to shine a spotlight on preeminent queer arts and cultural festivities with leading international, national and local artists.
Celebrating LGBTQIA+, diverse journeys, culture makers and communities, Midsumma will present a huge 151 open access events made for, and by queer communities who live with shared experiences around diverse gender and sexuality. Midsumma will also launch a specifically curated program, Midsumma Presents, which will highlight the unsung heroines and unheard voices of queer intersectional communities of this era.
Focusing on what is possible this year, Midsumma Festival will present the 2021 major project, Midsumma Festival Live At The Bowl, a FREE two-night performance taking over Melbourne’s iconic Sidney Myer Music Bowl. On Friday 30th April and Saturday 1st May, the concert series will feature a sensational stage of queer icons from across Australia; hosted by Aysha Buffet and Virginia Gay, with performances from Mama Alto, Trevor Ashley, Deborah Cheetham, Rachel Dunham, Michael Griffiths, Reuben Kaye, Jackie Loeb and Johnny Manuel.
“Festivals are so important, because at their very core they share stories and our stories are the keepers of our history. Midsumma Festival is about celebrating diverse communities, in their own voice, and letting new voices move us, challenge us and most importantly entertain us, and this year’s program, which is full of fantastic talent and creativity, is sure to take us all on this journey” - Karen Bryant, CEO - Midsumma Festival
The 2021 Midsumma Festival will also include audience favourites – the highly regarded Midsumma and Australia Post Art Award exhibition, Dolly Diamond’s Star for a Night during which Dolly will be rescuing contestants from their mundane lives to transform them into their idols, and Goddess Grooves, Midsumma’s premier women’s music event for over 14 years hosted at Chapel Off Chapel, this year featuring the amazing talents of Michelle Chandler, Jo Jo Smith and Michelle Parsons.
A Strange Space hosted at Collingwood Yards is an exhibition of projection artworks and performances enticing audiences to celebrate resilience and reflect on change. The Pier Festival, hosted at Seaworks Williamstown by Girls at Sea, is a multi-faceted festival for queer women and their allies, featuring two stages full of entertainment including queer women bands and artists, DJs and comedians, food trucks and market stalls.
Night At The Museum: Youth Midsumma Party, hosted in partnership with Immigration Museum for LGBTIQA+ teenagers, will celebrate the idea of self-discovery, becoming an adult, and uplifting the new LGBTIQA+ generation. Featuring some of Australia’s top drag performers and mail dancers, After Dark takes you on a high energy journey through some of the world’s most famous cabaret venues from the roaring 20s to the fabulous 50s. Another Midsumma tradition will continue as Australian finalists will take the stage in Queer Playwriting Award Showcase at Gasworks Arts Park.
The signature Midsumma Pride March will parade and party in Fitzroy St, St Kilda on Sunday 23 May celebrating Pride March’s 26th anniversary, showing that marching for pride is more important now than ever before. Audiences can tune in virtually or by visiting a participating venue on Fitzroy St.
With selected Festival Hubs at Theatre Works, Gasworks Arts Park, Chapel Off Chapel and Arts Centre Melbourne and Midsumma Westside, audiences will be treated to arts and culture every night of the 17 day festival.
Along with live events, Midsumma will augment activities by premiering video streams live from venue as part of the 2021 Festival, including the Midsumma Pride March.
Due to COVID-safe guidelines assessed by Midsumma Festival and The Victorian Government, the Midsumma Carnival will not go ahead this year with its usual 120,000 attendees, to mark the signature opening of Midsumma Festival 2021.
Further information about Midsumma Festival and its exciting 2021 program will be constantly updated at midsumma.org.au.
19 April – 5 May 2021