Hot Summer Nights, Midsumma Festival 2023 by Nikki Russian
Midsumma Festival ran from 21 January to 11 February 2024, with Queer PHOTO continuing until Sunday 24 March.
For the 2025 festival, event registrations are likely to open in June and close in late August or early September 2024. The details below refer to the 2024 festival, but can be used as a guide for what is likely to be relevant for the 2025 festival.
Who can participate in Midsumma Festival?
Midsumma Festival is an open-access festival - this means that anybody can register an event. We champion queer arts and culture, and work year-round to support producers in the lead-up to the festival, providing ongoing advice, event services and resources. Established artists and works or early career artists and new works all have a home at Midsumma Festival.
If you are a producer with an event celebrating queer arts and culture, we'd love to have you join us for Midsumma Festival 2024.
*** Maribyrnong City Council are looking to support local event producers, artists and venues with discounted registration fees. If you’re thinking about registering an event in Maribyrnong’s Municipality or if you’ve already submitted an event registration then they would love to hear from you! [email protected]
How to register your event (Auslan)
Presented by Luke King
Midsumma Festival is Australia's premier queer arts and cultural festival, bringing together a diverse mix of LGBTQIA+ artists, performers, communities and audiences. The Midsumma program shares the lived experiences of those voices at the margins, the expression of queer history, and the celebration of new ideas that come to life through world-class art and performance.
Our festival program is made up of diverse art forms and genres, including visual arts, live music, theatre, spoken word, cabaret, film, parties, sport, social events, family events and public forums featuring over 200 events in 2023, with involvement by over 5000 culture-makers in over 120 different venues across Melbourne and wider Victoria - to audiences of over 306,000.
Registration deadlines and other key dates for Midsumma Festival 2024 are as follows:
Festival Dates & Major Events
- Midsumma Festival 2024 will take place Sunday 21st January to Sunday 11th February.
- Midsumma Carnival 2024 will take place on Sunday 21st January
- Midsumma Pride March 2024 will take place on Sunday 4th February
- Victoria's Pride 2024 will take place on Sunday 11th February
Registration Key Dates
30th June 2023 - Early Bird discount ends
1 Sept 2023 - Registrations close
28th November 2023 - Midsumma Festival Program Launch (event embargo lifts)
By registering your event with Midsumma Festival you will receive:
A dedicated listing in Midsumma Festival’s Printed Guide
Your event will feature in our official Midsumma Festival printed guide, with over 35,000 copies distributed around Melbourne, Victoria and interstate outlets in Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra. The guide is also available to view or download from midsumma.org.au.
A dedicated listing on the Midsumma website
Your event will be listed on midsumma.org.au, which had 346,692 users for the 2023 festival during the festival period (a 70% increase on 2022 results).
Your event featured in Midsumma’s digital campaign
Your event will be featured in Midsumma’s social media campaign - a total reach of 1,108,380 people through social media posts in 2022. Midsumma will share your Facebook event on our Facebook page and include you in the Midsumma Festival digital campaign, Google Ads, direct digital marketing and promotions.
Dedicated social media promotion across all owned channels. Total Midsumma social media followers: 54,470 total followers across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn (11% increase on 2021 results)
- 1,108,380 total reach on all social media platforms
- 58,916 total engagement across all social media platforms (83.03% increase on 2021 results and 256% increase across four years)
Your event features in at least one of Midsumma's eNewsletters sent to over 10,000 readers, and growing. The Midsumma eNews has a 34% average open rate (14% above industry average) and a 3.5% click rate (industry average is 2.19%).
Your event will be included in press opportunities, and your event media release will be available to key industry journalists.
Ticket sales & administration
Midsumma Festival will handle your ticketing using industry-leading ticketing system Red61. We provide the customer service and administration so you can take care of the fun parts!
Take part in our ticketing promos (Early Bird or Three Show Package) and flash sales to get more people through that door.
This grants you a raft of entitlements including last-minute entry to selected shows, discounts, free Roving Rights at Midsumma Carnival.
An engaged audience
Build new and strengthen existing audiences for your event by tapping into our audience of over 306,000 people.
Meet great people and venues
Facilitate further links and networks with over 5000 artists and 100+ Melbourne venues. Receive invitations to special events, including the Midsumma Festival Launch and Wrap Parties.
Help from industry professionals
Our experienced team will navigate you through the difficult questions, give advice and celebrate your wins with you. Once you have registered your event you'll start receiving the Producer Updates newsletter, which offers guidance, tips and deadline reminders to help keep you on track.
Do you want to be part of Midsumma Festival 2024? You'll need to complete a festival registration before the deadline, providing all information requested.
Midsumma Festival uses Eventotron for festival registrations.
1. Secure a venue - all events require a confirmed venue in order to register for the festival.
2. Prepare your event marketing information (including copy, images, dates, prices and access information. A full checklist is provided below).
3. Complete your registration on Eventotron and pay your registration fee.
Once you have followed the steps above you will be registered as a Midsumma Festival participant!
After you have completed your event registration, the Midsumma team will prepare your printed program guide listing, online listing and ticketing.
Events are embargoed during this process until the official Midsumma Festival Program Launch on 28th November 2023.
The registration fees for Midsumma Festival 2024 are as follows:
PAID / PRICED EVENTS
Independent Artists* and
One-off Event, including After Parties
|One-off Hybrid Event (Digital + In Person)
Season (2 or more sessions)
Season (2 or more sessions) - Hybrid Event (Digital + In Person)
Digital Only Event
- *Independent Artist discount applies to independent artists earning < $80,000 per annum
- **Community Group discount applies to community groups with < $400,000 turnover per annum
- All prices are inclusive of GST
- An external surcharge of 1.5% applies to credit/debit card payments
- All events are to be ticketed through Midsumma Festival
- No refunds on registration fees
- The producer needs to provide proof of eligibility for Community Group & Independent Artist discounts via an annual report, tax return or similar.
Early Bird Discount: Events finalised by COB 30th June 2023 will receive a 25% discount off the registration fees listed below (up to a maximum of 40 events). We'll add an update here if the allocation has been exhausted.
All ticketed Midsumma Festival events (free and priced) must have 100% of their event capacity sold through the Midsumma Festival ticketing system. This is to ensure customers can book all their tickets for the festival in one place and have the best customer journey possible.
Midsumma Festival uses Red61, an industry leading ticketing system, for event ticketing.
On Sale Date
After registering your event the Midsumma team will prepare your event build and ask you to check all information is correct.
Events are embargoed and confidential until the Midsumma Festival Program Launch. All events will go on sale on 28th November 2023.
Ticketed Free Events
Ticketed free events are events that are free of charge but require audiences to register or book. If this is your event, it needs to be ticketed through Midsumma Festival's ticketing system so that festival audiences are able to book for all Midsumma events from the one central location. This comes at no extra cost to you or your audience. There are no Booking fees or Inside Fees for free events that require ticketing.
There is no charge for allocated seating (when audiences are assigned a seat number). However, we will need to work with you to build a seating map in the ticketing system, and this can take some time.
Unless otherwise notified, all events are built as general admission. To discuss building a seating map, email [email protected] before the event registration deadline on 1st September. Seating maps cannot be added or amended once on sale.
General admission is always easier for you to manage and for audiences to book, so we would only recommend allocated seating if you have to.
Door Sales & Box Office
Midsumma Festival runs online and phone sales only, so you'll need to work with your venue to arrange a box office for door sales.
Tickets will go off-sale through the Midsumma Festival website one hour before your event start time, ready for you to start selling tickets at your venue.
Please keep a record of how many tickets you sell on the door, as we request this information at the close of your event.
If you need to discuss ticketing, please contact [email protected] as soon as possible.
A complimentary ticket is a free ticket. These are usually offered to VIPs, cast, crew, etc. There are three types of complimentary tickets: Midsumma comps, Producer comps and Companion Card tickets.
- Midsumma comps: These are tickets booked and used by Midsumma Festival. Midsumma requires 4% of your total capacity (or a minimum of at least 6 tickets, whichever is larger) to be made available as complimentary tickets across the season. This is 4% across the event's season to be used for Midsumma sponsors, board members, management, producing partners and patrons.
- Producer comps: You can allocate up to 10% of your total Midsumma ticket allocation as comps for your cast, crew, media reviewers and anyone else you want to attend your event. You may be charged additional fees for any amount over this 10%.
- Companion Card tickets. Companion Cards provide carers with a complimentary ticket to an event and, like with all concession cards, Companion Cardholders must show their card at the venue. All Midsumma Festival events must accept Companion Cards.
Midsumma charges two different ticketing fees, an Inside Fee and a Booking fee.
The Inside Fee is included inside the ticket price you advertise for your event - the customer only sees the whole ticket price. Midsumma Festival will retain the Inside Fee per ticket before remitting your event proceeds to you.
The Booking Fee of $5.25 applies per transaction in addition to the ticket cost(s), not on each individual ticket. This is paid for by the customer and contributes to the cost of administering the ticketing. The booking fee is retained by Midsumma.
Midsumma Festival will retain the following amounts per ticket sold through our ticketing system for the 2024 festival:
*The minimum ticket price is $5
- All prices are inclusive of GST
The prices you nominate during registration, and advertise to the general public, must include the Inside Fee.
As this is scaled, it is important to allow for concession prices or other variants. For example, your full price ticket may be $25 ($3 to Midsumma / $22 to you) but your concession price might be $15 ($2.50 to Midsumma / $12.50 to you).
Customer Booking Fee
Midsumma charges a $5.25 booking fee per transaction to the customer, regardless of the number of tickets in the transaction. The ticket purchaser, not the Producer, pays this. This contributes to the cost of administering the ticketing and is retained by Midsumma.
All Midsumma booking fees, transaction fees and tickets sold include GST unless stated otherwise.
Your event's ticketing will be remitted within fifteen working days of the completion of the festival.
Thinking of registering your event for Midsumma Festival 2024 but not sure where to start? The Midsumma team is on hand to help. You can chat to our friendly Ticketing & Presenter Services Manager, Emily, for registration advice.
Call us: 03 9296 6600 (Mon to Fri, 9am-5pm)
Email us: [email protected]
Producer Q&A Sessions
During the 2024 festival event registration period, the Midsumma Programming team will hold Q&A sessions via zoom for open-access event registration questions.
You will have the opportunity to chat with the team about registering your event on Eventotron and any questions you have about participating in the festival as an open-access event. There will be four 15 minute sessions per date.
You're also welcome just to come along to introduce yourself and meet the team. In attendance will be Midsumma's Ticketing & Presenter Services Manager, Emily, and Midsumma's Program Manager, Brendan.
Wednesday 18th June 2023, 5:30pm-6:30pm AEST - with Emily & Brendan
Wednesday 19th July 2023, 5:30pm-6:30pm AEST - with Emily
Wednesday 16th August 2023, 5:30pm-6:30pm AEST - with Emily & Brendan
You can sign up via this form, and a zoom link will be sent out to you before the session with further information.
Looking for more help? Check out our Producer Resources for assistance with budgeting, marketing and accessibility.
PREPARE TO REGISTER
Your event will be listed in the Official Festival Program Guide and on midsumma.org.au. Your event title, image and description are important components to make your event stand out from the crowd.
You can call your event almost anything you like, but we recommend you consider the following:
- Really long titles will eat into your space in the printed program guide, will make it hard to promote on social media, and could affect the opportunity to feature your event on Midsumma's website home page.
- Coarse language in titles or copy may reduce your chances of getting approval for social media boosted promotion. In addition, Midsumma Festival collateral (including the guide) will have coarse language censored (i.e. F*ck, Sh*t, etc.).
- You can't use "Midsumma" in the title of your event. Only events produced by Midsumma can use this as it indicates to the general public that events are produced in-house by Midsumma. However, we do encourage you to use the words 'As part of Midsumma Festival' and use the Midsumma logo on your own promotional material.
You will need to provide two versions of the event copy, one for the official Midsumma Festival Program Guide (approx. 40 words) and a slightly longer version for the website (approx. 200 - 300 words).
We have set out some tips below for writing compelling copy:
- Think simple and clear. It's important to remember that although your show might hold a complex message or be super-edgy, the primary purpose of your event copy is to get audiences to your show. Cause some intrigue, but try not to alienate audiences. The best advice is to check out Midsumma Program Guides from previous years and see what resonates with you.
- Which tense is best? In the Midsumma Festival official guide and website, we refer to Midsumma general information 'pages' in the first person, from the 'voice' of Midsumma. For instance, 'We hope you enjoy your experience with us in 2022'. For this reason, we highly recommend that your event copy is written from a third person perspective. For instance, 'Goddess Grooves celebrates and showcases local female musicians', rather than 'Come celebrate local female musicians with us at Goddess Grooves'.
- Show your copy to someone else first. It's best to get feedback from family or friends who you think might enjoy the event, but who are not already too familiar with the content. From what they have read, can they work out what to expect to experience at your event?
- It's a free Program Guide, available to all. That includes children and young people so even if your event is pitched as Adult Only, your copy should not be.
Your promotional image is one of the most vital tools in attracting an audience or reviewer's attention. It should be striking, represent your event truthfully, and be taken by a skilled photographer to optimise your chances for promoting your event.
There are some guidelines that you will need to follow (otherwise, we may request an alternative image). Please:
- Avoid including any words/text (not even the title) on your image.
- Avoid including any logos on your image.
- Avoid providing a low-resolution image or screenshots. We recommend getting your image professionally taken.
- Avoid providing a highly detailed image. Avoid images with lots of content. The program guide images are small, so simplicity works best.
- Avoid adding a border to your image.
Your event listing can include a Promotional Video. This is a great way to give audiences a visual taste of your show.
Midsumma Festival also creates a promo reel video each year, and your event can be included in this reel which is an excellent additional promotion.
A 30 second promo clip can quickly engage your audience. Keep these things in mind: Keep it snappy, make sure the footage is reasonable quality, include key information about the event, and be creative.
You will need to confirm a venue (and the venue must be registered on Eventotron) in order to complete your registration.
If you have not secured a venue, check out our Venue Finder directory to see which venues are accepting hire requests for the 2024 festival.
Look at the list of participating venues from previous years. Check out the 2023 Program Guide, 2022 Program Guide, 2021 Program Guide, 2020 Program Guide, 2019 Program Guide, 2018 Program Guide or the 2017 Program Guide to see where others have held events that might be similar to yours.
You can also request venue advice by emailing [email protected].
Adding a digital session or hosting a completely digital event? No problem! Midsumma supports both on demand and streamed events. Midsumma's ticketing platform Red61 has digital integrations with BrightCove, Vidlex, Vimeo and YouTube. After purchasing a ticket, customers can access your digital content through their Midsumma website account, either on demand or live at the time of the event. Please email [email protected] if you want to know more about digital events.
- Please remember that any relationship with a venue is strictly between you and the venue and not with Midsumma Festival.
- Unless the event producer is also the venue owner or manager, or the venue is a meeting spot only, you will need to provide Midsumma Festival with a copy of your Venue Hire Agreement.
- Download an example venue agreement.
Other Venue Considerations
There are many things to consider when choosing a venue. We've made a list of prompters for you to consider when looking at venues:
- Is the venue sensitive to queer communities and identities? Does it have non-gendered bathrooms etc.
- How accessible is the venue? (Wheelchair access, bathrooms, hearing loops)
- What is the venue's cancellation policy?
- Can you afford it? Will the income you are expecting from the project be enough to pay for the venue?
- Does the venue provide technical crew and Front of House? Or will you need to provide these yourself?
- What additional support does the venue provide? Will they help with marketing or provide rehearsal space?
- What is the location of the venue? Is this a good location for your target audience/demographic?
- What's the vibe?
- Are there any technical restrictions at the venue? Such as restrictions due to sound bleed, liquor licences, capacity and the type of electricity provided.
- What are your venue's licensing regulations? Does your venue allow under 18s into the event?
- Check the conditions of venue hire
Inclusivity and diversity is at the heart of Midsumma Festival. As such, we're dedicated to making the festival accessible to all audiences. Remember - access isn't just about making sure your venue is wheelchair accessible. It's about making your event inclusive to those with a range of requirements, some of which may not be visible.
It's important to start thinking about access early on - if you want certain access provisions for your event, research the accessibility of the venues you are engaging with. Plan ahead if you're going to add access services to your event such as Auslan interpretation, captioning or audio description.
You can find our Accessibility resource on the Producer Resources page if you would like to know more or find a list of access service providers.
Here's a handy checklist of what you'll need to prepare for registering your event:
- Primary contact details and secondary contact details, plus optional marketing contact details
- Your event name and event description, main image, dates/times, prices, access info, social media info, any extra images or video for your online listing
- A confirmed venue (your venue will need to register in Eventotron and have accepted your event)
- Ticketing details and bank account for settlement (if applicable)
- Payment for your event registration
- Your Midsumma contract (e-sign)
- Your Venue Contract or Letter of Agreement
- Your media release
- Festival Pass requirements
- Public Liability Insurance Certificate
- Reviews of your event (upload them as soon as they are published!)
REGISTER YOUR EVENT
To register your event through Midsumma Festival’s event registration system, go to eventotron.com.
1. Sign up for Eventotron or log in to an existing account. Need help? Read the Signing Up help article.
2. Create an event. Need help? Read the Create an Event help article.
3. Add your event to Midsumma Festival 2024. Need help? Read the Applying to a Festival help article.
4. Complete Steps 1 to 16 in Midsumma's Eventotron form.
5. Pay your registration fee to confirm your registration.
- Log in to Eventotron
- Go to Step 10: Add a Venue of your event registration.
- Once you find a venue that you like, select "More Info" and then "Apply to...". You'll then be prompted to provide a brief introductory note.
- We strongly advise that you then contact the venue directly to discuss your event in more detail.
- Once the venue accepts your application, it will appear in the next step. You will then be able to input the dates, times, duration, capacity and pricing details of your event.
Registering a Digital Event
The process of registering a digital event is the same as registering any other kind of event - just head to our registration platform Eventotron and follow the steps. When selecting your venue in Eventotron, simply select Digital Event (Midsumma Festival) and follow the steps to add your streaming or on demand sessions.
DELIVER YOUR EVENT
- Complete the festival registration and pay registrations fees by the registration deadline.
- Secure and liaise with your venue. The venue relationship is strictly between the event producer and the venue, and not with Midsumma Festival.
- Market and promote your event. We can provide guidance, resources and occasionally we may be able to arrange a media or promotional opportunity for you, but the primary responsibility lies with you
- Organise crew and volunteers for your event
- Manage production schedules and budgets
- Secure financial support for your event
- Liaise with Midsumma Festival about ticketing and event listing changes
- Provide final attendance numbers after your event
- Organise Public Liability Insurance for your event
- Deliver your event!
- There are no refunds on registration fees.
- All registered events are publicly embargoed until the Midsumma Festival Program Launch in November 2023 (date to be confirmed).
- All tickets must be sold through Midsumma Festival.
- "Midsumma" is a registered trademark and cannot be used in event titles without express permission.