Image: Midsumma Extravaganza 2019 at Arts Centre Melbourne by Suzanne Balding
Everything you need to know about registering your venue for Midsumma Festival
Well, 2020 sure has been a whirlwind of surprises! Artists, producers and venues have all had to make adjustments to handle an uncertain future. Like most of you, here at Midsumma, we've also had to reassess our plans for 2021.
The restrictions released by the Victorian Government show that gatherings of scale were unlikely to be approved in time for Midsumma Festival to operate at our usual time of January to February. This information has guided us to enact an “understudy-plan” to move Midsumma’s 2021 festival dates.
Midsumma Festival 2021 will now fall between 19 April to 5 May 2021 with Midsumma Pride March planned to follow a few weeks later (date to be announced). Event registrations will now close on 14 Dec 2020.
We take pride in delivering a premier festival each year and by moving our festival dates mid-year, we hope to put our artists, producers and venues in the best position possible to deliver an accessible festival that connects our communities and celebrates queer arts and cultures.
The full Midsumma Festival 2021 program will be launched in mid-March 2021. We are working hard to create the best Midsumma possible in 2021 and are so excited to celebrate queer arts and culture together again, stronger and more resilient than ever!
Read more about our date change HERE.
Venue Registrations to be part of the 2021 festival will close on Monday 14 December 2020. For inquiries phone 03 9296 6600 or email [email protected].
Save the dates - Midsumma Festival 2021: 19 April to 5 May 2021
Midsumma Festival maintains an extensive database of brilliant venues of all shapes and sizes on our Eventotron registration system – this database is available to all 5,000 of Midsumma's artists and producers, who will use it to find the perfect home for their show, exhibition or event. It’s totally FREE to register your venue with us – we don’t charge our venues anything to take part.
Midsumma venues are made up of theatres, galleries, pubs, clubs, churches, vacant buildings, bars, offices. We’ve had everything from major arts centres to bookstores participate in Midsumma Festival. If you have space, you can be a Midsumma venue.
To make sure your venue is an available choice for our artists and culture makers set to take the stage for Midsumma Festival 2021, register your venue ASAP - the sooner you register, the more artists and producers will find you. The final deadline for event registrations is 14 December 2020, so we do encourage you to register your venue by the end of July at the very latest.
To be an official venue for Midsumma Festival you need to:
Step 1 – register
Register your venue - see What you need to register below for instructions.
Already registered with Eventotron? Great! Check your registration is up to date and add your venue to Midsumma Festival in Eventotron.
Step 2 - Join
Join Midsumma Festival by clicking the "Join a Festival" tab in Eventotron and select Midsumma Festival 2021.
Step 3 – engage
Engage with a producer or artist to register an event through Midsumma Festival at your venue (see Booking artists and events) or register your own event.
Remember: you will only be considered an official Midsumma Festival venue when you have a registered Midsumma Festival event booked in your venue.
- Venue name
- Address, council area
- Public contact details for the website
- Venue accessibility information
- A brief description and image of your venue
- Opening hours
- Space name (if you have multiple spaces in your venue)
- Space capacity
- Space accessibility
- Space image
- Social media links (if applicable)
During registrations in Eventotron you will also be able to opt in to the handy Venue Finder tool in order for artists to find and contact you for bookings. Artists using the Venue Finder will be searching for things like location, preferred genres, type of hire costs, what kind of marketing and artist support is provided, capacity, lighting, sound and performance space specifics provided etc. Be as up front as possible with what you can provide and don’t promise anything you cannot deliver.
Already registered with Eventotron? Great! Check your registration is up to date.
We know this is going to be a challenging year to be proactive! There is so much we don’t know about 2021, but remember there is no pressure to lock into any events until they are finalised in Eventotron. We at Midsumma still think it is important to think and chat about next year and start the ball rolling. If you can don't sit back and wait for artists to come to you, you can reach out to them also. Talk with artists. Chat to anyone who already performs or exhibits at your venue, or you can register a show that you already run in your venue as an open access Midsumma event. If you run a weekly trivia night or a monthly open mic night, you can register it as a Midsumma Festival Open Access event for 2021 as a way of increasing your audience.
If you would like to host an information session for artists and producers that express interest in your venue, let us know! Midsumma can assist with collating clear guidelines for your venue.
Midsumma Festival is working with Eventfinda as the ticketing system for the 2021 festival. All ticketed Midsumma Festival events (free and priced) must have 100% of their event capacity sold through the Midsumma Festival ticketing system (unless otherwise approved by Midsumma). Chat with us if you already have a ticketing system in place.
- Do you have any marketing opportunities like social media, emails, notice boards or members to promote the Midsumma event to? Will you be able to make a booklet or brochure with all the events in your venue?
- Why not offer Midsumma Festival attendees a food or drink deal? View our Midsumma Marketing and Publicity Guide to get hot tips and a step-by-step on how to get your event the best exposure.
- Be clear about the style of events you would like to program. Having a strong curatorial vision attracts artists who are looking for the venue that suits them.
- It might also be worth considering what live streaming or online ability your venue might have, or even just talking to your artists about the willingness for them to tackle a digital stage.
In the current climate, public safety is a whole new ball game than what we are used to dealing with, though by January 2021 it will have almost been a year of us adapting to social distancing measures. We can’t say for certain what the restrictions will be, but at the current rate, there will probably be a few in place. As a Venue it is important you look after the safety of your staff, artists and audience. Midsumma will be communicating to venues and assisting where we can to make sure everyone knows the most recent rules in place so we can all enjoy a welcoming, safe and healthy Midsumma Festival.
Alongside campaign initiatives, you may also want to consider how your venue is accessible to many of our diverse LGBTQIA+ artists and their audiences. To see how Midsumma Festival is achieving accessibility, head to the Midsumma Access page to view our options for people with vision, hearing, sensitivity and mobility access requirements.
Producers must provide Midsumma with a copy of their Venue Hire Agreement (unless you are a venue producing your own event). If you wish, you can view then optionally download and modify this Letter of Agreement Template.
Inclusivity and diversity are at the heart of Midsumma Festival. As such, we're dedicated to making the festival accessible to audiences with disability.
Here is how you can help
Learn more about access by attending our Access Workshop. Midsumma runs a workshop on audience accessibility. You'll hear from our friends at Arts Access Victoria and learn about ways you can make your event accessible and how to reach audiences with disability. The mid-July date will be announced soon in a Midsumma eNews!
The extra bonus
If you provide an accessible service (such as Auslan interpretation, Audio description, Tactile tour or Relaxed performance), Midsumma will promote your event to the community that requires that service.
Seven Tips for a More Inclusive & Accessible Event
- Gender and Sexuality Inclusivity
- Think about the language you use
- Is your event wheelchair accessible?
- Auslan Interpretation
- Audio Description and Tactile Tours
- Relaxed Performance
Tip 1. Gender and Sexuality Inclusivity
At Midsumma, we actively encourage full diversity at events regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
What's on the bathroom door? Ask your venue to use gender-neutral signage on bathrooms to help trans and gender non-binary peoples feel more comfortable at your event. You are free to download and use our signs: toilet, urinal or gender neutral and accessible toilet.
Are there people you are accidentally alienating from your event? For example, if your event is female-only, how will you be welcoming to someone who identifies as female but does not have physical characteristics typically associated with that gender?
For more ways to create an open and respectful environment at your event, read through Midsumma's Inclusive Language Guide. This document contains definitions, explanations and handy tips that are useful in avoiding making assumptions about a person’s gender or sexual orientation and avoiding the use of potentially offensive language. Download the Inclusive Language Guide >>
In some instances Gender and Sexuality Exclusive Events can be necessary to create a safe space for a specific community. If this is your event, you may like to consider ways to communicate why your event is exclusive. Including a few sentences on your website and briefing door staff can be helpful ways to convey the exclusive nature of your event. Imagine if you turned up to an event and weren't allowed in – you would want a friendly explanation!
Tip 2. Think about the language you use
Accessibility isn’t just about wheelchair ramps and Auslan interpreters. Although they are important - it’s also about attitude and language.
Read Arts Access Victoria’s Art for Everyone: an inclusive practice guide - a workbook for people and organisations who wish to develop inclusive art programs in a meaningful and respectful way.
Tip 3. Is your event wheelchair accessible?
Did you tick “yes” to "is your event wheelchair accessible?" while registering? Answer the following questions to find out if your event is truly wheelchair accessible:
- Can a wheelchair user get into your venue? Entry should be 1.2m wide or more, and there shouldn’t be steps.
- Is there an accessible bathroom? Make sure it isn't being used as a storage cupboard and doesn't require a key from venue staff.
- Is there accessible parking or a wheelchair friendly drop-off point?
- Does the venue have internal circulation? Could someone in a wheelchair 1.2m wide easily manoeuvre inside? Are there steps inside the venue that would prevent a wheelchair user from fully participating in your event?
- If your accessible entrance is not the main entrance, consider how you will direct and welcome patrons to your accessible entrance (you may even consider using the accessible entrance as your main entrance for your event). In any case, good signage and wayfinding is a must!
If you answered “yes” to all these questions, make sure you place the “Wheelchair accessible” icon onto your promotional material. Unsure? Contact us.
Tip 4. Auslan Interpretation
Auslan interpretation is for members of the deaf community who use Australian Sign Language as their primary or preferred language of communication.
Read Arts Access Victoria’s guide on Auslan Interpretation to see if your event is the right match for interpretation. Interested in knowing more about Auslan? Head to Auslan Signbank, there's an online dictionary, video demonstrations, information on classes and more.
Auslan Stage Left usually offer a reduced price on interpreters for Midsumma Festival events (prices vary depending on the nature of your event). They provide qualified interpreters for events and will often promote events on their website. Contact Auslan Stage Left to discuss your event.
Tip 5. Captioning
Your event may lend itself better to captioning (particularly if it is a scripted performance or film) for audiences who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Learn more about captioning from Arts Access Victoria's Get the Facts: captioning.
Tip 6. Audio Description and Tactile Tours
Tip 7. Relaxed Performance
Relaxed Performances are a great way for audiences to experience the wonder of live performance in an environment that has been carefully adapted to be friendly, informal and open to all audience reactions.
They are for anyone but are particularly suitable for audiences with disability including autism spectrum conditions as well as sensory, communication or learning disabilities. If you are interested in producing a Relaxed Performance session of your event, you might like to contact Tom at A_tistic Theatre, who can provide consultations on producing a relaxed performance. The service details are:
- Email: [email protected]
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/atistictheatre
- Twitter: twitter.com/ActualA_tistic
Once you have an event registered at your venue you will receive:
- Listing in 35,000 printed Midsumma Festival Guides, distributed across Melbourne, Victoria and Sydney
- Promotion on midsumma.org.au through the registered event listing (188,724 users for the 2020 festival)
- Support from the Midsumma Festival team, including operational, artistic programming and marketing advice
- Venue decal (optional) and access to Midsumma Festival branding
- Venue Registrations Open – Tuesday 16 June 2020
- Midsumma Festival Info Session – Wednesday 1 July 2020 – Online
- Artist & Venue Registrations Close – Monday 14 December 2020
- Program Launch / Guide Released – March 2021 (date tbc)
- Midsumma Pride March – May 2021 (date tbc)
If you have any questions or require assistance to complete the registration of your venue or to find out about artists and event opportunities, please email us at [email protected]. While in lockdown it is best to email as we are not currently in our office and will be rotating staff in the office once restrictions lift.
Looking to register an event?
Head to our 2021 Event Registrations page.
Ongoing advice, workshops, event services, resources and everything you need to register your event as part of the open-access Midsumma Festival 2021.Open-Access Event Registrations
Everything you need to know about producing your Midsumma Festival event.Event Producer Resources