The headlining carnival isn’t pushing through this year, but festival organisers have more than made up for it with a jam-packed program celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community.
Midsumma Festival is taking over the Sidney Myer Music Bowl for two nights of free performances on April 30 and May 1, with a diverse line-up of artists, performers and communities under the stars. Journey through some of the world’s most famous cabaret venues through the years when drag performers take on Dita von Teese, Carmen Miranda, Jessica Rabbit and Marilyn Monroe.
At Comedy Republic’s Big City Blowout, top queer comedians are busting out their best jokes, gimmicks and get-up’s to keep you laughing all night long. And to prove that brunch doesn’t have to be a drag, St Kilda’s Evie is serving cheeky brunches with bottomless bevs and hostesses in their Saturday’s best.
The newly opened arts hub Collingwood Yards is the backdrop for four evenings of projection artwork and performances exploring resilience and change, while a festival for queer women and allies is popping up at Seaworks Williamstown.
Roll around Preston’s Retropolis for a roller-disco unlike any other, featuring dance floor favourites you can jive and skate along to. Midsumma’s premier women’s music event Goddess Grooves is also back, with performances by Michella Chandler, Jo Jo Smith and Michelle Parsons.
Minus-18’s can get in on the action with Night at the Museum: Youth Midsumma Festival Party marking a glorious return to IRL dance parties at the Immigration Museum, while there are also heaps of family- and kid-friendly events across the program.
And while most Midsumma activities end early in May, the festival is throwing one last hoorah with the 26th annual Pride March, filling St Kilda’s iconic Fitzroy Street with colours, glitter and more. It’s closed to the public, but audiences can watch from venues along the street or livestreamed to their homes.