In its 34th year, Midsumma Festival shines a spotlight on queer arts and cultural festivities, showcasing national and local artists. An impressive 195 events over the three-week Festival will span across 119 venues, with over 500 culture-makers involved in events around metro Melbourne and regional Victoria.
Celebrating LGBTQIA+, diverse journeys, culture makers and communities, Midsumma will present 161 open-access events made for, and by queer communities who live with shared experiences around gender and sexuality diversity.
Midsumma offers arts events for everyone in every body and will focus its 2022 major project AND/OR on breaking a new artistic ground by shining the spotlight on the disability communities. The festival’s CEO, Karen Bryant, says, “AND/OR is a program of works that are disability-led and from multiple perspectives, ranging from unapologetic to vulnerable, celebratory to questioning, reflective to riotous… there is so much variety to see within and beyond the broad umbrella labels of ‘queer’ and ‘disabled’.”
DNA has handpicked our favourite events from the Midsumma line-up that showcase the hottest, most diverse and exciting LGBTQIA+ artists, that celebrate the queer experience.
Midsumma Carnival And Pride March
The Midsumma Carnival and Pride March are the signature events of the Midsumma Festival line-up, bookending the three-week-long festivities. Taking place on 23 January, the Midsumma Carnival is a “fun in the sun” celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community with performances, live entertainment, places to picnic with friends and the carnival’s iconic Dog Show.
The Pride March is held on 6 February in Melbourne’s historical queer suburb of St Kilda. With over 8,000 people marching, and 45,000 people lining the streets joining the celebrations, the Midsumma Pride March is one of the largest celebrations of the LGBTQIA+ community that Melbourne has to offer!
An intoxicating cocktail of Magic Mike, Tom of Finland and red hot energy fires up the Pride stage for one night only on 11 February. A celebration of butch and muscle mania, featuring some of Melbourne’s most talented dancers and alluring performers, it’s unashamedly a night of celebrating fine masculine form!
Pool Parties GALORE!
It was impossible to pick just one pool party out of the smorgasbord of events being held during Midsumma, so we picked all four! Being held all over Melbourne, there’s a wet and wild event for every Melbourne gay to enjoy.
For the first time ever, Wet On Wellington is throwing open its doors and launching its newest all-inclusive queer event the Queer Summer Pool Party. (29 Jan)
Melbourne’s biggest and most inclusive Queer Pool Party, being held in the heart of Melbourne’s queer scene at Prahran Aquatic Centre, this pool party will be hosted by the Melbourne Surge LGBT Water Polo club with tunes being spun all day by DJ Dinosaur. (30 Jan)
Carlton Baths is once again opening its doors after their hugely successful Pride Party events in 2019 and 2021. Carlton Baths will host family-friendly activities taking place in the afternoon, and an evening session continuing with DJs, Drag Bingo and more acts to be announced. (30 Jan)
Brimbank City Council in collaboration with Bulldog Pride are hosting an LGBTQIA+ inclusive, Pride Pool Party in the Sunshine, featuring world renowned Melbourne DJ MzRizk. An inclusive event for all people and all kinds of bodies. (30 Jan)
Midsumma Festival’s favourite all-inclusive techno party returns for 2022 with a gala event launching the festival on Carnival eve, Saturday 22 January, plus a special kink edition on Sunday 13 February to farewell Midsumma Festival, and usher in the inaugural Folsom Down Under Festival!
Featuring stellar techno DJs and saucy performances. Partygoers are encouraged to wear their most provocative looks – be it gender fuck, latex, leather and gear, drag, glam, club fashion, or even go nude!
Spice Babes will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Spice and Spiceworld albums to feature a range of underground queer artists from Melbourne. The albums by these five spicy British girls hold a special place within the collective queer psyche of the ’90s and early ’00s generation.
Taking place on 3-4 February, the performance is set to, “spice up your (post-lockdown) life,” and provide a perfect springboard to re-imagine this seminal work with a distinctive Melbourne flavour – celebrating the diversity of the thriving alternative queer community in a full live music and performance art experience.
The Trans Pride Concert will be celebrating the trans community of Victoria like never before! Through a showcase of local performers at Federation Square, there will be a celebratory concert of trans excellence on Saturday 12 February.
This special event will strive to bring joy, happiness and hope to the trans community and allies, and will feature performers representing various entertainment industries, from live singers, hip hop artists, drag performers and spoken word.
For more information and to purchase tickets, head to the Midsumma Festival website.