First published on 31 Oct 2011. Updated on 5 Jan 2012.
Can you feel it in the air? Summer's here, the city is sizzling and that can mean only one thing… time to frolic down by the river with all your best gay boys and girls as Midsumma Carnival and T-Dance rolls into town.
Kicking off the three-week Midsumma Festival of all things fab on Melbourne’s gay scene, the enormous carnival takes over Birrarung Marr with a joyous celebration of all things pride. And as the sun goes down over the beer tents, performing artists and stalls packed to bursting with queer culture goodies, the party shifts to the T-Dance, a dance party that rivals the best on the circuit, with the frankly stunning backdrop of the city skyline lit up and sparkly.
Festival coordinator Adam Lowe reveals that the three-week fest involves over 150 events in 2012, from theatre to stand up comedy, pop stars to drag show extravaganzas. He says it’s all about getting closer in the old-fashioned way.
“As much as we think we’re connected through the wonders of social media, these tools just don’t complete the connection,” he reckons. “Midsumma Festival, through Carnival, T-Dance and the many other events, fulfils good old fashioned analogue social networking… human touch, smiles and laughter.”
A labour of love for all involved, Midsumma activates a small army of dedicated volunteers – part of the community, working for the community.
“We have an incredible team of volunteers which grows each year,” Lowe points out.
Having moved north of the river last year, the carnival’s new home at Birrarung Marr has been well received. “We’ve settled in well,” Lowe says. “As the attendance grows, a site of this size is important. It gives everyone much more room to move, and much more room to move.”
At the end of the day, it’s all good fun, and kicks off a fab three weeks of glitter and glam. “Midsumma is an opportunity for the queer community to stand together in solidarity and celebrate ourselves. That’s the most important thing.”