Midsumma announces 29th Festival program

2016 Midsumma Festival LaunchMelbourne’s Midsumma Festival has announced its line up of 145 events spanning exhibitions, performing arts, live music, film, social, sporting and community events for its 29th festival.

Celebrating diverse gender and sexuality through a range of arts, culture and community events, Midsumma is one of the world’s top 5 LGBTI festivals, attracting over 200,000 attendees over three weeks, bringing people from regional Victoria, interstate and internationally.

The 2016 National Water Polo League Pride Cup will this year feature as a major event, joining Carnival & T Dance (Sunday 17 January) and Pride March (Sunday 31 January) as some of the highlights of the festival.

The Pride Cup on Friday 5 February 2016 will take over the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre with the Victorian Seals National League men’s and women’s teams competing against the Brisbane KFC. The night will include a grudge match between Australia’s only LGBTIQ water polo clubs – Melbourne Surge and Sydney Stingers.

Festival Chair Aaron Hockly says this year’s impressive line up has something for everyone: “The 29th Midsumma Festival is as proudly diverse as our communities. From captivating performances and exhibitions, to sporting, social, community and family friendly events there is plenty to keep Melbourne occupied over summer.”

“The Midsumma Festival is for everyone who identifies as part or supports the diverse gender and sexuality communities and is a true celebration and showcase of our talent,” Mr Hockly added.

Rowena Allen, Victoria’s first Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality, and Patron of the National Water Polo League Pride Cup said: “The breadth of events at Midsumma, from visual arts, performance arts, social activities, family activities and now our very first water polo Pride Cup event, shows how diverse our community really is.”

“The water polo Pride Cup is a great addition to the line up at the Midsumma Festival that will put a spotlight on ensuring that diverse gender and sexuality communities can participate in all parts of our community including sport,” Ms Allen added.

Additional highlights of the 2016 Midsumma Festival include: the Australian Premiere of Douglas Rintoul’s Elegy at Gasworks; the multi-media art exhibition where men explore men in Company of Men at Second Story Studios; back for its third year, Australia’s finest & funniest gals in a night of hilarious frivolity in Lesbian Comedy Gala: a Celebration of our Pride & Joy; and Australia’s cabaret darling, Michael Griffiths return to Midsumma in Cole.

The 2016 Midsumma Festival runs 17 January – 7 February. Tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit: www.midsumma.org.au for details.

Image: Victorian Seals and Melbourne Surge players join Rhonda Butchmore and Midsumma Festival Director, Tennille Moisel in taking a look at the 2016 Midsumma Festival Guide at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC)