Midsumma Festival has wrapped up a hugely successful three weeks of queer arts and cultural events, with attendance soaring to 198,000 – up 27% from last year and plenty of feedback is rolling in about the quality of the program. The comparative figures don’t include Pride March which had 5,300 marchers and 15,000 estimated onlookers.
“I am thrilled with the popularity of so many events particularly engaging a far greater diversity of audiences across multiple venues and genres”, said Midsumma CEO Karen Bryant. “We are already receiving a large amount of feedback from many parts of our communities about the lift in access to the festival, including 50% free events, a $26 average ticket price and an increase in access services.”
“Since the launch in November, we have heard that the quality and breadth of the program overall is one of the best ever. Audiences have let us know they felt events and conversations were truly relevant to them. Personally, the three weeks have been punctuated by so many special memorable moments it’s hard to just pick a handful.”
Midsumma Carnival attendance was an estimated 105,000, with areas extended for families, youth and sports, and the Slow Art Collective’s tactile art installation and Chill Zone were both a resounding success. For the first time both stages were operating to the very end through T-Dance, offering a more diverse line-up than ever before.
There was a 40% increase in programming across the festival, with Midsumma presenting and co-presenting 30 events, including 15 in the festival bar, Bombini Buzz. In total 50 shows or events sold out over the 22 days. New initiative Midsumma Youth Spectacular was a resounding success and there were high attendances at talks and forums across the three weeks.
Program highlights included two sell-out Midsumma presents shows at Arts Centre Melbourne – Midsumma Comedy Extravaganza and The Cocoa Butter Club: Midsumma Special. Other sell out shows and seasons include: John Barrowman, #romeoandjuliet, Moonlite, The Famous Alga History Walk, Life is a Cabaret, Thick N Juicy, La Nonna, Queer Pool Party, The Glitter and Doom Salon, Carol, Can’t Be Tamed and The Big Times.
Midsumma Horizon on the closing weekend was also well-received, with many revellers dressed up as their favourite queer figures from history to enjoy a line-up which blew the roof off the State Library Victoria, including Paul Capsis, Maude Davey, Zelia Rose, Jude Jones, and Yana Alana as Queen Kong.
With some events continuing beyond the end of the festival, visit: www.midsumma.org.au for more details.
Image: Queen Kong (aka Yana Alana) – supplied