The 36th annual Midsumma Festival, a three-week celebration of LGBTIQA+ art and culture showcasing pride, inclusivity and equality for Victoria’s diverse rainbow communities, kicked off last weekend with the annual Midsumma Carnival at Melbourne’s Alexandra Gardens.
Minister for Equality Harriet Shing joined the celebrations on Sunday 21 January, helping to judge the proudest pooches in the park as part of the popular Midsumma Carnival Dog Show.
“Midsumma Festival is woven into the fabric of our LGBTIQA+ cultural and arts calendar here in Victoria, as well as being an integral part of our broader efforts to achieve equality and celebrate diversity as a strength,” said Minister for Equality Harriet Shing.
The Midsumma Carnival launches a broader queer summer festival of activities, with more than 100,000 people visiting the all-ages event, enjoying lively musical acts and other performers across a number of stages, in addition to more than 180 stalls, including community and business stalls, food zones and bars.
Major highlights of the 2024 Festival include the annual Pride March in St Kilda on Sunday 4 February and the Victoria’s Pride Street Party on Smith and Gertrude Streets on the final day of the festival, Sunday 11 February.
A statewide celebration of LGBTIQA+ communities, Victoria’s Pride also includes a series of pride activities and events across regional Victoria including Queerthentic – Regional LGBTQIA+ Art Prize in Kyneton (25 January – 12 February) and Pride Fair Day in Wangaratta on Friday 9 February.
A long running and proud supporter of the festival, the Victorian Government additional funding to stage the Queer PHOTO Festival in Melbourne’s west through the Go West Festivals Fund.
“After a record-breaking festival last year, we are eagerly looking forward to what is shaping up to be the biggest Midsumma yet,” said Karen Bryant, Midsumma Festival CEO. “It promises to be testament to our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and the celebration of LGBTQIA+ communities, arts and culture.”
The 2024 Midsumma Festival continues to Sunday 11 February. For more information and full program, visit: www.midsumma.org.au for details.
Image: Midsumma Carnival 2024 – photo by Tom Noble