Brisbane Powerhouse announces a new queer arts festival

BPH_Melt2015Sydney has Mardi Gras, Melbourne has Midsumma and Brisbane is soon to have MELT: A Celebration of Queer Arts and Culture set to complete the East Coast trilogy of LGBTIQ festivities.

Presented by Brisbane Powerhouse, MELT will take place in the final weeks of Brisbane’s steamy summer: 5 – 15 February 2015, and according to Artist Director Kris Stewart, will be positioned to be a highlight of Queensland’s annual queer and cultural calendar.

“We’re so excited to be a part of MELT and launch Brisbane’s queer arts festival with events within and beyond Brisbane Powerhouse,” says Stewart. “Being in February means we can collaborate with Midsumma and Mardi Gras and being almost exactly six months after Brisbane’s own Pride Festival will also create a great seasonal balance with a strong focus on the arts.”

Newly appointed Festival Director James Lees will lead the event following a background of producing events for Brisbane Pride Festival, Brisbane Carnivale and Brisbane Cabaret Festival, and additionally working with Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Brisbane Fringe Festival, Brisbane Festival and Brisbane Powerhouse.

“The opportunity to bring the first MELT to life is like a dream job to me,” says Lees. “I believe in breaking down the artificial barriers that can exist between art-forms and artists. I’ll be bringing this approach to MELT, as seen through the lens of the ever evolving LGBTIQ community, which I have also been proudly involved with, and a part of, for many years,” says Lees.

As a keystone to the annual calendar MELT will also incorporate the state’s long-running queer event, Brisbane Queer Film Festival (BQFF), which will be strategically brought forward to celebrate its 16th year with an esteemed new home within MELT.

“It’s exciting to consider the next Brisbane Queer Film Festival to be running within MELT. I myself am a member of the discerning and loyal audience it has earned over the last 15 years and I regard its standing and prestige within our community with great respect,” Lees continued.

“At the moment we are just in the first stages of the programming process and really this is the most exciting and fun part of all, where the path ahead is wide open and there is the notion of possibility everywhere.”

MELT will incorporate music, visual arts, film and performance of all varieties, alongside special gala events. Performers wanting to be part of festival should head to the Brisbane Powerhouse website to find out more information. Registrations open Friday 5 September and close at 5pm on Friday 19 September 2014.

MELT: A Celebration of Queer Arts and Culture run from Thursday 5 February to Sunday 15 February 2015. For more information, visit: www.brisbanepowerhouse.org for details.

Image: courtesy of the Brisbane Powerhouse

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