Midsumma Carnival kicks off three-week festival with iconic full-day extravaganza

APN Midsumma Carnival Main Stage 2023 photo by Nikki Russian PhotographyThe annual Midsumma Carnival will once again take over Melbourne’s Alexandra Gardens on Sunday 21 January, where fabulous and diverse LGBTQIA+ acts will grace three stages to mark the opening of Midsumma Festival. This popular annual day event attracts over 120,000 people and entry is free.

Presented by Midsumma Festival and supported by City of Melbourne, Midsumma Carnival features over 180 stalls including pop-up bars, two large food zones, free giveaways, and multiple queer-friendly community groups and businesses, including the iconic Dog Show for pooches to compete to win the Ultimate Best Dog prize. Midsumma Carnival highlights include:

The Carnival Main Stage will be emceed by Aurelia, Charlie and Jordan from pop culture podcast POPGAYS. Performances include Jess McAvoy (The Search by Jess McAvoy), the gender and sexually diverse community concert band, Melbourne Rainbow Bandthe cabaret-comedy I Want It That Gay, the dangerously enticing story of one woman’s journey through Life, Love and Drag: Woman of SALT, Australia’s only drag queen owned and operated venue, Vau d’vile vixens, and more.

The Carnival Picnic Stage will feature DJ Gay Dad, the gay Hogwarts comedy, Hufflepoof,  tales of lady love from across the globe, Lesbian Love Stories, Lip Sync Limelight hosted by Frock HudsonSian Bigid and many more. The jam-packed full Carnival program is available to view at: www.midsumma.org.au.

“Melbourne has a strong and vibrant LGBTQIA+ culture, which is why we can’t wait to see more than one hundred thousand people gather for another celebration of the Midsumma Carnival,” said Lord Mayor Sally Capp.

“The program is packed with exciting live music performances from a diverse range of talented artists. With free entry, Carnival is the perfect family day out at beautiful Alexandra Gardens.”

Festival goers will bask in a variety of fun and safe spaces accessible to everybody. Friends and families can bring a picnic, or indulge in on-site food stalls, while checking out sports activities, a youth area, and family-areas from dawn to dusk.

As the night approaches, Midsumma will have everyone dancing, with DJs and musicians across both the main and picnic stages. Join thousands of people dancing the night away to a huge line-up on each stage.

The Midsumma Carnival will kick off 22 days of celebration with over 250 events in over 150 venues across Melbourne, showcasing queer culture, featuring local, interstate, and international artists in spectacular performances, talks and social events.

Midsumma is Australia’s premier LGBTQIA+ arts and cultural organisation. Sharing the lived experiences of voices at the margins, expressions of queer history, and the celebration of new ideas and stories that come to life through world-class art and performance.

The 2024 Midsumma Carnival takes place at Melbourne’s Alexandra Gardens on Sunday 21 January (11.00am – 10.00pm) at Melbourne’s Alexandra Gardens. For more information and full program, visit: www.midsumma.org.au for details.

Image: Midsumma Carnival Main Stage 2023 – photo by Nikki Russian Photography