Midsumma will once again deliver Victoria’s Pride in partnership with the Victorian government.
The 23-day jam-packed Midsumma Festival, the organisation’s primary event throughout summer, will also see the return of the one-day street party in Melbourne’s northside, now known as Victoria’s Pride.
Scheduled for February 12, 2023, Victoria’s Pride street party will transform Gertrude and Smith Street into a multi-sensory festival-type atmosphere that will include a diverse array of performances running from 11am-9pm.
The event will have crowds flocking to the multiple live performance stages, and provide access to interactive experiences, immersive art, a multitude of creative activities and community stalls. Alongside ongoing roving performances, there will also be food, beverages and goods from local traders, bars, and businesses. At the height of summer, this will be a memorable event that celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community in fine fashion.
Headlining Victoria’s Pride is the multi-disciplinary and highly talented Keiynan Lonsdale (aka Rainbow Boy) who is proving to be both an influential force within his generation and a powerful advocate and representative of the queer community, Lonsdales debut album Rainbow Boy, was nominated for a GLAAD award which is designed to honour musicians who use their musical repertoire to highlight LGBTIQA+ acceptance. The Nigerian/Australian performer calls on his unique experiences to create alluringly infectious, high-energy pop music with undertones of dance, disco and club beats.
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Touted as the leader of Aussie LGBTQ+ Acts To Watch by Rolling Stone Australia, Lonsdale will be treating Melbourne audiences to a full hour of original music and dance, ahead of his role co-hosting and performing at the closing concert of World Pride (Sydney) in March. Having collaborated with the likes of internationally familiar producer Louis Futon, he will undoubtedly produce nothing short of a spectacle that you won’t want to miss.
Also featuring at the event will be Gumbaynggir and Dunghutti singer and songwriter Casey Donovan, who after a meteoric rise to fame at the age of 16, became the youngest-ever winner of Australian Idol. Injecting her version of sentimental pop that demonstrates a truly impressive vocal range, the multi-award winning Donovan will deliver a special set for attendees in the early afternoon before heading off to co-host the opening concert at Sydney World Pride.
Joining Donovan and Lonsdale on the line-up will be Banoffee, an artist who is paving the way for the future of indie-pop through her electronically produced style of music, and Filipino/Australian artist, musician, songwriter, producer, and filmmaker, Chela.
Melbourne will form part of the artists’ national Cool 2B Queer tour, with the pride event being the exclusive Victorian host. Chela has achieved international acclaim for her journeying and serpentine synth-pop. Having performed in Paste Studio NYC, SXSW and Coachella, with an extensive discography that spans a decade, Chela will have the crowd popping along to her music with ease.
Furthermore, Alter Boy, a community collective fronted by trans/hard-of-hearing vocalist, Molly Priest, are set to share their artistry at the party. Their project ebbs and flows between and transcends the borders of sound and silence, voice and Auslan to establish an alternative and more inclusive approach to music and storytelling.
The line-up doesn’t stop there; Midsumma have confirmed a selection of even more artists including the transformative, multi-disciplinary artist and advocate Jaguar Jonze, who continues to rise with her unpredictable and authentic style of dance rock; Melbourne-based queer bubble-gum punk band Cry Club, as gentle in spirit as they are ferocious on stage; theatrical and bold DJ drag queen duo Kali Fornikate and Sabrina Babyslut, known as Jawbreakers; the blisteringly funny, politically active, queer cabaret singer and writer Reuben Kaye and hot 80s all-women supergroup, The Lost Girls.
If that exceptionally talented line-up wasn’t already set to dazzle and enthral, Midsumma plan to reveal more artists on their website across the coming weeks at midsumma.org.au/vicpride.
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Entertainment won’t be limited to music and dance, as the live program will include a diverse range of performances including comedians, guest speakers, roving artists, circus, drag and art installations. Remember to keep an eye out for pop-up performances in shopfront windows!
Entry will remain free for Victoria’s Pride and the street party is set up to be a vibrant and inclusive celebration to encourage an eclectic demographic to attend, irrespective of age.
Auslan interpretation will be available across much of the program supported by both Auslan Stage Left and Break a Finger and a collaboration with Vitae Veritas will allow attendees who are blind or have low vision to experience the event through audio description and a tactile tour.
The regional program for Victoria’s Pride, featuring 14 diverse pride events, is underway and is being held in regional and rural communities in the months leading up to the Melbourne street party.
For more information, head to the Midsumma website here.
This article was made in partnership with Midsumma.