The inaugural Summer Camp festival is coming to Melbourne and the organisers are claiming it will be the first festival with international headliners to grace a southern hemisphere.
Announcing its debut with a bang comes the inaugural Summer Camp Festival – Australia’s first touring pride festival – bringing a celebration of freedom and diversity to Darwin, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth in February and March 2022.
Founders Kat Dopper (Creator of Heaps Gay) and Grant Gillies and David Gillett (Creators of Red Mgmt and former Sydney Mardi Gras Marketing and Internationals Talent Managers) have created a ‘summer camp’ for adults, a playground of music and art culture that suspends reality and transcends the boundaries of imagination. Summer Camp is a place where everyone is truly welcome – no matter who you love, your pronouns, or your star sign.
The key takeaways
- Summer Camp Festival is the new LGBTQI festival coming to Melbourne
- It will be held at Reunion Park on March 6, 2022
- Headliners include Years & Years, Cub Sport, The Veronicas and more
Highlighting the rich tapestry of incredible Aussie artists nationally, Summer Camp Festival aims to enhance the creative landscape, offering an immersive experience for all. Heading off in their CAMPa van, they’ll swing past Darwin on February 26th then bouncing along to Sydney at the green oasis that is Centennial Parklands on February 27th, the celebration will then take in Melbourne at Reunion Park on March 6th and finish up in Perth at The Ice Cream Factory on March 7th for one hell of a party. Within the festival bounds and across two stages, attendees will indulge in music, dance, performance art, culture, art installations, and delicious offerings of food and beverage.
Packed with world-class talent, the event will be headlined by London’s Years & Years, also known as actor, singer and man of the moment Olly Alexander. 2021 has been a year of highs for Olly Alexander, from his acclaimed performance in the award-winning global hit drama It’s A Sin, to his collaboration on Lady Gaga’s reimagined album, his duet with Kylie Minogue and his show-stopping performance with Sir Elton John at the Brit Awards in London and with new album Night Call out on January 7th this will be one of the first chances to hear it live.
Hailing from New Orleans’ hip hop and electronic scene, the CEO of bounce music Big Freedia has a slew of music royalty credits to her name. Featuring on tracks with Beyonce, Drake, Lizzo, Kesha and more, and joining the panel on the current season of the iconic Ru Paul’s Drag Race All Stars her charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent will shake up the Summer Camp stage.
Much loved duo, The Veronicas will devour the stage as only these iconic twin sisters could in their first LGBTQIA+ performance since New York Pride in 2019, leaving no audience member feeling Untouched.
Global pop powerhouse Cub Sport have sold out dates across four continents so it’s no doubt they’ll dazzle on the main stage. The prolific Brisbane band released their fourth album early last year and are yet to take it on tour, until now.
Adding to their monstrous first edition of touring artists is ARIA award-winning luminary Ladyhawke, party starters Confidence Man, chart-topping producer Young Franco, festival staple Kinder, up and coming New Zealand rapper JessB, alt-pop breakout Sycco, and WA/Darwin born and bred duo The Merindas. They’ll be joined by over 150 DJ’s, drag queens, dancers & performance artists in each city.
Speaking on the need for Summer Camp, Kat Dopper shares “After 2 years of cancelled parties, loose event calendars and empty dance floors, I couldn’t be more excited for Summer Camp Festival which will bring together some of my favourite parts of queer culture for massive one-day parties in four cities.”
Set to be the biggest ticketed LGBTQIA+ music festival in the southern hemisphere, Summer Camp Festival will be unparalleled for inclusivity and supporting young diverse artists, by not only providing a platform for over 200 artists to perform but also with a percentage of every ticket going to their Summer Camp Artists Grants Program. Post-event, this quick response grants program will be available for artists to access capital in a timely matter.
Aligned with their inclusivity mission, tickets start at $99 for the vibrant, multi-sensory day and a priority placed on accessible amenities and extra precautions taken to comply with health and safety protocols.
In development for over two years, Summer Camp Festival is created by industry leaders who are excited to finally implement funding from the federal government’s RISE Grant program ensuring a monumental experience for attendees.
On creating a space for every walk of life, Dopper exclaims “Summer Camp Festival is a new inclusive festival experience that accepts all the cuties. It’s a chance to frolic in the forest with pals, dress up, and celebrate the true meaning of pride, Love has no labels at Summer Camp – it’s a place to call ‘homo’ this pride season. Let’s get sweaty this summer and feel the euphoria of being together and dancing again”
Summer Camp 2022 Festival Lineup
YEARS & YEARS (UK) (SYD, MELB & PERTH ONLY)
BIG FREEDIA (USA)
JESS B (NZ)
Summer Camp Festival Dates 2022
Saturday, 26th February – Darwin Showgrounds
Sunday, 27th February – Centennial Parklands, Sydney
Sunday, 6th March – Reunion Park, Melbourne
Monday, 7th March – The Ice Cream Factory, Perth
Head to the Summer Camp 2022 festival website here for all the info.