Top Picks For Her At MidsummaYou won’t want to miss any of these Midsumma festivities!

The 2017 Midsumma Festival kicked off on 15 January with a program full of activities and events for everyone this season.  Midsumma celebrates diverse gender and sexuality and is one of the world’s top five LGBTQIA+ festivals!

With over 130 events on offer, it can be difficult to select which event to attend! Here is a selection of events that every LOTL reader will be sure to love!

Auto Bio Queen

From the time she was old enough to lipsync Beni Lola (Natasha Jynel) knew that she wanted to be a Drag Queen. There was just one problem. Girls can’t be Drag Queens, right?

Auto Bio Queen explores the life story of Beni Lola through dazzling cabaret performances starring Karen From Finance, Bumpa Love, Fipe Preuss, Hannie Helsden, Rolly and of course, Beni Lola. This journey of self-discovery will touch anyone who has ever searched for somewhere to belong. Nothing is off limits in this story of exploration and acceptance, reminding us of what ties us all together and how the story of one can connect us all.

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Baby Got Back

Featuring an all-female Australian cast comprised of dancers, vaudevillians, showgirls, puppeteers & comedians, the Baby Got Back collective presents an hour-long psychosexual adventure of demented dancehall, projection mashups & remixed soundscapes, burlesque shakedowns and stripper mayhem. It’s the intergala-ass-tic safari of your wildest dreams, right to the very far reaches of bad taste and beyond!

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Beautiful Women

Following the 2016 success of All You Need is Love, photographer Lisa White returns to Midsumma Festival and Incinerator Gallery with a new portrait series. Beautiful Women celebrates the contributions LBTI women have made to challenging narrow definitions of femininity and perfection. Exploring the power of lesbian, bi, trans and intersex women and the diverse characteristics of their beauty, this exhibition presents ‘beauty’ as beyond-skin to a sense of pride in ‘who we are’. Join BreastScreen Victoria in celebrating all women as part of their work developing LBTI inclusive services.

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Cuddle Puddle

Gasworks Arts Park in partnership with The Village Festival will transform the park into a magical Midsumma hub, so linger longer to enjoy all the festivities. Take selfies with the giant inflatable rainbow, and wander around the park to enjoy the bar-and-lounge, Cuddle Puddle, 10 Minute Dance Party Caravan, Penny Candy Sideshow and more.

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Elizabeth Taylor – The Queen of Celebrity Activism

Once upon a time the word ‘Star’ applied to someone fabulous who worked in the entertainment industry. It was an accolade given to someone with magnetism, glamour and a quality that set them apart from mere mortals. Elizabeth Taylor was in every sense of the word a Super Star.

Elizabeth Taylor also had a passionate commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS and, in 1985, began donating her personal income as well as raising funds to discover a cure. Today her efforts continue posthumously and contribute significantly to the cause. The legacy of her unwavering and tireless work will surpass the likes of any Kardashian, or wannabe celebrity head.

The exhibition will showcase some of Elizabeth’s prized personal effects, collectable items and pieces that will give an insight into the entertainer and the activist.

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Finucane & Smith’s Glory Box: Lucky 13

A Melbourne institution comes home for Midsumma to roll the dice once more.

Dice-rolling divas, ace-in-the-hole aerialists, pokerfaced prima donnas and backroom ballerinas take to the Arts Centre Melbourne stage in this rock’n’roll Russian roulette, all led by Melbourne’s own unquenchable Queen of Hearts, Moira Finucane.

An explosive variety show of the most subversive ilk, Glory Box is a melting pot of cabaret, dance, spoken word and transcendent glamour.

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Goddess Grooves

Prepare to be impressed by Michelle Parson’s gutsy and passionate originals, and her renditions of popular covers. Be captivated by Freya Hanly’s beautiful vocals and groovy rhythms. Savour the many flavours of Rosie Burgess’ energetic and awesome blend of folk, blues and gypsy roots. Be transported by Ruth Katerelos’ insightful lyrics and rich vocals, and blown away by the clever song-craft and amazing guitar work of Monique Kenny.

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Jen Der

Jen Der is coming out ‘Bio’ unleashing hip jiggling, twerk-inducing covers and original song, with an intent to push the hyper female to the limit, wrestle the comedy and chaos of ‘gender norms’ to the ground and ultimately, discover and embrace what it takes to let your true inner drag queen shine through.

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Midsumma Festival Barre: The Official Festival Bar and Club

Glitterbomb your Festival and bring your post-show diva to the Midsumma Festival Barre for all kinds of fabulousness.

Free and open every night of the Festival, the Midsumma Festival Barre at Arts Centre Melbourne features DJs, queer cocktails, sing-alongs, special guests, weekend chats, forums and much more.

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Muliebrity & Other collaborations

Do you assume that everyone you meet is heterosexual, unless they “look queer”? That assumption is called “heteronormativity”. In a new video work titled, ‘muliebrity‘, artist Alison Bennett reflects on the identity presentation of queer women who emphasise their femininity. The exhibition will also feature a selection of Bennett’s collaborative projects: ‘Inverto‘, ‘Shifting Skin‘, & ‘Wrap‘.

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Pandoras Presents The Retro Girls Beach Party!

Wonderful FUN FABULOUS FUN at PANDORAS! Featuring ALL SORTS of LGBTIQ folk from Pandoras Community! Get ready to feel the sand between your toes! Paddle on down to Pandoras Retro Beach Party! A wonderful way to celebrate Pandoras’ 1st birthday and Midsumma’s 30th! Palm Trees, Balmy Breezes in the courtyard, sipping on Blue Lagoon cocktails. Sit back on your BYO Bean Bag or Banana Lounge & enjoy……..

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The Desperettes: A Guide to being a Wingman

After sell out seasons at Perth Fringe and Edinburgh Fringe festival The Desperettes are back on their quest to pick up the D. Join Daisy (Belinda Hanne Reid), DeeDee (Natasha York) and Delilah (Lisa Woodbrook) in a hilarious night out as they learn the techniques for being a Wingman. In this comedy cabaret, expect sharp wit and tight three-part harmonies as these girls defy gender while singing (and sometimes rapping) a huge soundtrack of pop hits, including Destiny’s Child, Justin Timberlake and Salt’n’Pepa!

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The Great Gay Goddess Gallery

The Great Gay Goddess Gallery presents the richness of gay and lesbian culture through her multifaceted modern identities. This body of work uses the concept of The Goddess to explore themes of self expression and identity. The power of goddess archetypes lies in the way they touch on and validate all aspects and dimensions of female power and expression. This work is also concerned with difference and the appreciation of difference. The key theme works around the notion that our identities are expressions of the same female essence and that we each express different aspects of this fundamental nature. Considering ourselves and others in this way can dissolve the idea of difference, inspire curiosity and make it possible to wonder at the breadth and beauty of what being female is.

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Ursula Martinez: Free Admission

Ursula Martinez is many things: an Olivier Award winner, a cult cabaret diva, a star of stages across the world… but above-all-else she is a provocateur.

Free Admission sees her building a real brick wall between herself and the audience, while revealing her hopes, fears, frustrations, delights and disappointments. Serving up side-splitting zingers and brain-bending truths, Urusla celebrates the contradictions and inconsistencies that make us human – all with her tongue firmly planted in her cheek.

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