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This year, we are excited to partner with Description Victoria to provide you with information about a range of described events and experiences, from drag cabaret showstoppers to classical music concerts; tactile installations to exhibition tours and beyond. There will be something for everyone in the program, and we have put together an audio guide to the festival which can be found by clicking on Midsumma Festival 2018 Audio Guide.

Below, you'll find a short introduction to each of the described experiences on offer at this year's festival, as well as links to more information.

For answers to any questions about the program and to book tickets, you can call the Midsumma box office on 03 9296 6600. Alternatively, ticket links are included with each listing below.

Event: Midsumma Carnival

Audio Intro | Event Listing

When: Sunday January 14 from 11am
Where: Alexandra Gardens, off St Kilda Road, South Bank of the Yarra
How much? Free!

Don't miss Melbourne's most famous family-friendly community day that kicks off summer's beloved three-week Midsumma Festival season. Midsumma Carnival will serve-up a tasting plate of performances and personalities from the festival program – in one giant showcase – with something for everyone.

Description Victoria is working with Slow Art Collective on a participatory art installation run by members of the Blind/low vision community. Visit between 11am and 5.30pm to experience this massive, walk-in installation, add your own threads to the weave, and touch ice sculptures that sing.

Audio describers will be available all day to meet you near the event, and guide you on a tour through this busy community congregation. RSVP on Facebook for the latest, call 0458 458 076, or just rock up on the day!

Performance: The Cocoa Butter Club

Audio Intro | Event Listing

When: Friday January 19 from 8.30pm
Where: Fairfax Studio, Arts Centre Melbourne
How much? Tickets from $25

A special cabaret and performance event curated by queers of colour. The Cocoa Butter Club is a spirited soiree of unapologetic, oh-so-hot-right-now performers who are Indigenous and/or people of colour. Everyone is welcome to come revel in a variety night of stunning burlesque, performance art, dance, drag and more.

Emcees Nayuka Gorrie and Davey Thompson will introduce you to artists including Zelia Rose (Miss Burlesque Australia 2014 winner), Mojo Juju (Futuristic Soul Funk) and Garret Lyon (Singer) among others.

Concert: Homophonic! Midsumma Special

Audio Intro | Event Listing

When: Tuesday January 30 from 6:30pm
Where: La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond Street, Carlton
How much? Tickets from $20

Homophonic! is back for it's 6th fabulous year. Join us for an evening of new classical music by queer composers. Celebrating sapphic symphonists, homosexual harmonies, and the long and proud tradition of composers being as gay as the day is long.

Classical music has a rich heritage of LGBTQIA+ musicians and composers, and this concert is celebrating the legacy of artists such as Tchaikovsky, Poulenc, Copland and Cage, by performing the work of 20th and 21st century queer composers, in an exciting program featuring famously gay composers alongside new Australian music that is sure to entertain and enlighten even the most experienced concert goer.

Description Victoria will be leading a tactile tour of the performance space. Come up on stage, meet the musicians, and get hands-on with a range of classical instruments.

To book for the tactile tour, please contact Caitlin Dullard at La Mama on 9347 6948. Please note that this show will only feature a tactile tour, and description will not be provided during the performance.

Performance: RIOT!

Audio Intro | Event Listing

When: Friday February 2
Where: Fairfax Studio, Arts Centre Melbourne
How much? Tickets from $30

A disorderly cocktail of party and politics, and a love-letter of hope to the future, RIOT is a thrilling, uplifting and unforgettable night out.

Dance, drag, circus and comedy rolled into a gut-punch of wild theatre, RIOT infuses the excitement of a variety show with the energy of the dance floor, setting your hearts and minds ablaze.

The all-star Irish cast includes Queen of Ireland Panti Bliss (last seen in her 2017 Midsumma Festival one-woman-show High Heels in Low Places). RIOT sold every ticket available in Dublin Fringe, won Best Production and broke box-office records there. Now, this jaw-dropping spectacle comes to Melbourne this summer as a klaxon call for those who are ready to riot.

Exhibition: We Are Here

Audio Intro | Event Listing

When: Saturday February 3, 4pm to 6pm
Where: State Library Victoria, 328 Swanston Street
How much? Free!

In recognition of almost 50 years of the Lesbian, Gay and Trans political movement in Australia and 40th Anniversary of ALGA's dedicated archives, five outstanding contemporary visual artists create new works drawing on archival material from the State Library Victoria and the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives.

Often historians rely on intuition and hints of camp to reveal queer and concealed lives from incomplete archives, with 'evidence' from the past commonly destroyed by families to protect reputations.

In this special exhibition curated by Angela Bailey, artists bring their own sensibilities of identity and practice to interpreting these collections, and bring to life actual or imagined queer histories.

Featuring artists Susan Maco Forrester, Peter Waples-Crowe, Briony Galligan, Peter Lambropoulos, Archie Barry.

Low Visual Content Events

We've also put together short listings of events that might be of interest which do not rely heavily on visual content. These events have been selected based on information provided by the organisers, so we can't guarantee suitability for everyone. Contact the Midsumma box office to find out more about a particular event.

Click here for talks events.
Click here for live performance events.
Click here for social events.
Click here for faith events.

  • PwC
  • NAB
  • Dan Murphy's
  • Jetstar
  • Corrs
  • City of Melbourne
  • AGL