The annual Midsumma Festival returns from 19 January to 9 February 2020. Registrations to be part of the 2020 festival will open on Tuesday 11 June and close on 23 August 2019. For enquiries phone 03 9296 6600 or email [email protected].
Midsumma Festival is an open-access festival; this means that anybody can register an event within the Midsumma Festival season. Midsumma is a champion of queer arts and cultures. We work year-round to support producers in the lead-up to the annual Midsumma Festival, providing ongoing advice, workshops, event services and resources.
Want your event to be part of Midsumma Festival 2020? There are five steps to registering an event with us:
- READ the information below for everything you need to know about registering an event. We recommend familiarising yourself with the registration form before you start to understand what you will need to provide. Feel free to use the Preparation Checklist below to ensure you are ready to start the process.
- TALK to us. An initial conversation is the best way for our staff to help make your event as successful as possible. Call 03 9296 6600 or email [email protected]. Midsumma is also National Relay Service ready!
- GET a high resolution promotional image that represents your event for the Official Festival Program Guide and website. You will need to submit this at the time of registering. Read "Your Event Listing: Image" below for more information on the various formats required.
- LOCK in a venue. You will need to provide a contract or Letter of Agreement with your confirmed venue at the time of registering. Need help finding the right venue? Check our Venues Database or speak with a friendly Midsumma staff member.
- REGISTER online by the closing date, which will be confirmed once registrations are open. Be ready to pay your registration fee at the time of registering. Late registrations, registrations with missing information, registrations without a confirmed venue or promotional image by the closing date will not be accepted.
Read on for everything you need to know about presenting an event as part of Midsumma Festival 2020.
Midsumma Festival 2020 will open with Midsumma Carnival on Sunday 19 January 2020, and will close on Sunday 9 February.
In 2019, there were 179 events across approximately 100 venues featured in the open-access stream of the festival. Midsumma Festival celebrates queer arts and culture through performance, visual art, sports, social events and queer family events. To get an idea of past Midsumma events, check out the 2019 program guide, or the History section of our website.
What you get...and your responsibilities
Midsumma Will Provide
As an event producer you will receive:
- Your event featured in our Official Festival Program Guide
- Your event featured on the midsumma.org.au website
- Ongoing advice and support from Midsumma staff
- Access to our Producer Workshop series
- Access to our Event Producer Resources
- Ticketing services for your event
- License to use the Midsumma logo on your promotional material
- Invitation to special events, including the Midsumma Festival Launch and Festival Wrap Party
- A Participant Pass, which gains you a raft of entitlements including last-minute entry to selected shows, entry to Midsumma Carnival VIP Bar, discounts and much more
- Free Roving Rights at Midsumma Carnival
Presenting an event as part of Midsumma Festival is a lot of fun, but it's also a lot of work. As an event producer, you have certain responsibilities:
- Pay a registration fee and provide all required information about your event by Thursday 9 August 2019.
- Market and promote your event - we can provide guidance, resources and occasionally we may be able to arrange a media or promotional opportunity for you, but the primary responsibility lies with you.
- Organise crew and volunteers for your event
- Secure a venue and liaise with them
- Manage production schedules and budget
- Secure any financial support for your event
- Liaise with Midsumma about ticketing and event listing changes
- Complete your Event Producer Survey at the conclusion of your event (contractually, you won't receive box office settlement until the survey is completed)
- Organise Public Liability Insurance for your event
Midsumma is here to help - we provide advice and guidance on all of the above!
The fees for registering your event as part of Midsumma Festival in 2019 are below. The fees for registering your event in 2020 will be confirmed later in 2019.
All prices are inclusive of GST
An external surcharge of 1.3% applies for credit/debit card payments.
The maximum fee refundable by Midsumma to the producer upon written notice of withdrawal of an event is outlined below. Based on the date of notification, the portion of fees to be refunded to the Event Producer will be capped at:
Up to 1 Sep 2019 – Maximum 50%
Up to 1 Oct 2019 – Maximum 20%
After 1 Oct 2019 – No refunds after this date
Registration deadlines and other key dates for Midsumma Festival 2019 are as follows:
Event Registrations Open: Late May 2019
Event Registrations Close: Friday 9 August 2019, midnight
Your Event Contract Due: Monday 16 September 2019
Split Ticketing Agreement Due (if applicable): Friday 20 September 2019
Your Event Media Release: Thursday 1 November 2018 (in order to be ready for the Program Launch)
Public Liability Insurance Certificate Due: Friday 11 January 2019
Program Launch for Midsumma Festival 2019: Mid-November 2019
Midsumma Festival: Sunday 19 January - Sunday 9 February 2020
Midsumma Carnival: Sunday 19 January 2020
Midsumma Pride March: Sunday 2 February 2020
Selecting a Venue
To successfully register an event with Midsumma Festival, you need to have a confirmed venue.
Looking for a venue? Check out the Venues Database.
You must provide a copy of your Letter of Agreement or contract with that venue at the time of registration (unless you are the venue producing your own event or the venue is simply the meeting point for your event).
If you wish, you can view then optionally download and modify this example Letter of Agreement then give us the link to your modified document when you register your event.
Your Event Listing
Primary Category and Subcategories
Midsumma uses 'Categories' to help audiences find your event in the Midsumma Festival Guide, and for navigating around the festival website. By 'Categories' we mean, 'genre' or 'type' of event, for instance 'Performance: Theatre' or 'Visual Arts: Exhibition'.
At the time of registering, you will be required to select one Primary Category for listing in the Midsumma Printed Program Guide and on the website. You will be able to select two additional Program Subcategories for listing on the website only.
Which Primary Category and Subcategories will you choose?
Performance: Musical Theatre
Performance: Spoken Word
FILM: film screenings, from features to documentaries.
Visual Arts: Exhibition: art in the gallery
Visual Arts: Online: art on the internet
Visual Arts: Public Art: art in the public realm
Talks: includes forums, lectures and panel discussions
Tours: includes ghost tours and history walks
SPORTS: from wrestling to rowing.
KIDS and FAMILIES: events for children and those who care for them.
YOUTH: events for young people aged 25 and under.
SOCIAL and MORE
Social: Parties, Clubs & Pubs
Social: Competitions & Pageants
Your Event Listing: Narrative
Your event will be listed in the Official Festival Program Guide and on midsumma.org.au. Your event promotional copy/ narrative / description is an important component to make your event stand out from the crowd. See some tips and tricks below to help you formulate the most compelling description possible to draw in your desired audiences.
You can call your event almost anything you like, but we recommend you consider the following:
- Really long titles will eat into the space you have available in the printed program guide; will make it hard to promote on Twitter; and could affect the opportunity for your event to feature on Midsumma's website home page amongst other things.
- Coarse language in titles or copy may reduce your chances of getting approval from Facebook or Instagram for boosted promotion on their social media channels, if you were planning to do so. In addition, all inclusion in Midsumma Festival collateral wil have coarse language censored (i.e. F*ck, Sh*t, etc.)
- You can't use "Midsumma" in the title of your event. Only events produced by Midsumma can use this as it indicates to the general public that events are produced in-house by Midsumma. However, we do encourage you to use the words 'As part of Midsumma Festival' as well as the Midsumma logo somewhere on your own promotional material to show you are an officially registered event.
This is one line of text to sum up the tone and premise of your event e.g. "The award-winning musical by William Finn". Or it can be a media quote, if you have one, for example: "Queer comedy genius!****" – The Guardian.
Your tagline must be under 80 characters (including spaces).
Event promotional copy
You will need to provide two versions of the event copy, one for the Official Festival Program Guide (max 60 words) and a slightly longer version for the website (approx. 200 - 300 words).
We have set out some tips for writing compelling copy below:
- Think simple and clear. It's important to remember that although your show might hold a complex message or be super-edgy, the primary purpose of your event copy is to get the audiences to your show. Cause some intrigue, but try not to alienate audiences. The best advice is to check out Midsumma Program Guides from previous years and see what resonates with you. Avoid slang, unless you only want people who are familiar with that slang to attend.
- Which tense is best? In the Midsumma Festival official guide and website, we refer to Midsumma general information 'pages' in the first person, from the 'voice' of Midsumma. For instance, 'We hope you enjoy your experience with us in 2019'. For this reason, we highly recommend that your event copy is written from a third person perspective. For instance, 'Goddess Grooves celebrates and showcases local female musicians', rather than 'Come celebrate local female musicians with us at Goddess Grooves'.
- Show your copy to someone else first. It's best to get feedback from family or friends who you think might enjoy the event, but who are not already too familiar with the content. Do they know what to expect to experience at your event from what they have read?
- It's a free Program Guide, available to all. That includes children and young people so even if your event is pitched as Adult Only, your copy should not be.
- Proofing Your Copy Once you have handed your copy over to the Midsumma team, you will be given only one opportunity to check/proof the copy (in designed format) before it is sent out to the printers. During the proofing period, Midsumma may send a list of requests to ensure the event listing fits into the printed guide and has no spelling or grammar mistakes. Midsumma Festival reserves the right to amend your event copy to suit the layout of the guide, although we will attempt to get your approval if possible for any changes made.
You will be able to make changes to the event listing details yourself (via the link that was emailed to you when you submitted your registration) prior to the close of registrations on Thursday 9 August 2019. After that date, you may request changes to the online version of the copy by emailing [email protected].
Your Event Listing: Image
Capture Your Audience
Your promotional image (sometimes called 'key image' or 'hero image') is one of the most vital tools in attracting an audience or reviewer's attention. It should be striking; represent your event truthfully; and be taken by a skilled photographer to optimise your chances for promoting your event. Read on for some DOs and DON'Ts to help you choose your best image.
Keep it simple: Your image will be used in large and small formats so often the most striking images are the most simple (see sample shapes below).
Go for colour and contrast: Like bees to flowers, bright coloured or high contrast images are most likely to attract audiences and media.
Send JPEGS (or other high resolution formats .EPS or .TIFF). Do not send PDF images or screenshots as these cannot be used at all, ever.
Keep your options open: Midsumma will sometimes have opportunity to promote your event amongst others with paid (boosted) social media posts. Please note, Facebook and Instagram will not accept nudity, coarse language or text heavy images. Journalists in the media are also unlikely to pick up poor quality photos, or images with text on them.
PLEASE DO NOT
Include any words/ text on your image, not even the title: It is important to send us an image with no text (titles, dates or logos) so we can use it in several shapes and formats across the website and potentially social media. The image we require should not be confused with flyer/poster artwork that you might create (which may have the title of your show, venue and dates on it). Your registration may not be accepted if you do not supply a non-text image.
Include any logos on images: You will be asked to resupply a clean image if you have any logos visible in the print area of the image. This is for a few reasons such as potential conflict with Midsumma's overarching sponsors and it will reduce your chances of further promotion through Midsumma or other media channels.
Use a photo taken on your smartphone unless it is of really high resolution. And we recommend getting the image professionally edited.
Highly detailed image: avoid images that contain lots of content. The program guide images are small, so simplicity works best.
Use a rainbow filter: We recommend you don't use a rainbow filter over an image. Rainbow filters do not reproduce well in the printed guide, and let's face it, every event in the Midsumma program has a rainbow context. Dare to be different!
Use image borders: don't add borders to your image as they will not be able to be resized if other promotional opportunities arise.
PDFs: We cannot use PDF images or screenshots, ever.
Please provide ALL of the below.
We have provided some examples below but please note, these are representative of shape, not actual size.
- Original Image
Quality: High Resolution 300dpi minimum
- Printed Program Guide Landscape Image
This image appears in the printed guide at a size similar to 1/4 of a typical business card, so avoid over-crowding it.
- Quality: High Resolution 300dpi minimum
- Size: 800 wide x 475 high pixels (67.73mm wide x 40.22mm high)
- Format: JPEG or TIFF
- Colour Space: CMYK
- Midsumma Website Landscape Image
While this image is a similar shape to the program guide image, it is shorter in its dimensional height. Compare how much you can see of Dani Boi's yellow shirt within this and the image above?
- Quality: Low Resolution 72dpi
- Size: 1000 x 431 pixels (note, this is different to previous years)
- Format: JPEG
- Colour Space: RGB
- Website Mobile Phone Square View
This is a square shape rather than rectangle like the others, so try and keep the key part of the image centralised to avoid cropping too much off the sides when it is scaled down for mobile. This size is also handy for us to have for social media opportunities as well.
- Quality: Low Resolution 72dpi
- Size: 700 x 700 pixels
- Format: JPEG
- Colour Space: RGB
Thanks also to our 2018 program guide poster models used in the examples above: Kimberley Twiner; Beni Lola; Alexand Colosimo and Dani Boi. Photo by Alexis D. Lea Photography.
Image credit and copyright
Do you have permission to use your promotional image? (i.e. have you purchased the image, been given permission by the image owner to use the image or obtained the image through a 'creative commons' license)? Note that most images searched through Google are copyrighted and you will need to obtain permission. You can (and should) credit the photographer, wherever possible. The image credit you provide will appear online. If you want an image credit to appear in the Official Festival Guide, please include it as part of your event copy. An example of an image credit for the guide is, "Photo by Diane Arbus".
How do I send the images to Midsumma?
The online Event Registration form has an area for you to upload your images. If you have any issues loading your images, please email [email protected].
Icons that help describe your event
When registering, you will be asked to select icons that will appear alongside your event description in the Official Festival Program Guide and on midsumma.org.au. These icons provide audiences with additional information about your event, regarding access services and content in your event. Use the following checklists to see if your event meets the criteria to use these symbols.
Is your event audio described by a trained audio describer?
Will you or the audio describer provide the appropriate equipment for this service?
Will you provide a fully-qualified Auslan interpreter for your event or for certain sessions of your season?
To ensure that quality interpretation is provided for deaf audiences, Midsumma requires that you provide the name of your interpreters. We'll check these with our Auslan partner, Auslan Stage Left.
Auslan Stage Left are offering a reduced price on Midsumma Festival events (prices vary depending on the nature of your event). They provide qualified interpreters for events and will often promote events on their website. Contact Auslan Stage Left to discuss your event.
Does your event include captioning (usually provided for film screening or video works for deaf or hard-of-hearing people)?
Hearing Loop Services
Does your venue provide a hearing loop service? A hearing loop service is a hearing device that amplifies all on-stage audio for people who are hard-of-hearing.
Is your event (or a session of your season) specifically designed for people with autism spectrum conditions, learning disabilities or other sensory and communication disorders who will benefit from a more relaxed and supportive environment?
Does your event involve a tactile tour, facilitated by a trained tactile tour guide?
Access: Can a wheelchair user get into your venue? Entry should be 1.2m wide or more, and there shouldn't be steps.
Toilets: Is there an accessible bathroom? Make sure it isn't being used as a storage cupboard and doesn't require a key from venue staff.
Parking: Is there accessible parking or a wheelchair friendly drop-off point?
Free Movement: Does the venue have good internal movement circulation? Could someone in a wheelchair 1.2m wide easily manoeuvre inside? Are there steps inside the venue that would prevent a wheelchair user from fully participating in your event?
Signage: If your accessible entrance is not the main entrance, has the venue established good signage and way-finding for wheelchair users?
Does your event take place in a licensed venue that only allows people over the age of 18, or contain content or activities suitable only for people over the age of 18?
Can audiences purchase drinks from your venue around the time of your event?
Is your event suitable for all ages (children and adults) and in a venue that allows people under the age of 18?
Does your event contain content specifically for children?
Can audiences purchase food from your venue while at your event?
Identity Specific Event
In some instances Gender and Sexuality Exclusive Events can be necessary to create a safe space for a specific community. During registration you will be asked to advise if your event or venue only allows people of a specific identity or community (eg "Transgender only", "Queer and Trans People of Colour only", "Women only", "Men only").
If this is your event, you may like to consider the following:
Communicate why your event is exclusive. A few sentences in your event description, and briefing door staff, can be helpful ways to convey the exclusive nature of your event. Imagine if you turned up to an event and weren't allowed in – you would want a friendly explanation!
Are there people you are accidentally alienating? For example, if your event is female-only, how will you be welcoming to someone who identifies as female but does not have physical characteristics typically associated with that gender?
It is important your audience is prepared for the nature of the content of your event. We can include warnings alongside your event description.
During registration, you'll be asked to select from the following warnings. Please note, specific warnings will only appear on the website. Midsumma may elect to use the words 'Adult Content' in the printed program guide to describe multiple warnings:
Trigger warnings (such as reference to sexual violence, drug use, suicide, or other content that may cause distress)
Smoking on stage
Use of replica weapons
Long periods of standing/non-traditional seating
Includes images/ recordings of people who have since passed away
…or anything else that you think your audience should know about.
We understand that putting your event together sometimes takes the work of many, such as sponsors, funders and event partners. While we understand you may have an obligation to credit your funders in your own event promotions and materials, it is not possible for Midsumma Festival to list those funders in our Official Program Guide. This is for two reasons:
- There is simply not enough room in the printed Official Program Guide to salute all of your supporters as well as those who support Midsumma Festival more broadly, without crowding out all of the necessary event information, and
- Midsumma Festival also relies on the generosity of many sponsors who contribute significantly to the overall costs of putting the festival together and we need to credit them in our guide.
You can include some logos and text credits on your midsumma.org.au event web page. During registration you can provide up to two landscape jpeg images that contain your sponsor logos. Contact [email protected] to discuss more than two logos if required.
Inclusivity and diversity is at the heart of Midsumma Festival. As such, we're dedicated to making the festival accessible to audiences with disability.
Here is how you can help
- Learn more about access by attending our Access Workshop (date to be announced). You'll hear from our friends at Arts Access Victoria and learn about ways you can make your event accessible and how to reach audiences with disability.
- Talk to Midsumma. We can talk to you about your event and help you establish what you can do to make your event accessible.
The extra bonus
If you provide an accessible service (such as Auslan interpretation, audio description, tactile tour or relaxed performance), Midsumma will promote your event to the community that requires that service.
Ticketing: How It Works
How does ticketing work?
Midsumma Festival is again working with Eventfinda as the ticketing system/ portal for the 2020 festival. We hope you find it easier to use than previous years. It's also vital that our festival audiences find their booking experience as easy as possible.
All ticketed Midsumma Festival events (free and priced) must have at least 50% of their event capacity sold through the Midsumma Festival ticketing system.
We provide producers with two options for ticketing their events.
1. Exclusive Ticketing - ticketing entirely through midsumma.org.au (recommended)
2. Shared Ticketing - ticketing shared between an external agency and midsumma.org.au
Event producers may choose to ticket up to 50% of their capacity through an external agency. A small surcharge of $70 will be applied to priced events because of the additional administration involved, paid for by the producer at the time of registering your event. Midsumma will enter into a split-ticketing agreement with the external agency, which will need to be agreed to and signed by the external agency by 20 September 2019.
"Free-ticketed events" are events that are free of charge but require audiences to register or book. If this is your event, it needs to be ticketed through Midsumma Festival's ticketing system so that festival audiences are able to book for all Midsumma events from the one central location. This comes at no extra cost to you or your audience. There are no "Booking" fees for "Free-ticketed events".
There is no charge for allocated seating. However, we will need to work with you to build a seating plan in the ticketing system. Speak to us to discuss via [email protected]. But seriously, general admission is always easier for you to manage and for audiences to book, so we would only recommend allocated seating if you have to.
Ticketing: Prices and Fees
Ticketing fees are paid for by audiences. It is their contribution to making Midsumma Festival possible. Midsumma charges two different fees: a "per ticket" fee and a "booking" fee.
The "per ticket" fee is included inside the ticket price you advertise for your event, but the "booking" fee is not.
The "booking" fee applies per transaction, not on each individual ticket.
"Per Ticket" or "Inside" Fee:
As part of the online ticketing service Midsumma Festival will retain the following amounts per ticket sold through our ticketing system:
Inside Fee = $0 for ticketed-free events
Inside Fee = $3 for tickets that are priced between $5 – $15.99*
Inside Fee = $3.50 for tickets that are priced between $16 – $35.99
Inside Fee = $4 for tickets that are priced between $36 - $65.99
Inside Fee = $4.50 for tickets that are priced $66 +
*The minimum ticket price is $5 (standard $3 ticket fee to Midsumma + $2 per ticket to you).
Example Ticketing Fees
Confused? This example might help:
If you require $15 from your ticket for your budgeted sales income, your advertised ticket price should be $18 ($15 to you and $3 commission to Midsumma Festival).
The prices you nominate during registrations, and advertise to the general public, must include the inside 'per ticket' fee.
Still unsure? Contact [email protected] if you have any questions relating to setting your ticket price.
Midsumma charges a $4.50 booking fee per purchase, regardless of the number of tickets in the transaction. The ticket purchaser, not the Producer, pays this. This covers the cost of merchant fees and the administration of a ticketing system.
All Midsumma booking fees, transaction fees and tickets sold include GST unless stated otherwise.
Your event's ticketing will be remitted within five working days of the completion of your event/ season or after any refund issues are resolved (for example if you have had to cancel a session of your season and customers have already purchased tickets), and only if the bank account details you provide during event registration are correct.
You'll need to arrange your own box office at the venue for door sales. Tickets will go off-sale through Midsumma Festival website one hour before your event start time, ready for you to start selling tickets at your venue. You keep the "Per Ticket" fee for any tickets sold at the venue. Yay!
Keep a record of how many tickets you sell on the door, as we request this information at the close of the festival.
A complimentary ticket is a free ticket. These are usually offered to VIPs, cast, crew, etc. There are three types of complimentary tickets: Midsumma comps, Producer comps and Companion Card tickets.
Midsumma comps: These are tickets booked and used by Midsumma Festival. Midsumma requires 4% of your total capacity (or a minimum of at least 6 tickets, whichever is larger) to be made available as complimentary tickets across the season. This is 4% across the event's season to be used for Midsumma sponsors, board members, management, producing partners and patrons.
Producer comps: You can allocate up to 10% of your total Midsumma ticket allocation as comps for your cast, crew, media reviewers and anyone else you want to attend your event. You may be charged additional fees for any amount over this 10%.
Companion Card tickets. Companion Cards provide carers with a complimentary ticket to an event and, like with all concession cards, Companion Card holders must show their card at the venue. All Midsumma Festival events must accept Companion Cards.
- Your business / organisation details (if applicable)
- Primary contact details
- Information about you and your team (which we know might change by your final report).
- Your event name and details, including event description and image in four sizes
- Your Venue Contract or Letter of Agreement
- Up to two sponsor logos for your event page on midsumma.org.au (if applicable)
- Content warnings (if applicable)
- Ticketing details (if applicable)
Register your event here
Registrations to have your event included in Midsumma Festival's 2020 open access program will open in late May. For enquiries phone 03 9296 6600 or email [email protected].
Please click on the link below to register an event for inclusion in the 2019 Midsumma Festival Program.
Event Registration Deadline: Midnight, Thursday 9 August 2018
Midsumma is a small team and we don't have the capacity to chase missing content. As such, registrations that are missing information, in particular an image, event description, payment or confirmed venue, will not be accepted.
Be sure to read the Essentials section above and please take a moment to read through the entire form, to make sure you have all the information you need. You will need to enter data in all required fields before you can submit your registration. However, after submitting it you'll be sent a confirmation email containing a link, which will allow you to subsequently enter edit mode to change any details, up to the close of registrations on Thursday 9 August.
Still can't find the answers to your questions? Contact Midsumma on 03 9296 6600 or email [email protected] and one of our friendly staff members will help.