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Carnival proves a hit
Earth works on Birrarung Marr’s iconic grassy hill and looming storms could not keep away an estimated 100,000 people from the Midsumma Carnival last weekend. Musicians and performers entertained audiences at the Carnival on Sunday January 13 as festival goers checked out the stalls spread though out the park.
Check out our photos from the 2013 Midsumma Carnival and T-dance here.
Midsumma Festival general manager Monique Thorpe thanked all the performers, volunteers and the City of Melbourne for their support.
“All the guests and patrons were really, really well behaved which was fantastic,” she said.
“The Speaker’s Corner as a whole was a personal highlight for me. Having that space to have a youth zone and a kids zone was just something we’ve never really focussed on before but it was great to see it come alive.
“I’m very excited for the next three weeks, we have a great line-up and we just need to remind people that Midsumma is not just the one day.
“It’s three weeks of arts and culture, we’ve got something for everybody.”
The 2013 festival marks the 25th anniversary for Midsumma and 60 year-old Ian Gould, who attended the first Midsumma festivals, said it was very different today to what it was in the 1980s when it first began.
He said in the initial years of Midsumma, it was just a street party in Peel Street, Collingwood. Back then much of the community was framed within the AIDS epidemic, Gould said.
“So when Midsumma came along, I think it was really the first time things were above ground, the first time people were out in the open,” he said.
Gould, a long-term volunteer for various local LGBTI organisations, said Midsumma raised the visibility of same-sex attracted and gender diverse people to the mainstream community as major arts organisations held functions with Midsumma and companies like Telstra and IBM sponsored the festival.
He said in the first few festivals, you could buy a gold pass and see all the shows and performances.
“Of course, there’s no way possible you could see event now so the organisation and events have grown ten-fold or more.”
When asked whether Midsumma still fostered the sense of community it was born with, he joked you could write a PhD on the subject.
“The short answer is yes – I think we still have a community, I think Midsumma is one of those ways that brings it together in a physical sense instead of a cyber sense.”