Monique ThorpeTHE 2014 Midsumma festival guide has hit the streets and excitement is already building for what looks to be a big year for the city’s premier LGBTI event.

Along with festival favourites like Carnival, T-Dance and Midsumma Mooning, the 2014 line-up features a host of new and local talent in music, visual art, community events, parties, and theatre.

Highlights on the Midsumma stage include Gavin Roach, back with Any Womb Will Do, his follow-up to Confessions of a Grindr Addict. Meanwhile, politics and pop music collide in the surreal Gaga v Assange; and the ladies of The Golden Girls are replaced by puppets in Thank You For Being a Friend.

Festival Manager Monique Thorpe told the Star Observer the program for next year reflected the way Midsumma has been changing since its inception, moving away from a lineup of just parties and towards more community-level events.

“I think it’s the changing LGBTIQ community. We’re ageing, we don’t feel the need to have our separate gay dance parties and clubs any more, it’s more talking about living as a LGBTIQ person, not just partying,” she said.

No major festival in Melbourne could pass without the city comparing itself to big sister Sydney, but Thorpe believed Midsumma brought something unique to the country’s LGBTI festival circuit.

“Even though our program is in the middle of summer, Midsumma is very dark alleys, theatre, visual arts, community, sports,” she said.

“I think that’s probably how it carries itself as a Melbourne event: very community driven, grassroots, emerging arts-focused as opposed to just your headlines.”

Pick up a Midsumma festival guide from outlets carrying the Star Observer.

PROGRAM PREDICTIONS FROM THE FESTIVAL MANAGER

Something kids will love: Rainbow families bedtime storytime (p. 32)
Something to become a breakout success: Without me, I’m nothing (p. 21)
Something likely to be an audience favourite: The Worst of Scottee (p.21); Miss Gay & Miss Transsexual Australia 2014 (p. 42); The Vaudevillians with Jinkx Monsoon (p. 20)
Something controversial: NudeManFest (p.42)
Something that might go under the radar: Look at the Funny Lady (p. 14)

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