Around 20,000 queers, and a few not-so-queer straighties, rocked up to Federation Square last Friday for the opening of Midsumma.

The party, dubbed Summa Fling, served up a feast of performances by Monique Brumby, tap-dancing grannies, Mardi Gras marchers VicPresence (pictured) and drag kings and drag queens on the Square’s outdoor stage.

In the small VIP area, hundreds of guests crammed shoulder to shoulder to listen to speeches, drink free champers and wine, and catch a glimpse of Stella Constellation’s interesting assemblage under a rather short red mini-skirt.

Stella’s alter ego, festival director Brenton Geyer, was nowhere to be seen. How-ever, there’s no doubt the man behind the scenes at Midsumma would have been proud of the massive throng that helped turn Federation Square into all the colours of the rainbow.

The festival this year offers more than 60 cultural and community events. Already organisers are reporting decent crowds and ticket sales.

Summa Cruise has already sold out, large numbers have passed through the visual art displays, with This Queer Life at the Malthouse being one of the more highly attended exhibitions, and performances such as Beyond the Buggery Belt and Hey Fancy Pants receiving massive interest.

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