THERE’S not much else to do in Brisbane during February other than melt.

Pun intended.

The Brisbane Powerhouse has the ambitious goal of making Queensland the home of Australia’s latest and greatest LGBTI arts and culture festival during MELT — a celebration of Brisbane’s LGBTI community talent.

In an effort to complement Melbourne’s Midsumma and Sydney’s Mardi Gras during the first few months of the year, MELT will be an opportunity to show the rest of the country — and world — that Brisbane’s LGBTI community has come a long way.

For 11 days during summer, locals and visitors will be treated to a diverse and rich range of musical, cabaret, circus, visual arts, fashion, comedy and community events. MELT will also encompass the 16th annual Brisbane Queer Film Festival.

Despite it being the festival’s inaugural year, the festival is set to host an impressive line-up of local, national and international artists and performers.

Highlights include Twists and Turns, a quirky cabaret by Brisbane-born Olympic gold medallist Mathew Mitcham, who will have his ukulele on hand to tell and sing candid autobiographical stories of his life.

MELT will also be a platform to showcase well-known local community identities, such as radio host and self-described “mediocre lesbian icon” Ruth Gardner who stars in Ruth: The Musical.

“If things don’t work out for me I’ve always got a costume to inspire a new career direction,” Gardner said.

Meanwhile Michael James, otherwise known as one half of the couple in the controversial Rip and Roll campaign, will share his and his partner’s funny and heart-warming journey to becoming fathers after the pair became foster parents.

“My show represents a small and different part of the queer community and what it means to be ‘gay’, for me that is being a parent and a partner, amongst a myriad of other things,” James said.

MELT will also host the first Brisbane Pride Comedy Gala, featuring a series of comics and drag artists led by Charlie Hides, the creator of the much-loved US comedy web series Charlie Hides TV.

With over 20 acts and shows, MELT welcomes you and your friends to grab a cold drink, relax and enjoy Australia’s newest celebration of LGBTI arts and culture.

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WHEN: February 5–15

Details and bookings:

Major Events:

Matthew Mitcham’s Twists and Turns: February 5-6

A Fancy Evening with Brendan Maclean: February 6

Ruth: The Musical: February 8

Two Dads and Me: February 12

Confessions of a Grindr Addict: February 13-14

Brisbane Pride Comedy Gala: February 14

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