ADELAIDE’S Feast Festival kicked off with a bang last night with a grand opening event, complete with drinks and canapes at Pirie & Co – and it came with a pleasant surprise.
The festival’s general manager, Cassandra Liebeknecht announced home-grown pop icon Dannii Minogue would headline a special street party in Hyde St on October 22 – right outside Feast’s new headquarters at Raj House.
The festival is this year celebrating two decades since its inception and is set to leave festival goers revelling in queer comedy, cabaret, literature, film and visual performances over a two-week period.
The Queer Arts and Cultural Hub will run all year round, and the festival will also feature shows from local talents, including Amelia Ryan, Michael Griffiths, Sous Terre and Z-Star.
Cabaret comedy act ‘Two Brunettes and a Gay’ will return to this year’s festival.
Trio Aaron, Celeste and Deanna, who make up the group, were looking forward to hitting the stage again.
“It’s such an important event, especially for Adelaide,” Aaron said.
“Feast gets better and better every year.”
Celeste said: “(Feast) is very unifying.”
Guests were treated to a string of performances at the opening night, as well as speeches from some of the organisers, including Liebeknecht, chairman Joshua Rayner, and director of arts SA Peter Louca.
Jam Factory Glass Studio’s creative director Karen Cunningham said she looks forward to the event every year, after volunteering at Feast when it first begun and exhibiting her works five years ago.
“It made it easier for me to come out,” Ms Cunningham said.
“I’m definitely looking forward to the comedy, visual arts and community events like the street party and picnics, where everyone comes together and has a great time.”
For two friends, Lisa Norling and Nick Pogas, the Feast Festival has become a traditional celebration of the LGBTIQ community – and their friendship.
“We’ve been to Feast together many times. It’s kind of a tradition and we are super excited to see Dannii,” Ms Norling said.
“It’s a sense of community where you feel you can just go there and be yourself and no one will judge you.”
Ashford MP Steph Key, who has been lobbying for an equal society since she was elected to parliament in 1997, believed the festival reflected those values.
“Why is someone’s sex or sexuality a relevant feature of why people should be agreed to or discriminated against?” Ms Key said.
Arts SA director Peter Louca said over the years, Feast had played an important role in lobbying for reforms to same-sex relationship legislation and creating a loud and diverse voice for the LGBTIQ community.
“We can make change through art,” he said.
“We finally have a home for LGBTIQ arts.”
Feast will run from October 21 to November 6.
See the full Feast guide below: