THIS weekend is set to be one of the busiest weekends on the Australian LGBTI cultural calendar, with Perth, Adelaide and the regional Victorian town of Shepparton all kicking off their annual pride festivals.
These festivals will happen at the same time as Canberra’s SpringOUT and TasPride in Tasmania, both of which are already in full swing.
Australia’s fourth-largest city will begin PrideFEST 2014 today, a celebration of Perth’s LGBTI community that boosts over 60 cultural events covering dance, music, theatre, comedy and the arts.
PrideFEST, organised by Pride WA, has been in existence in one form or another since 1989, its 25th year will celebrate with the theme “Reflect, Rejoice, Renew”.
A key event this weekend is the Brookfield Sensations on November 16, which will see Brookfield Place transform into an exclusive pop-up gallery space showcasing visual art, live entertainment and culinary delights by neighbouring venues and bars.
However, Pride Parade is the centrepiece of PrideFEST, which take place through the Northbridge neighbourhood on Saturday, November 22 and featuring performances, and prizes for participants who creatively represent their group or message.
The official parade after party is the Garden Party at the Urban Orchard, which includes DJs and live performers throughout the night.
Perth institution Connections Nightclub will also host its own Pride Parade party, as well as several other events throughout the festival.
PrideFEST is on between November 14-22. To view the full program, click here
Adelaide’s 18th annual Feast Festival includes a line-up of more then 100 events in theatre, cabaret, literature, film, visual arts, and community forums spread across 16 days in November.
Launching the festival will be the traditional Pride March and Opening Night Party tomorrow night (November 15). A celebration of Adelaide’s diverse LGBTI community, the march begins at Victoria Square, goes along Gouger and Morphett streets before ending at the party on Hindley St West.
Throughout the festival, Feast 2014 ambassador and Olympic gold medallist Matthew Mitcham will also perform his cabaret show Twists and Turns. Comedians Hannah Gadsby, Bob Downe, Thomas Jaspers, Nath Valvo and Geraldine Hickey will also perform limited shows.
In addition, legendary showgirl and trans* trailblazer Carlotta will return to Adelaide to reveal all in her candid cabaret show Carlotta: Live and Intimate, a funny and brutally honest expose of the private life of one of Australia’s most public people. She will also host a screening and Q&A for the eponymous 2014 ABC biopic which starred Jessica Marais.
Other acts include Australian nude burlesque artist Maude Davey with her tantalising show My Life in the Nude, Scottish singing sensation Horse, prodigal violinist Ray Chen, South Australian gay icon, TV legend, and Logie award winner Anne “Willsy” Wills, trans* icon and sexual health advocate Buck Angel, and South African cabaret performer Odidiva.
The Plunge Pool Party on Sunday, November 23 is also set to be a highlight, and the festival will close on Sunday, November 30 with the popular Picnic in the Park at Pinky Flat on the banks of the River Torrens.
Feast Festival is on between November 15-30. To view the full program, click here.
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Out in the Open
This weekend will mark the third year that the Victorian regional town of Shepparton hosts Out in the Open festival.
The festival grew out of a local LGBTI youth group looking to promote greater diversity and inclusion in the community, and has become a major public event on the town’s calendar.
With a range of events across three days, the festival has achieved success in previous years by being very much integrated into the wider Shepparton community.
Like Daylesford’s popular and long-established ChillOut festival, Out in the Open is also expected to attract huge crowds from Melbourne and the broader Victorian LGBTI communities.
Organisers have said the Shepparton festival aims to be more youth-focused than the one in Daylesford, making both the events part of a breadth of LGBTI culture in rural Victoria.
Out in the Open is on between November 14-16. To view the full program, click here.
This weekend is only around the halfway point of Canberra’s month-long SpringOUT festival, which began with the popular Fair Day on November 1.
One of the highlights of the festival, the Canberra Bushdance, will take place tomorrow night at the Yarralumla Woolshed from 7.30pm.
Featuring a bar, barbecue and a live band to lead partygoers through dances, it’s a night of singlets, jeans, twirling dresses, chaps, check shirts, rhinestones, akubras, hats and boots – and it’s all for a good cause, as the event is a community fundraiser co-ordinated by The Canberra Gay & Lesbian Tennis Club.
Other highlights of SpringOUT include the stage production Scandalous Boy, which tells the story of Antinous, lover of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who has “come back” to the 21st century to reclaim his place in history.
A tale of political intrigue, of youth sought after and youth lost, of sex and lust, and of love, the play is written and directed by David Atfield, and features AFI-award winning Nicholas Eadie as Hadrian.
There are also plenty of other events happening in the final weeks of the festival, including the a Roller Disco, ten-pin bowling contest, and a concert by the Canberra Gay and Lesbian Qwire.
SpringOUT is on until November 30. To view the full program, click here.
After the huge success of Hobart’s Pride Parade last weekend, TasPride will wrap-up its 10 days of festivities on Sunday (November 16).
The theme for TasPride this year has been “Home Grown Pride”, celebrating the diversity of the talent in the Tasmanian LGBTI community, and encourage acceptance and equality in wider society.
Highlights this weekend include the Entertain for Another’s Gain variety night at Hobart’s Salamanca Arts Centre tonight, the Flamingo’s Back to the 80s Party tomorrow night (November 15), Pride Ride on Sunday morning for the cycling fans in Hobart, and the Out in the Park event in the northern Tasmanian town of Ulverstone on the same day.
TasPride is on until November 16. To view the full program, click here.