Greater Shepparton is hosting the annual LGBTQI OutInTheOpen Festival till November 7. With more than 30 events on the agenda, the festival aims to celebrate the queer community and diversity in all its forms. 

This year also marks the festival’s 10th anniversary. Drag performers Frock Hudson and Pattie Choux will celebrate the anniversary by bringing local music and fun to participants’ screens showcasing 10 years of OutInTheOpen’s fondest memories.

“Many of our 30+ festival events have been re-imagined online which means no masks, stay in your PJs, sip a glass of wine or two, and attend from your couch (or backyard picnic blanket). From trivia nights to queer nature connections, family- friendly rainbow story time sessions to business networking, there’s something for everyone”, Festival Co-Convenor Damien Stevens-Todd said in a press release.

For the early birds, few of the in-person events include brunch at the BIG Milestone Café & Bistro while the night owls can partake in an evening meal at the “Winner, Winner, Schnitz for Dinner” event.

Four Decades Of Decriminalisation

The festival started off this year with celebrating 40 years of decriminalising homosexuality. Portraits and anecdotes of regional LGBTQI seniors’ experiences will be presented in a commemoration of their joys and sorrows.

The 11-day-programme also features a sexual health forum and a professional development event focusing on workplace inclusion stories that can be accessed online from anywhere.

Organisers see the online events as a chance for everyone to celebrate regardless of their location. Whether participants choose to engage in the events through in-person or online means, OutInTheOpen is optimistic about the festivities and are determined to keep the celebration alive.

“Even with lockdowns and restrictions we have big plans to celebrate! Whether online for sing-alongs or in person at our art therapy sessions, you can celebrate with us wherever you are! Just don’t forget to jazz it up with all things rainbow, sparkle and shine; we want to see it all! Show us your pizazz – tag us on Instagram or Facebook”, added Damien Stevens-Todd. 

Visit OutInTheOpen Festival website to check out all the events.


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