Midsumma over and out for another year
Midsumma Festival finished its final run for 2013 last weekend, with an array of events that celebrated all things GLBTIQ in Melbourne.
There was a record number of punters attending the annual Carnival, T Dance event and the many performing and visual art shows and events.
Midsumma Festival Manager Monique Thorpe told MCV the festival’s 25th anniversary celebrations were great successes.
“It was excellent, it was a great journey for everyone involved,” she said.
“Everything went fantastically, and I think both the audiences and producers are happy too.”
While a number of performances and exhibits drew their final curtains and shut their doors on Sunday evening, possibly bringing the biggest bang to the festival’s final weekend was the 18th annual Pride March.
An estimated two thousand people joined in the march with local politicians, personas, AFL footballers and 120 community contingents to help spread the message of pride in diversity.
“It was a spectacle as always,” said Thorpe.
“It was great to see lots of people, corporate groups, and community groups marching for unity in pride.”
With the 70 different venues across the city and inner suburbs that played a part in hosting Midsumma, it has become evident that the festival’s appeal is growing, not just to the interest of the GLBTI community, but to the wider Melbourne demographic that aligns itself in support.
While Thorpe and the Midsumma team wind down from 2013 celebrations and start planning for next year’s festival, the hundreds of thousands of people who purchased tickets to the various events come as a positive reinforcement of the event’s popularity.
“We’ve been broadening our audience for the last 10 years and getting more and more audiences,” Thorpe said.
“We did a survey in 2011, which found that half of our audience was from the mainstream community.”
“It’s great seeing lots of allies come out and [and for them to see] that you don’t have to be gay to come, anyone can come to Midsumma,” she said.
“Midsumma would like to say thanks to all volunteers involved, there were over 180 volunteers in festival in 2013 who helped make it a success, so thank you.”