Gearing up for Midwinta

CREATED ON // Monday, 07 July 2014 Written by // Aaron Hockley

Aaron Hockly brings us all the delights of Midsumma’s newest invention.

2014 sees the launch of Midsumma’s first winter festival Midwinta; a festival of eight events including three visual arts events, a performance at the Arts Centre, a bake-off, a lunch and a ball.

Midwinta has resulted from community feedback that Midsumma, Pride March, Melbourne Queer Film Festival and ChillOut all occur at the start of the year leaving a long gap in the GLBTI calendar. It is also a response to requests from various event producers to hold a festival mid-year.

The cornerstone of Midwinta is a gala ball on August 15 in the Savoy Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt.

This is a night to frock or suit up (or both), enjoy a three course meal and see tremendous talent including Deborah Cheetham AO, Toni Lalich, Dolly Diamond and the Red Hot Bitches. The night will be hosted by Spencer McLaren and aims to raise funds for Midsumma through an auction of goods and services generously donated by many businesses and individuals. In between the auction, performances and a special winter fashion show, DJ Krista will be spinning the decks for your dancing pleasure.


[Image] Status is playing as part of Midwinta

If you can’t support us at the ball, please consider entering the annual Pride March bake-off at DT’s on the afternoon of August 9 or buying one the unusual and/or delicious cakes available. Midsumma and Pride March cannot occur without your support.

Status is a presentation of real life stories of people coping with the stigma of being HIV positive. Like so many issues that GLBTI people face, the negative consequences of being HIV positive in developed countries are now potentially more social and societal than physical. With Australia’s HIV infection rate at a 20 year high and Melbourne hosting the World AIDS conference in 2014, it is also a timely reminder that the pandemic continues and its effects on our community as a whole and impacted individuals are significant. This is an important piece of work and a work Midsumma is very proud to be associated with. STATUS runs at the Arts Centre July 23-27.

Midwinta closes with Tim Bateson’s exhibition Medicated. In 2013, Tim was diagnosed with Mantel Cell Lymphoma and has been undergoing treatment since. A close member of my family has been going through the trauma that is chemotherapy over a similar period so Tim’s words resonated with me personally like it will with far too many of you:

“My cancer has shifted my reality and those around me: the undercurrent of fear of death shifts values, needs and wants.”

Tim has always been a fighter and his journey has been an inspiration to those of us around him. Tim and his husband Keith have been a huge supporters of Midsumma over many years including serving on the board. Our thoughts and best wishes are with them and their daughters.

Fifty percent of the proceeds from Medicated arts sales go to the Peter McCullum Cancer Centre.

Midsumma’s board and management take great pleasure in presenting our first Midwinta Festival; a festival we hope will become as integral a part of Melbourne’s culture as the annual Midsumma Festival. We hope you enjoy!


Aaron Hockley

Aaron Hockley

Aaron Hockley is the chair of Midsumma.

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