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Midsumma Festival 2024 Welcomes All

The Midsumma Festival 2024 is the highlight of every Melburnian's calendar, and the impressive range of programming offers something for everyone.

The Midsumma Festival is a highlight in every Melburnian’s calendar. The explosion of events around the city lasts 22 days (21 January-11 February 2024), and brings together an incredibly diverse mix of artists, performers, communities, and audiences.

Midsumma is Australia’s premier queer arts and cultural organisation, and their festival prioritises inclusion and accessibility for all – including people with disabilities. There are a range of accommodations and supports available for attendees, whenever and wherever you participate.

a totem of colourful pink streamers move in the wind as two people feel the sensation with interconnected hands. Smiling Dolly Diamond in background.
Tactile tours are one of many ways people with specific needs can experience the Midsumma Festival. Credit: Chris Hopkins

Start with the Midsumma Festival website, where you can search the What’s On page with filters for events that suit your needs. You can find specific information for events that have Assistive Listening, Audio Description, Auslan interpreters, Closed and Open Captions, relaxed sessions, tactile tours, and/or wheelchair access. Organisers provide a helpful Vision Rating for attendees who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing, indicating the level of visual and audio engagement for each experience.

The Midsumma Festival has impressive range in programming, with events and experiences guaranteed to suit all tastes, needs, and budgets. Party by the pool at Afloat Melbourne, attend a workshop/information session about creating Rainbow Families, get a team together for Drag Trivia, spend a Friday night at the flicks with a screening of Rocketman, celebrate your Pride at the march, and so much more. All of these events have accessibility supports in place to ensure they can be enjoyed by all.

People (including a person using a wheelchair) milling around stalls at Victoria's Pride 2023
The free all-day street party of Victoria’s Pride is accessible to all. Credit: Teague Leigh

For ticketed events, Companion Card holders qualify for a complimentary ticket when attending to assist another person. Companion Card tickets can be arranged by calling (03) 9296 6600 (Mon-Fri), or sending an email to the team.

Access and inclusion isn’t just prioritised for audiences. The Midsumma organisation offers a nine-month development and mentoring program, Midsumma Pathways, for LGBTIQA+ artists with a disability. This program allows participants to develop their creative practice under the guidance of a professional mentor, and expand their network with industry representatives.

Auslan interpreter on stage with performer at 'Stranger Than Usual' at Abbotsford Convent - Midsumma Presents 2023
Auslan interpreters ensure everyone can experience the art of Midsumma performers. Credit:
Alexis Desaulniers-Lea (‘Stranger Than Usual’)

If you can’t make it to Melbourne for the Midsumma Festival this year, or you simply feel more comfortable participating at a distance, check out one of the many live-streamed events that can be accessed from home.

Head over to the Midsumma Festival website for more information – including videos with Auslan translation.

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