Big queer arts lineup as MELT Festival returns to Brisbane Powerhouse

Brendan Maclean, Big Freedia and Courtney Act are on the lineup for the MELT Festival at Brisbane Powerhouse.
Images: Supplied

MELT Festival – Brisbane Powerhouse’s annual celebration of queer art, artists, allies, icons and ideas – returns this week with two international opening acts kicking off this year’s program.

From global stars, acclaimed cabaret and high-energy music club nights to a queer comedy gala, contemporary dance and First Nations art, MELT Festival will again take over Brisbane Powerhouse from November 10–27.

Local award-winning writer, director and producer Daniel Evans has curated this year’s MELT queer arts program.

He said this year’s festival welcomes fresh acts and emerging artists alongside previous hits and returning favourites, all while championing both homegrown talent and international headliners.

“The best thing about curating MELT is that there is such an incredible gamut of queer artists in our own backyard,” Evans told

“Queensland artists are first rate. They are constantly reinvigorating their work, collaborating with new artists and more-often-that-not playing at the razor tip of the cutting-edge of performance.”

Two international acts will kick off the Festival this week: English pop royalty Sophie Ellis-Bextor (pictured, bottom right) of Murder on the Dancefloor fame and cult hip-hop artist and Beyoncé collaborator Big Freedia (above, bottom left).

Rapper Jesswar performing during MELT Festival’s second weekend

The second weekend of the Festival welcomes new generation rappers Jesswar (pictured below) and JessB.

Since breaking into the local music landscape in 2017, Fijian Australian rapper Jesswar is excited by the direction the industry is heading.

“I do feel we have a long way to go in terms of representation across the board, but it warms my heart seeing so many new artists coming up and shining,” Jesswar said.

“This is something I dreamt of seeing when I was young and feel it’s so important for the next wave of artists to see.”

Jesswar is at the MELT Festival at Brisbane Powerhouse
Rapper Jesswar. Image: Supplied

Brisbane Powerhouse’s Arts Program Director Brad Spolding said he’s excited for Brisbane audiences to experience a variety of genres and artforms through Brisbane Powerhouse’s multiple spaces at this year’s MELT.

“In one night, audiences can witness video art from Melbourne-based collective Aphids, live studio practice from local First Nations artist Dylan Mooney, performances across cabaret, dance and theatre to Australian debuts from international music icons like Big Freedia,” Spolding said.

MELT Festival’s 2022 program runs from Thursday, November 10 until November 27. For the full lineup and tickes, visit

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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