Courtney Act to lead Brisbane’s new River Pride Parade

MELT Open ambassador Courtney Act joining River Parade
Image: Jack Martin/Brisbane Powerhouse

A flotilla of loud and proud watercraft will fly the pride flag on the Brisbane River in the city’s new River Pride Parade, as part of the first Melt Open festival.

The new event will see Melt Open ambassador Courtney Act (above) lead the parade during the new open-access queer art and culture festival.

Melt Open is a spinoff of Brisbane Powerhouse’s annual Melt Festival, bringing more events to more venues from October 23 to November 10, 2024.

On November 9, vessels of all shapes and sizes can join the inaugural River Pride Parade. Melt Open’s own Queen of the River, Courtney Act, will lead the journey from William Jolly Bridge to Brisbane Powerhouse.

The Brisbane-bred drag performer said the “truly unique” event on the river is “a brilliant twist on a cherished favourite.”

“Just imagine the magic as we all come together to celebrate on the water, surrounded by the beauty of the city,” she said.

“This is truly a unique and fabulous way to honour Pride and the stunning Brisbane River.

“As I lead the river parade, you can bet there’ll be plenty of SPF beneath my makeup!”

Everyone can take part, whether registering their own boats, hopping aboard another or simply watching on from the shore.

Registrations for the parade are open now at Get in early before the ship sails!

Courtney Act on the MELT Open River Pride Parade
Image: Supplied

Introducing queer arts and culture festival Melt Open

The new Melt Open festival will premiere in Brisbane from October 23 to November 10, 2024.

Born out of the success of Brisbane Powerhouse’s annual Melt Festival, Melt Open offers an expanded lineup at more venues to showcase diverse LGBTQIA+ arts and cultural events.

Ambassador Courtney Act said, “I’m stoked to be coming home to Brissy to be a part of such a vibrant celebration of LGBTQIA+ culture and creativity.

“Storytelling is our greatest invention, and it’s so important that we hear a variety of stories, whether they’re told through cabaret, music, art, sport, or partying.

“I love that the festival is open access, so anyone can be a part of it. It’s going to be a great year. I can’t wait to be there and feel the buzz of the festival.”

The full program of Melt Open events will be announced later in the year.

Spencer Tunick planning nude art installation on Story Bridge

Artist Spencer Tunick is currently inviting people to join a huge nude art installation on the Story Bridge during Melt Open.

The New York artist is renowned for his signature artworks depicting the nude figure in public. Since 1992, Spencer has organised over 100 installations featuring dozens, hundreds or thousands of naked volunteers.

In November last year, 150 locals bared all on the Brisbane River to create Spencer’s artwork TIDE (below). It was his first artwork in Brisbane.

This year, on October 27, Spencer will do it again, closing Brisbane’s Story Bridge and photographing thousands of volunteers nude in a new live art installation.

There’s no limitations on the number of participants. Register your interest for Spencer Tunick’s next installation at

Spencer Tunick shoot Tide artwork on Brisbane River

Find out more:

Locals go nude on Brisbane River for artist Spencer Tunick

Spencer Tunick tells us about his nude artwork on Brisbane’s Story Bridge

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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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