Drag stars join Gladstone’s first Rainbow on the Reef festival

gladstone rainbow on the reef pride festival 2022 queensland events
Rainbow on the Reef at Brisbane Pride Festival 2021

Gladstone’s new Rainbow on the Reef festival will celebrate three days of regional LGBTIQ+ pride in the coastal Queensland city.

Rainbow on the Reef is a group based in the Gladstone region, officially established last year. They meet regularly to allow locals “to make connections, feel supported, have fun and show their pride.”

Now they’ve announced the full program for their inaugural three-day Festival, from June 10-12.

The festival begins with a drag double feature film screening on June 10, with award-winning Australian short film Sparkles followed by The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

In Sparkles, a woman with Down Syndrome leaves behind her small country town for the city. But on the way, she strikes up an unlikely friendship with an outback drag queen.

The next day (June 11), the Rainbow on the Reef Pride Festival Fair Day is officially on. Gladstone’s Marina Parklands will come alive for the fun-filled, free family-friendly event.

President Heather Richards said the group is so grateful the Fair Day received funding from the Gladstone Regional Council’s Community Celebration Fund.

She said regional communities often miss out on opportunities for the LGBTIQ+ community to come together.

“We are very excited to be bringing a weekend-long celebration of Pride to the Gladstone region,” Heather said.

“The fair day will feature live entertainment from performing artists such as DJ Dolly Llama, Garret Lyon, Josh Deveta, Olivia Ruth, and the popular local band Redthorn.

“The fabulous Wanda D’Parke will host the event and treat the crowd to a special performance.

“Leisha Luck who first met Gladstone audiences at last year’s Rainbow in the Gardens event will also return to the stage.”

Candy Surprise hosting Balls Out Bingo for Rainbow on the Reef festival

Following the Fair Day, Gladstone Reef Hotel on Goondoon Street will welcome Balls Out Bingo, hosted by multi-award-winning Queensland singer, cabaret and drag performer, Candy Surprise.

After the Bingo, the celebrations will continue with Rainbows @ The Reef.

Then on Sunday, DJ Dolly Llama will be on the decks at The Reef Rooftop Bar for a Sunny Sunday session.

Tickets to each Rainbow on the Reef festival event are on sale now. Follow the group’s Facebook page for more details.

Last September, Rainbow on the Reef welcomed close to 400 attendees to the group’s first Rainbow in the Gardens event (below).

Rainbow on the Reef also hold regular meetings, with all LGBTQIA+ community members, friends, families, and allies welcome to join.

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

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