Editorial: 58th Annual Queens Ball in Brisbane

Queens Ball Brisbane Brisbane Pride Festival
Fabulous Hosts Tina Bikki and Paul Wheeler with Cr Vicki Howard

Brisbane Pride Festival took the Queens Ball Brisbane back to its roots Saturday night with a thoroughly modern interpretation of where it all started. Back in the early 60s, gay, lesbian, transgender, First Nations, immigrant and other LGBTIQ people and allies came together in a carefree and joyous celebration of diversity, resilience and camp.

And on Saturday night, Brisbane Pride recaptured that spirit.

Back when the ball started, our communities referred to themselves as camp. The 58th Queens Ball presented by Brisbane Pride Festival was undoubtedly camp.

The ball is a great opportunity to dress up and our community seized that opportunity Saturday night with more costumed attendees than seen in years.

The Entertainment

As the attendees streamed in and took their seats ‘Bring a Plate’ got the party started with a celebratory flash mob. Their infectious enthusiasm struck a party note right from the beginning.

The people already inside for the VIP party needed no invitation to party. Fabulous hosts, Tina Bikki and Paul Wheeler, prepared them for a night of fun early on.

Dancers from the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts kicked off the stage show with a powerhouse dance performance. Mighty fine young dancers who filled that enormous stage with their vitality and talent.

Thicc Shake Crew & the Runway Movement

We try not to swear too often here at QN Magazine. But wow, just f***ing wow!

We agree with Joel Devereux’s Facebook post.

Ella Ganza, Thicc Shake and the crew delivered a spectacular performance.

queens ball brisbane brisbane pride festival
The Runway Movement
Image: Vetea Bunton Facebook

They werqed, slayed, killed and whatever superlatives you want to add. What an amazing show! Check out Part 2 of the live feed at Brisbane Pride Festival’s Facebook page.  They’re on about 26 minutes in.

Look forward to future feature articles on the Thicc Shake Crew and the Runway Movement in QN Magazine.

Golden Queens of Brisbane saw legendary queens of recent years come together in performance directed by Vollie LaVont.

queens ball brisbane brisbane pride festival
Golden Queens of Brisbane
Image: Jan Maree Facebook

Ellen Reed

Brisbane City Hall is a magnificent venue. Its grandeur lifts the tone of the evening and reminds us just how far we’ve come. But, in all honesty, it feels a little formal for a dance party.

Until… Ellen Reed begins to sing.

From the moment she said, “Okay Queens Ball! It is time to get on your feet. Are you ready to dance with me?” the crowd filled the dance floor.

Ellen jumped off the stage and joined the party on the dance floor, her soaring vocals permeating the room all the way to the dome up above. What a magical performance.

Dame Sybil von Thorndyke

Unfortunately, after attending every ball for 57 years, Dame Sybil could not attend the 58th.

She entertained the audience nonetheless, in a video montage showcasing highlights of her entertainment career both as the Dame and performances in mufti as Laurie Deane.

As a founder of the ball and custodian for four decades, Dame Sybil was ecstatic to hear of Saturday night’s success on Sunday morning. She took particular pleasure that so many wore costume and that the element of joyous celebration returned to the event.

QN Magazine 482 out Friday 21 June includes a four page feature article on Dame Sybil by Features Writer Bill Rutkin OAM.

Dame Sybil von Thorndyke Laurie Deane
Dame Sybil coming off stage after having all her balloons popped at an earlier ball.

The Costumes

What a magnificent turn out!

Our communities and allies came ready to party.

Brisbane Pride Festival – just one thing, please. We beg. We plead.

A couple more costume awards?

Such phenomenal effort deserves reward.

Rainbow Hub Brisbane
Rainbow Hub – Look for Rainbow Hub on the cover of QN Magazine 482. Image: Rainbow Hub Facebook
yvette d'ath mp
Yvette D’Ath MP, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and friends

queens ball awards brisbane pride dylan hodgon gayleen tuckwood
Dylan Hodgon and Gayleen Tuckwood

Queens Ball Brisbane Pride Festival Committee

QN Magazine congratulates Brisbane Pride Festival Committee on a magnificent night we’ll all remember for years to come.


That was a Queens Ball!

That was the sort of night we can look forward to all year long.


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