Midsumma Festival 2019 To Open With Day-Long Consent Festival

midsumma festival 2019
Photo: Midsumma

Melbourne’s queer Midsumma Festival will for the first time open with a a special one-day event exploring ideas of consent in LGBTI, queer and ally communities.

The inaugural festival will explore consent in relationships, workplaces, and in health, through in-depth panel discussions, workshops, performances and more.

Brodie Turner from MEAN Projects coordinated the event with a committee of community leaders and he said the festival will “offer people a way in which to discover how consent is applied, not defined.”

“It’s a day to contribute to conversations, try different ways of thinking, and ultimately enjoy ourselves as a curious and passionate community,” he said.

Four talks will take place during the day, Consent 101, Consent in Relationships, Consent in Health and Consent in Workplaces.

“One of the questions we get quite a lot is that if it’s a consent festival will it just be about sex, and that’s absolutely not the case,” Turner explained to JOY 94.9.

“In health for example, we’ve just had a debate in politics about ‘gay conversion’ therapy, that is a huge issue in which consent is a key element.

“For people who live with intersex variations, consent is a key element in their life.

“When the programming committee got together, topics were raised including access restrictions for people living with a disability; HIV disclosure; sex-on-premises venues; relationships and how they’re communicated; BDSM and the kink community; the sex industry.

“Consent has a part to play in all of those discussions and we hope to see a lot of those come up on the day.”

Between the four talks will be activities and sessions including yoga, circus skills, life drawing, interactive gaming and zine-making, with a performance by the Fringe Wives Club cabaret outfit concluding the day.

Midsumma’s Consent Festival will be held on Saturday, January 19 in the Melba Spiegeltent in Collingwood, as part of the 2019 festival’s lineup of queer arts and cultural festivities across Melbourne from January 19 until February 10.

Hundreds of thousands expected for Midsumma festivities

Midsumma offers audiences a range of performances, exhibitions, talks and social events with leading international, national and local artists.

The Midsumma Extravaganza will return with another fierce line up featuring Yummy, Zoe Coombs Marr, Mama Alto, Trevor Ashley, Carlotta, Joel Creasey, Rhys Nicholson and more, together with a live band.

The festival’s much-loved Midsumma Carnival is expected to attract 100,000 attendees on January 20, and the annual Midsumma Pride March through St Kilda will be held on February 3 from 11am.

For tickets and more information about Midsumma Festival’s 2019 lineup, visit the website.

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