New regional LGBTIQ festival confirmed for Queensland

port douglas four mile beach hot and steamy festival lgbtiq far north queensland cairns
Port Douglas' Four Mile Beach. Photo: MalcolmJ/Wikimedia Commons

A new north Queensland LGBTIQ event, the Port Douglas Hot & Steamy Festival, will be held in February as a precursor to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Festival directors Nathan Clarke and Jason Penrose created the event to showcase the region’s beauty during a gap in the region’s events calendar.


“February in the tropics is hot, humid and steamy, hence the title of the festival,” Clarke said.

“However, it is still a fantastic time to visit – there’s fewer crowds, balmy evenings and everything is lush and green.

“There’s a calendar of events that will showcase the best of Port Douglas and its surrounds. There’ll be dance parties in local favourite spots, a pool party, and special entertainment guests.

“And, of course, the opportunity to experience two incredible world heritage listed areas, the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.”

The Hot & Steamy Festival will run from February 14 to 17, 2020. Scheduled events include a welcome lunch, an opening party on the Sugar Wharf, an outdoor dance party at the Port Douglas Yacht Club and a closing party with special guests.

Douglas Shire Councillor Michael Kerr is involved in the Port Douglas arts scene and the LGBTIQ community. He said the event is a chance to celebrate loud and proud.

“As a long-standing community member, I am excited to support this event and hope to see it a permanent fixture in the event calendar,” Cr Kerr said.

“The region has always been popular pre- and post-Mardi Gras. An event like this will highlight the region to a wide-reaching audience, drawing people here in the off-peak season.”

Tickets for the Hot & Steamy Festival’s events will go on sale in September. Visit the festival’s website and Facebook page for more details.

Cairns Pride Festival to return in October

As well as Port Douglas’ new festival, this month the Queensland AIDS Council announced the Cairns Pride Festival would return in October.

It comes after the region’s long-running Cairns Tropical Pride festival shut down after 12 years last December.

The festival will include an opening ceremony, art exhibition, fair day and closing ceremony. QuAC has called out for interested artists, performers, volunteers, stallholders, and food and beverage vendors.


QuAC will hold a Cairns Pride meeting and workshop on Thursday, August 8 at 290 Draper Street, Cairns. For more details and to RSVP, visit the QuAC North Queensland Facebook page here.

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