Queensland’s queer arts festival MELT to return in 2021

melt festival brisbane powerhouse
Photo: Brisbane Powerhouse

The team behind Queensland LGBTIQ+ arts and culture extravanganza, the MELT Festival, have announced the date the event will return in 2021.

The annual 12-day festival was sadly cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, during a bruising year for Australia’s entire arts industry.

But the Brisbane Powerhouse’s extravaganza of queer theatre, cabaret, music, art, storytelling and comedy will return to the venue from May 19-30 next year.

MELT Guest Director James Lees said as many as possible of the 2020 performers who missed out this year will appear.

“After the cancellation of MELT in 2020, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to invite our 2020 artists back.

“We hope to include as many of them as possible in our 2021 program, alongside plenty of new works and artists.

“Queensland’s arts scene is abundant, and I have been lucky enough to meet so many incredible queer artists.

“They’re eager to educate, challenge and entertain audiences through theatre, cabaret, music, visual arts, storytelling, forums and conversations.

Lees said last year’s MELT Festival saw attendance rise 26% on the 2018 event.

“MELT has become a much-loved focal point for the community. The festival shares compelling and engaging stories with Brisbane locals and out-of-towners alike,” he said.

MELT Portrait Prize submissions are open now

The MELT Portrait Prize also returns to Brisbane Powerhouse in 2021, with submissions now open online.

The annual contest allows local artists to visually celebrate their heroes within the LGBTIQ+ community.

Visual artists have until February 28, 2021 to submit their work for the MELT Portrait Prize.

Winners will be displayed at Brisbane Powerhouse from May 19 until June 13.

Visitors to the exhibition can vote for their favourite work, with a series of prizes on offer.

Dan Molloy’s Silenced in the Shadows receiving the MELT Portrait Prize Judge’s Choice Award in 2019.

And an integrated digital artwork titled Becalmed by Tim Wang took home the People’s Choice Award.

MELT: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture returns to the Brisbane Powerhouse from 19 – 30 May 2020. Before then, the full MELT program will arrive in March.

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