The Lineup For This Year’s MELT Queer Arts Festival Is Here

MELT Festival

One of Brisbane’s biggest celebrations of LGBTIQ culture and diversity, the MELT Festival, is sashaying back to the Brisbane Powerhouse in May.

Organisers have unveiled the festival’s 2018 program, featuring a lineup of more than 20 productions and events across 11 nights of revelry, starting on May 17 to coincide with IDAHOT, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.


Festival Director James Lees said this year’s MELT, now in its fourth year, was more significant than ever following the overwhelming ‘yes’ vote in last year’s marriage equality survey.

“MELT is an annual celebration of Queensland’s vibrant queer community, providing an opportunity for our LGBTIQ+ friends and allies to come together for two weeks of revelry,” he said.

“In a climate of renewed optimism and positivity for LGBTIQ+ rights and outward support for the community, we are privileged and excited to present our biggest and most ambitious program to date.”

The 2018 lineup features an eclectic range of international artists, home-grown heroes and MELT favourites, spanning diverse genres including comedy, dance, circus, burlesque, visual arts and more.

“MELT 2018 sparkles with pride, passion and humour, extending an invitation for people of all genders, sexual orientations, ages, ethnicities, abilities and artistic interests to join in the party,” Lees said.

The boys from Brisbane’s all-male “boylesque” troupe Briefs Factory (pictured below) will return to the MELT stage with two shows: the interstellar acrobatic show Close Encounters and “trash glamour disco circus” Club Briefs.

In Coupling, Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra and a lineup of special guest vocalists will take the great love duets of the 70s, 80s and 90s and reclaim them for same-sex couples in a “queer love mixtape.”

For trivia buffs, Tragic Trivia (pictured, top) offers an utterly outrageous night as Brisbane’s drag superstars take the audience through “the colourful pages of the queer herstory books for a pop culture comp with a difference.”

For musical theatre fans, Bare (pictured below) is a contemporary pop rock LGBTI+ musical following a group of high school students at a Catholic boarding school grappling with their sexuality.

Gayming Night by Hella Gay Games will give the local gayming community a queer and inclusive gaming experience, with a mix of tabletop gaming and digital platforms set up on the Powerhouse’s Turbine platform.


The festival’s signature event, the MELT Beauty Pageant, will also return to crown a new drag queen, drag king or trans beauty with help from an all-star judging panel.

This year’s MELT Festival will kick off with a special community event supporting the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biophobia that will involve special guest speakers, a flag ceremony and the lighting of the Powerhouse building.

For the full MELT Festival 2018 lineup and to buy tickets, visit the Brisbane Powerhouse website.

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