The small rural Queensland town of Marburg recently held its first pride and we spoke to organisers to find out how it all went.
Move over Sydney Mardi Gras, there’s a new pride destination on the map: Marburg’s Mardi Gras-Burg!
Marburg is a small town of just over 1,000 people west of Ipswich on the way to Toowoomba.
It’s not the type of place you’d expect a pride festival, but a group of eager locals have made it happen.
One of the event organisers Kate Rollins, explained why they decided to put on the event.
“We are a group of 12 individuals who came together in November 2022 when we realised there was a gap in the community in support of the LGBTQIA+, mental health, disability, cultural and many other groups who truly deserve to be celebrated,” she said.
“This event was originally planned as a small gathering for like-minded people in one of the community halls. When we realised the importance and potential of this event, it was decided that a much bigger venue was required.”
The event was the first of its kind in Marburg so there was a lot of sourcing of permits, licensing and other legal needs.
The feedback from the community was mixed at first but that changed over time.
“Overall we had so much support for this event. Initially, we experienced some negativity from a few community members however, this was quickly overturned and positivity certainly prevailed and we had so much support for the event,” Kate told us.
“Surrounding suburbs such as Rosewood and Fernvale communities became involved and overwhelmingly showed so much enthusiasm and excitement for an event being held in such a small rural town.”
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A safe space
The festival took place just over a month ago on the local cricket ground.
Drag performers were able to use the cricket pitch as a makeshift stage and catwalk, while musicians, stallholders and even unicorns were also on hand.
The real highlight, however, was how the event made local people feel.
“There were quite a few attendees who informed us that felt they had found a safe space through this event. We had one attendee who actually informed us that they were coming out as a trans man and felt that the day was the perfect setting to do so as they were surrounded by people who they could connect with,” Kate explains.
“Our motto is that “We are more fabulous together” and with this in mind, we truly believe that every human has the right to feel valued, loved, respected and accepted.”
So will the little town of Marburg be back on the pride map for 2024?
Kate confirms it will: “There will absolutely be a bigger, better and brighter event next year!”
You can keep up with the latest on Mardi Gras-Burg through their Facebook group.