Change is in the air as the Midsumma Festival announced that their 2011 Carnival, the opening event for the festival will move from it’s former location at Melbourne’s Alexandra Gardens to a new nearby site, Birrarung Marr.
Birrarung Marr is set on the north bank of the Yarra River, just next to federation square and is closer to the city center than the previous location of the festival’s biggest community event, which attracts tens of thousands of queer and queer friendly revelers each year.
Check out this cool video round up of this year’s Midsumma Carnival
Join cabaret stars Dolly Diamond and Luke Gallagher for this fun video tour of the 2010 Midsumma Carnival.
According to Midsumma organisers the carnival has outgrown the Alexandra Gardens. Being crown / government owned land also added legal complications when charging the T-Dance admission, which is essential to help subsidise the cost of the carnival event.“In 2010, we saw a 65% rise in stalls at Carnival and had to make more space as a result. It got to a point where we just couldn’t fit anything else into the old site. We had out-grown Alexandria Gardens, and Birrarung Marr is the perfect site for us to move to – it is purpose built for events like Carnival and T Dance,” explained Midsumma Associate Producer Simon Patterson.
“The move to Birrarung Marr also allows for additional opportunities for the community and sponsors to contribute to the festival, and encourage those interested to contact Midsumma. We can also ensure Carnival will remain a free event and T Dance will maintain its affordability in 2011.”
Birrarung Marr is divided into three distinct terrace areas; An Upper, Middle and Lower terrace. The Upper terrace, nearest to Federation Square will feature the Carnival main stage and the Greyhound Bar. Just down from that, the Middle terrace will host the T-Dance and Market Bar. The community stage and stall holders will be situated along the Lower terrace along the scenic bank of the Yarra River.
“The new space gives us the opportunity for future growth of the event without taking anything of the heart of the day away,” said Midsumma General Manager Adam Lowe.
“We’re bringing all the things we love about Carnival and T Dance to Birrarung Marr. Our supporting partners, the Market Bar and the Greyhound Bar, are excited and showing their support by coming with us.”
The Midsumma festival was recently earned the ALSO Award for Most Outstanding Community Event against strong competition of the Equal Love Rallies, Minus 18’s Same Sex Formal, and Pride March.
Midsumma is currently calling for Visual Arts submissions from artists, working groups and curators. Stallholder applications are now open for Midsumma’s Carnival, available online at the Midsumma Website.Midsumma Carnival and T-Dance will be held on Sunday 16 January 2011 at Birrarung Marr. The 2011 Midsumma Festival runs from 16th January till 6th February 2011.