Gear up Brisbane because the iconic MELT Festival is back for a bumber 2018! Prepare yourself for two full weeks of LGBTI+ pride by way of killer entertainment, standup, discussion panels, art shows, theatre events and and unbelievably wild opening and closing night party as Brisbane celebrates our thriving queer community through art and culture.
This year's festivities will run from the 17-27 May and welcomes absolutely anyone and everyone who is looking for a wildly entertaining and culturally enriching way to spend their weekends, courtesy of some of Australia's most prolific performers.
To take the stress out of deciding what to see and when this MELT Festival 2018, we've hand-picked our fave 7 events for you. From beauty pageants to burlesque, tributes to trivia, if you're looking for the best of MELT Festival 2018, this is it.
MELT Beauty Pageant
No MELT list is complete without mention of the annual show-stopping event, MELT Beauty Pageant. Prepare to be bedazzled by sequins, perfect brows, sky-high heels and hair as drag queens, kings, and trans beauties duke it out to be crowned the most gorgeous of them all. The three categories they will be judged on are Graceful Glamourzons, Tremendous Talent, and Costume with a Message, with the results tallied up by an all-star judge panel to determine the ultimate winner. This one is a must attend in our books—especially if you need a dose of drama, poise, and flair in your life.
A look at queer history and the brave pioneers of the LGBTI+ movement before there was even a name for it, Resident Alien is a total must-see. Following the story of Quentin Crisp, the story documents how he started out in 1930s London as an androgynous nude model, eventually making his way to New York City and fame by openly speaking about his life experience. This performance is captivating and fascinating, providing a glimpse into one man’s road to happiness as a gay man living in a not so gay-friendly time.
No queer festival would be complete without a tribute to the one and only queen, Mariah Carey. This show will take you on her journey of incredibly high notes to a gravelly mess and hopefully back again. Josh Daveta will be performing her life in all of its wonder and glory, and you are invited to sit back and enjoy the nostalgic love as the spirit of a thriving Mariah is brought back to life on stage.
Next up we have the cabaret Coupling; a queer love mixtape to bring back those cringey romantic memories from our youth. The show will be taking love duets from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, and playing them live, sung by same-sex couples to relive the romantic glory days of music. Coupling reclaims the love duet as an expression of same-sex love in a night of classic tunes that will bring back memories of heartbreak, crushes, and first loves for anyone who watches.
If you are a trivia fiend you HAVE to come along to MELT’s Tragic trivia where the sole category will be (you guessed it) Queer History. Hosted by three of Brisbane’s most iconic drag queens, expect an evening of lip-syncing, glitter beards, and casual cabaret as you are taken on the ride of probably the most entertaining trivia night you have ever attended. There will, of course, be prizes of an exciting nature and you may even learn something, so grab a group of friends to make a dream team and head to the Powerhouse on Saturday.
Briefs: Close Encounters
Briefs are back, and they have brought it up a notch with another incredible circus, drag, burlesque and comedy hybrid show. This one is strictly 16 and over due to the openness and expression of the male form. If this isn’t reason enough to attend, there will be aerial acrobatics, body artistry, witty one-liners and unbelievably talented stripping as the limits of masculinity are tested and broken through. We recommend taking your gran to this one for some wholesome fun.
MELT After Dark Party
Our final recommendation is the party to start the festival, MELT After Dark. Join the ranks of Brisbane’s top drag queens, trans icons, and drag kings as you party well into the night. DJ Black Amex will be spinning all the iconic queer anthems for you to death drop to, so make sure you wear something flirty and fabulous and through on as many sparkles as you humanly can for this celebration of Brisbane’s queer arts community.
What: MELT 2018: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture
When: 17-27 May
Where: Brisbane Powerhouse
For all the event details amnd for tickets, click here.
Image credit: Brisbane Powerhouse