Midsumma West is back to celebrate the LGBTIQA+ community

Gavin Roach presents 'Bottom' by Willy Hudson at Bluestone Church. (Supplied)

By Molly Magennis

Midsumma Westside returns to Hobsons Bay and Maribyrnong, with a range of activities and events celebrating the LGBTIQA+ community.

The festival will run from January 23 to February 13.

Hobsons Bay council will host 11 free COVID-safe events, starting off with a launch of the festival at the Substation Newport from 2pm to 4pm.

Other events include art exhibition ‘Impossible Dance (iii)’, which will showcase photographs taken from queer club performances and spaces over the past decade, and ‘Stepping out with Pride’, a creative workshop hosted by a leading costume designer.

Mayor Peter Hemphill said council wants the LGBTIQA+ community to feel as though they can be themselves without fear of discrimination within the municipality.

“To demonstrate this, we take every opportunity to fly the Rainbow Flag on days of significance for the LGBTIQA+ community,” he said.

“This year we have gone one step further in transforming the forecourt of the Altona Theatre at the Civic Centre into a Rainbow as a public demonstration of support for an important part of our community.”

In Maribyrnong, Bluestone Church Arts Space, Pride of Our Footscray and Footscray Community Arts will also be hosting their own events as part of the festival.

Pride of our Footscray Community Bar will host its First Nations Drag show on January 28, while Bluestone Church Arts Space will showcase ‘A Space is Held’, a performance artwork exhibition.

According to the Midsumma website, this exhibition will seek to ‘elevate ideas of queer bodies, displacement and anticolonialism to a common knowledge better understood by many.’

Maribyrnong council acting community services director Bridget Monro-Hobbs said while events are still going ahead, COVID safety provisions will be put in place to ensure the safety of audiences and performers.

Details: www.midsumma.org.au/westside