In 2024, Brisbane is getting a new major Fringe-like festival that celebrates queer art and culture. Piggybacking from the success of Brisbane Powerhouse’s Melt Festival, the inaugural Melt Open Festival is coming in hot to the River City this October, bringing with it Brisbane’s first-ever floating River Pride Parade, as well as a slew of diverse arts and cultural events, including a nude photo installation on Story Bridge.
Melt Open Festival will run from October 23 to November 10, with the River Pride Parade taking place on the afternoon of Saturday, November 9.
The River Pride Parade, led by Brisbane-born drag queen, singer and TV personality Courtney Act, will voyage from William Jolly Bridge to Brisbane Powerhouse in a convoy of colourful vessels. Think dykes on jetskis, waterskiing drag queens, queer boat parties and more.
And in the words of Melt Open: “Whatever floats your boat, you’re welcome!”
Registrations are now open to be part of the boat-bound beeline, or you can always get a good spot and watch the festivities from the riverside, in true Mardi-raft style.
The second of two events announced so far for Melt Open Festival is a monumental photo installation run by New York-based contemporary artist, Spencer Tunick, who’s best known for his large-scale nude photo shoots, including Tides, which took place on the Brisbane River last year.
On Sunday, October 27, Story Bridge will be closed off for this colossal art event which will see thousands of people gather in the nude to celebrate diversity, equity, inclusion and Brisbane’s vibrant LGBTQIA+ community and allies.
Tunick is currently looking for participants for the photo installation, so if the thought of living your best exhibitionist life on Story Bridge sounds freeing, then this is your chance.
For more information, head to the Melt Open Festival website. The full program will be announced soon.