Move over Mardi Gras and Midsumma, Australia’s gay events line-up features a veritable variety of additional shenanigans once the first two months of the year’s main acts have taken place in Sydney and Melbourne.
From Big Gay Day in Brisbane and Bearstock in Adelaide to Pride in Perth and Frosty Fruits in the Victorian Alps, there’s something in every climate for anyone and everyone. Here are eight fun and fabulous gay events all over Australia and no less deserving of your attendance.
The Queens’ Ball, Hobart
Dubbed “Screen Queens to Broadway Gays”, from 9pm, the Queens’ Ball: The Musical – Get Your Broadway On! has booked out the entire Hotel SOHO, for a fabulous night of fun with performances, a costume competition and access to multiple bars and dance floors. DJ Scissorfist and DJ Peppin will be pumping out tunes on each of the venue’s levels, with cabaret act The Duetaholics providing entertainment throughout the night. Queens’ Ball tickets also include entry to the after party at Flamingos Dance Bar.
Another great Australian gay ball to look forward to in June is the amazing Aurora Ball – a key event on the Sydney calendar where everyone puts on their finest and raises funds for gay, lesbian and transgender community organisations. This year’s ball is already sold out, but check this space in June for all the eclectically ravishing photos from the night.
Frosty Fruits, Victorian Alps
17 – 22 August
Six days of salacious snowy self-indulgence await at the Frosty Fruits ski trip at Victoria’s Hotham Alpine resort. Coined by organisers as “The Gayest Resort in Australia”, Hotham, unlike most Australian ski resorts is “upside down” – the resort sits on top of the mountain rather than bottoming out in its valley base, meaning you can be out your chalet door and on piste without needing to jump on a chairlift, and the views are breathtakingly panoramic at 1750m above sea level.
Hotham features a mix of over 80 green, blue, black and double black downhill runs, as well as some great terrain parks, so all ski and snowboard experience levels are catered to. Away from the slopes, relax and recharge at the Dinner Plain Japanese-inspired onsen day spa and heated pool. Frosty Fruits also features fun and friendly daily après-ski drinks, as well as group dining each night and a smorgasbord of arousing alpine evening endeavours like the Cruising and Corduroy party and the Great Alpine Gaymes Night with Frock Hudson. If you’re looking to head to the snow this year, Frosty Fruits is not to be missed. Due to its relatively high elevation for an Australian alpine resort, Hotham is particularly dry, so be sure to pack plenty of lube to ensure any snow-capped seduction goes smoothly.
Darwin Pride Festival, Darwin
21 – 30 September
Spread over ten days, Darwin’s Pride Festival has been proudly running annually since 1985, usually at the end of September. Featuring a range of fun events including opening and closing parties at Throb nightclub, lawn bowls, KAMP karaoke, a pool party, Fair Day and drag performances, this Pride festival brings out the best of the Territory’s LGBTI community.
Bearstock is Bear Men of Adelaide’s annual celebration of everything bear. There are around eight furry festivities taking place over four days including: Bearfoot Bowls, Sydney’s famous Honey circuit party (transported to Adelaide) and the Golden Woofs – the world’s only bear short film competition. With all these and more, there’s something for every bear, cub, daddy, chub, admirer and friend at Bearstock. Further details to be confirmed closer to November on the Bear Men of Adelaide Facebook page.
PrideFEST WA, Perth
27 October – 25 November
Perth’s premier LGBTI festival is held each year with a range of events spread out over a month. This year, PrideFEST will kick off with an official opening party at Connections club on October 27. The festival will culminate with its celebrated Pride parade on November 25. More events, including Fair Day, are to be confirmed closer to October, so stay up to date on Pride WA’s website and Facebook page. PrideFEST also recently successfully pushed to regional Western Australia, with Pride parades and parties being held in Bunbury, Albany and Broome.
Canberra SpringOUT Pride Festival, Canberra
28 October – 25 November
From late October till November 25, Canberra’s SpringOUT festival will play host to a wide and wonderful array of new and exciting LGBTI events, as well as old favourites including Fair Day, Bush Dance and the eminent SpringOUT Pride festival march. More details are to come on SpringOUT’s website and Facebook page.
Tropical Fruits NYE, Lismore
Tropical Fruits’ four day New Year festival in Lismore, in subtropical northern New South Wales, is the ultimate way to see in 2018. The New Year’s Eve party and Recovery Party are held at the retro-chic Lismore Showgrounds. Decorated to match an extravagant theme – 2016’s was “Glamatron” – the showgrounds are transformed into three massive dance spaces featuring top Australian and international DJs. On-site camping facilities and basic accommodation in Lismore are available, or pre-plan with a group of friends and book out a holiday rental in Byron Bay for ease of access to a plentiful supply of great restaurants and beaches when the party’s over.
Big Gay Day, Brisbane
Brisbane’s Big Gay Day is a chilled out but pumping street party taking place at the Wickham pub a week or so after Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. The side streets surrounding the pub are closed off specially for attendees, as well as to make space for a huge main stage that sees an impressive line up of local and international DJs playing sets throughout the day. 2016’s acts included Peyton, Sharon Needles, the Sexshooters and more. From early afternoon till late evening, this is a great party that brings together Queensland’s thriving gay community. Held on the same weekend as the Brisbane Queer Film Festival, if you’re not a local, be sure to stay for a couple of nights so you can attend both of these special events.