YES!FEST is coming

The Canberra Times described last year’s Marriage Equality Results Night street party at Hopscotch — attended by around 6000 people — as the first spontaneous thing to have ever happened in the national capital. YES!Fest is its successor and the Creative Director Danny Corvini (DJ Raydar) tells FUSE Magazine what we can expect of this year’s encore event.

Photo above: YES!FEST crew: Paul Eldon, Victoria Firth-Smith, Jacob White, Danny Corvini and Yen Eriksen at Canberra’s rainbow roundabout in Braddon.

YES!Fest is the name we chose for the follow-up to the Marriage Equality street party that lit up Lonsdale Street last November like a rainbow eclipse.

As we intend to make this street party an annual event for Canberra’s LGBTIQ community and our allies, we needed a name that reflected the incredible positivity and pride of the original event, while broadening our scope beyond just marriage equality. While this year’s party will be less political and more of a celebration of the fact that we can now finally get married in Australia, we do always have to be vigilant about protecting and extending our rights as queer people (see: religious schools exemption fiasco), and so the political will inevitably always be there bubbling away in the background.

This year, we are extending both the duration of the event and the amount of Lonsdale Street that will be closed off for the street party.

The festivities will start in the mid-afternoon this time at the Rainbow Roundabout with rainbow family-friendly entertainment, food trucks and bars. The action will then shift to the Hopscotch stage where DJs and live performances will provide a Mardi Gras like atmosphere throughout the evening and well into the night. If you have kids, book a babysitter for this part!

While this year’s event is a celebration of a year of marriage equality in Australia, we will also use our platform to shine a special spotlight on indigenous drag, which is one of the most exciting things happening in the country. Stars of the Black Divaz documentary, which screened on SBS in March, fab-original drag queens Nova Gina and Josie Baker will perform at YES!Fest alongside Canberra’s own Miss First Nations 2018 finalist MadB.

Yes Party Canberra 2017

Canberra Marraige Equality Celebration Street Party 2017

YES!Fest will be spoilt for performers with an array of other kings and queens, dancers and singers appearing including The Berra Queens, Sheba Williams, Swagger, Kilia Tipa and Etcetera Etcetera. Music-wise, last year’s DJs Sveta and Raydar will return alongside new recruit DJ Estee Louder, and will drop queer classics, party jams and dance anthems well into the night.

Canberra has transformed into a great place to live as an LGBTIQ identifying person. We returned the highest ‘yes’ vote of any state or territory in Australia, we have the only out-gay leader in Andrew Barr and now we have our own annual LGBTIQ event to rival the Sydney Mardi Gras and Melbourne’s Midsumma Carnival (and maybe even better because it’s the only street party!). Come and celebrate!




Tags: SpringOUT, Event

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