It may have rained on the parade, but inclement weather failed to dampen spirits at last night’s Adelaide Pride March and 2014 Feast Festival opening night street party.
A record 2500 people turned out for the 13th annual Pride March through the city to kick off the 15 day queer arts and cultural festival in a celebration of love, equality and sexual and gender diversity
Led by Adelaide’s Dykes on Bikes and 2014 Feast Festival Ambassador Matthew Mitcham backed by dozens of colourful Brazilian dancers from local dance company Danca Brazil and drumming troupe SA Samba, hundreds of individual marchers and a record 40 registered clubs, community groups and organisations took part in the march from Victoria Square along Gouger and Morphett Streets to Feast’s official opening night street party in the west end.
Participating groups included Adelaide City Council and Adelaide’s Lord Mayor Elect Martin Haese, Headspace, Amnesty International, The Greens, Rainbow Labor, SA Government Employees and queer indigenous marchers the First Australians.
Feast Festival business sponsors ANZ, Events SA, Adelaide MINI Garage, Singapore Airlines, Fresh FM and Travel Horizons also took part in the parade, a first for the event, and there was strong youth representation with marchers from Glenunga International High School, Flinders University Queer Society, TAFE SA, the Feast Youth Drop-In and Pink Parents, representing LGBT parents and their children.
“Despite the weather we ended up getting a record number of people marching, and we were so inspired by the amount of new faces and the brilliant costumes and floats people had made to celebrate Pride,” said Pride March co-coordinator Margie Fischer.
“Every year more and more people just join in on the day, so the Pride March is growing, and that is extraordinary.”
The celebration continued at Feast’s opening night street party on Hindley Street West, with thousands of marchers spilling through the gates to enjoy the official opening of the festival by Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medallist turned cabaret star and Feast Ambassador Matthew Mitcham, and Artistic Director Catherine Fitzgerald.
Hosted by Australian comedy legend Bob Downe, the party featured music and entertainment across two stages by Scottish singer Horse, Melbourne electro-pop band Asian Envy, Adelaide’s DJ Josh, yodelling drag queen Lay Dee Kin Mee, dance troupe Young Gunz and Adelaide TV icon Anne Wills, with revellers kicking on until 5am.
“The skies might have been grey but Adelaide was definitely rainbow for Feast’s opening night,” said Feast Artistic Director Catherine Fitzgerald.
“It’s clear that Adelaide is really embracing Feast this year, and I’m thrilled that so many people are getting involved and enjoying this colourful and inclusive festival.”
Feast is Adelaide’s largest LGBTIQ arts and cultural festival, and Australia’s third largest, with more than 100 acts from local and global artists presenting queer comedy, cabaret, theatre, music, visual arts, literature, film, food and forums across Adelaide city, suburbs and regions from November 15 to 30.
Featured in the program are Australian comedians Hannah Gadsby and Bob Downe, entertainment legend Carlotta, American LGBT icon and adult film star Buck Angel, burlesque queen Maude Davey, South African gender bending sensation Odidiva and Adelaide TV icon Anne Wills.
Tickets to all Feast events are on sale now at www.feast.org.au, on 8463 0684 or via the Feast Box Office in the Lion Arts Centre.
To download a PDF copy of the 2014 Feast Festival program go to www.feast.org.au.