Wollongong will have its first live music festival for the LGBTIQA community on Saturday, designed as a safe space for everyone.
The Queer and Now festival was originally scheduled for Jane’s Bar, though due to an overwhelming amount of interest the all ages event has been moved to 273 Crown Street, just behind Spotlight.
Masterminds Chelsey Sanderson and Jess Corcoran began Queer and Now as a monthly music night in North Wollongong last September, and have seen its audience grow tenfold.
Sanderson said it fills a niche in the community for a welcoming and accepting place for musicians from all walks of life.
“When it comes to live music, there is very much a culture that it’s mostly just straight guys and they’re all within a certain group. It’s harder for queer [artists] to break into the scene.
“One of the main reasons we made the event was to be inclusive [for bands and patrons] because some things are very much gay and lesbian and then it stops there.”
''There’s more to the [LGBTIQA] community than glam and glitter."
The project is a labour of love for the pair who will direct all the proceeds directly back to the bands.
Melbourne’s punk three-piece Camp Cope is headlining the gig which coincides with their first album release.
“It’s a disappointing fact that even in the music scene, people from the LGBTI community are discriminated against, often in subtle ways, due to their gender or sexual identities,” said Kiama-born drummer for Camp Cope, Sarah Thompson.
“That my hometown has a space where people are free to be and express themselves in a safe environment is really special and I can’t wait to play there.”
Event promoter Warren Wheeler said Queer and Now showed a diversity of talent in the queer community and challenged the usual stereotypes surrounding it.
“It shows there’s more to the community than glam and glitter,” he said.
Sanderson hasn’t forgot queer fans of dance music, with another event in the works with a selection of DJs for later in the year.
Queer and Now Festival at Helter Smelter, 273 Crown Street on Saturday. Doors open 1:30pm, bands on until 10pm. BYO, though ID required.
Queer & Now full lineup:
- CAMP COPE (Melb)
- BANDINTEXAS (Syd)
- Brooklyn's Finest (Melb)
- The Last Exposure (Syd)
- Ouch My Face (Melb)
- Moons Of Venus
- Jake Walker
- Paige & Beth
- The Nah