Shepparton News

Festival turns 10

OUTINTHEOP­EN IS READY TO CELEBRATE MILESTONE OVER 10 DAYS

- By John Lewis Visit www.outintheop­en.org.au/ events-2021/ to check a full list of events for OUTInTheOP­EN 2021.

Shepparton’s OUTintheOP­EN festival celebrates 10 years of bringing the city’s LGBTIQA+ members and the wider community together with 10 days of fun and diversity awareness starting next week.

Festival co-convenor Damien Stevens-Todd said despite lockdowns and restrictio­ns, plans to celebrate the festival’s milestone were in full swing.

“Whether online for singalongs or in person at our art therapy sessions, you can celebrate with us wherever you are,” Mr Stevens-Todd said.

This year’s festival takes place from Thursday, October 28, to Saturday, November 6.

Mr Stevens-Todd said many of the festival’s more than 30 events had been re-imagined to take place online.

“This means no masks, stay in your PJs, sip a glass of wine or two, and attend from your couch — or backyard picnic blanket,” he said.

Things kick off with Think About It? Did It! at Goulburn Ovens TAFE in Fryers St, Shepparton, where stories of regional LGBTIQA+ elders will be shared to mark the 40th anniversar­y of the decriminal­isation of homosexual­ity in Australia. The full stories/podcasts will be shared on ONE FM 98.5’s Pride in Diversity radio show each Thursday night during the festival.

The festival’s big event, Carnival

Day, will once again go online allowing everyone to celebrate in a COVID-safe way.

On the afternoon of Saturday, November 6, people are invited to join superstar drag co-hosts Frock Hudson and Pattie Choux as they bring local music, fun and frivolity to the screen while showcasing 10 years of the festival’s fondest memories.

Other events include a sexual health forum, workplace inclusion sessions, the history of LGBTIQA+ community achievemen­ts, and social get-togethers including brunches and an evening meal.

 ?? ?? OUTintheOP­EN Festival coordinato­rs and supporters:
(Back) Damien Stevens-Todd and Jenni George; (front) Charlotte Nicholson, Cris Stevens-Todd and Fletcher, 3, and James Stevenson are ready to celebrate this year’s event with a mixture of online and face-to face activities.
OUTintheOP­EN Festival coordinato­rs and supporters: (Back) Damien Stevens-Todd and Jenni George; (front) Charlotte Nicholson, Cris Stevens-Todd and Fletcher, 3, and James Stevenson are ready to celebrate this year’s event with a mixture of online and face-to face activities.

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