MELT Festival celebrates 18 days of arts and ideas with 2022’s star-studded program

4 minutes read

MELT Festival, Brisbane Powerhouse’s unabashed celebration of queer art, artists, allies, icons, and ideas, has revealed its fabulous full program. 

From global headliners, award-winning cabaret and high-energy music club nights to a queer comedy gala, cutting-edge contemporary dance and First Nations art, Melt Festival takes over Queensland’s home for contemporary culture from 10 to 27 November. 

Festival Curator Daniel Evans said the 18-day LGBTQIA+ event welcomed fresh acts and emerging artists alongside past hits and returning favourites and championed homegrown talent alongside international headliners. 

“From thumping club nights with global icons to tiny shimmering spectacles and crowd-sourced come-togethers, MELT 2022 continues Brisbane Powerhouse’s legacy of curating surprising, radical and disruptive experiences,” Mr Evans said. 

Meltdown transforms Brisbane Powerhouse into a hall of tech house beats with DJ sets from Soul of Detroit featuring John ‘Jammin’ Collins of Underground Resistance, Sophie Forrest and DJ Enn. 

Curated by Joel Devereux, sets are intertwined with installations, guest appearances, drag acts and performances from some of the world’s most wicked movers and shakers. 

Acclaimed disrupters Polytoxic presents a world premiere cabaret work, In Your Dreams, featuring a line-up of glass ceiling-smashing, system-dismantling, genderqueer, fiercely intersectional artists. 

Cher is an inspired mash-up of gender, power and pop culture by Larissa McGowan that marries contemporary dance with cabaret in a solo tour de force inspired by pop’s ultimate chameleon. 

Heralded by Baz Luhrmann as a modern-day Mick Jagger, Brendan Maclean performs his solo show, Alone At Last!, following its wildly successful debut season at Adelaide Cabaret Festival. 

McLean performs out of character and at a piano, bringing audiences the very best of his original music, a sprinkle of salacious stories and selections from shows that made him a star of the stage. 

MELT Comedy Gala returns featuring queer comedy legends and fresh faces, hosted by Brisbane’s very own Qween of Comedy, Mel Buttle, and featuring New Zealand comic Chris Parker. 

The iconic Queerstories sees another incredible line-up of LGBTQIA+ storytellers including Brisbane-raised Benjamin Law.

It’s Called Achilles, a solo contemporary dance work performed by Michael Smith with live accompaniment from composer Felix Sampson, sees the idea of ‘reveal’ take an honest turn as Smith relentlessly morphs camp archetypes with depictions of self. 

Moving-image artwork FAWN by experimental arts collaborative APHIDS connects characters from popular culture with everyday people who have the lived experience of losing a parent. 

The Chapel of Love, devised by glittery rogues The Good Room, takes over Brisbane Powerhouse’s Turbine Platform with a purpose-built chapel; a petal-strewn fever-dream that draws its inspiration from ancient altars, Dolly Parton, Hallmark schmaltz and Vegas neon. Proud Yuwi, Torres Strait and South Sea Islander man and MELT artist-in-residence Dylan Mooney stakes a claim on Brisbane Powerhouse with his trademark powerful and pride-ful style morphing multiple surfaces to create a slow-growing, evolving and high-impact exhibition.

The highly anticipated new Pleasuredome venue hosts Shane Jenek – aka Courtney Act who rose to fame in RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6 – discussing his heartfelt memoir, Caught In The Act, a hilarious and at times heartbreaking story of searching for and finding oneself. Also in the Pleasuredome, MELT 2021 cabaret verbatim hit Lesbian Love Stories returns with its tales of lady love from across the globe, told anonymously through song, speech and prose. The fabulous free social events of the season, LGBTQIA+ Elders Dance Club hosted by All the Queens Men and Backbone Youth Arts’ Revel in the Queer, provide uplifting, safe spaces for an extravaganza of queer culture and identity for the young and young at heart. 

The full program also includes the previously announced major international acts and Queensland exclusives of English pop royalty Sophie Ellis Bextor of Murder on the Dancefloor fame, London DJ Jodie Harsh, cult hip-hop artist and Beyoncé collaborator Big Freedia, dancehall sister duo Kinder and new-gen rappers Jesswar and JessB. 

For tickets and more information, visit 

MELT Festival is presented by Brisbane Powerhouse and proudly supported by Brisbane City Council, Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, B105, Crumpler, goa, Herbert Smith Freehills, Ovolo Hotels and QNews.