The Tastiest Party In Town

GROUP A 19 smaller scaled
GROUP A 19 smaller scaled

The day after I got back I did Yummy Up Late, so the whole time i was using Jedi mind powers telling myself jet lag is not real, and its not…” Meet James Welsby, who last year bought to life the fabulous Yummy, at the Melba Spiegeltent, a man who defies convention both in and outside of the artistic sphere. As part of this years Melbourne Music Week, will be bringing the most excellent of Melbourne’s queer community together in celebration and solidarity at State Library, for one very special evening…

James, tell us what are you planning as part of this years program, what makes it stand out from the pack?

I think what is unique about it, is that is very big, we have over 30 artists performing, and i don’t think there is any other events quite that big in the queer calendar. It would be one of only a handful. It’s also the first queer event ever in Melbourne Music Week, so it’s sort of high time that we take over that, it’s also in an unusual venue for queer parties and events, as we are in the state library. We are in queens hall which is kind of like a ballroom but it spills over into the reading room which is that luscious heritage dome room, we will have a complete party take over of both these places.

I also think something about this which is important, is the cross over we have from different other queer parties, we have djs and performers from parties across Melbourne and even Sydney, all coming together, all performing at this one event. We are not competing with anyone to make a new party its a kind of once off, a coming together of different sections in the Melbourne queer community.

What do you think defines Melbourne’s queer community, sets it apart from others in Australia?

I think Melbourne queers are very mindful, very stylish, and very engaged in having art practices. I mean queer people everywhere are often quite creative but i think in Melbourne what I sort of tend to see is it’s often more than just a hobby, people actually treat it as a vocation, people actually work in the arts.  Also a sense of having a very “in check” ego, in some other large cities in the world, some peoples egos can be really full on but I think in melbourne people just have a great sense of community as well as having pride in their own activity.

And what do you think are some of the things that are of importance to the queer community in the here and now?

Two things that are really huge factors in the queer community are suffering and celebration, and those feelings really need to manifest sometimes. This events is definitely a celebration I think being queer is innately political, but I wouldn’t really say this is an overtly political event,  its a party, there is a really massive variety of acts, something for everybody, live music and cabaret and djs, there’s different space for different. The plebiscite has been so shit, I’ve hated every minute of it, and I really hate that there was this proposal to have a national debate on one issue. We didn’t have one on war, so how can we follow the U.S into a war in the middle east that has been going on for a decade and half; but we cant follow the U.S into marriage equality, I don’t understand that, it doesn’t make sense to me, it just reeks of bigotry.

Right now with a political climate in Australia, where both leaders of the two major parties and the majority of the population supports same sex marriage, yet we don’t have same sex marriage legalized, is crazy. It’s really an indication of a flaw in the political system. i really was deeply offended by the thought of a government funded yes no campaign, just to go to a plebiscite. These rainbow families, kids with gay parents they really don’t need to hear that their family is less valuable then other families, that’s totally unacceptable. I really think its high time that these straight politicians learned that these queer voices need to be protected and we are not going away anytime soon.

So how does Heaps Gay Heaps Yummy respond to these issues and the broader community?

This party, its a celebration in the face of yukky times, its an attempt to bring people together and its not really a protest of that directly. It’s more of an attempt to bring people together and feel supported in a state institution. It’s a huge surprise, so you will have to come and see it, but i will say this, for anyone who has come and seen any of the last season, there has been allot of back to back solo acts, but the Heaps Gay Heaps Yummy crew will act as a bit of a through line throughout the whole event. We will be there for the beginning the middle and the end, and be a bit of transition between bands and dj sets as well.

I always thought that queer issues effect more than just the queer communities, lets look at homophobia, homophobia effects straight people in a negative way, for ever straight boy who has been called a poof or a fag, for every straight girl who has been called a lesso or dyke. A friend of mine was gay bashed, because he was wearing skinny jeans and someone assumed he was gay, this is an example of someones whose life has been really badly effected by homophobia, but who is not actually part of the queer community. Stamping out homophobia is a really important thing to do, not just for queer people, but for all people, because it will improve everybody’s life, it will make Australia a safer place, it will reduce bullying.  What I am saying is, I want to connect and help the lives of people beyond the queer community. So Heaps Gay Heaps Yummy is a queer party for queer people but beyond this, we want friends and allies to feel welcome.

It promises to be a fabulous evening, for more info or to book your tickets click here

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