That’s a wrap! Homotopia Festival 2019 ran from 1 – 10 November.
With thanks to our sponsors, partners and supporters including Arts Council England, Liverpool City Council, Wirral Borough of Culture, Hope Street Hotel, National Museums Liverpool, DIVA Magazine, Attitude Magazine and the Unity Theatre.
We launched in style on 31 October with a sold out party at Hope Street Hotel, with live performances from Fado Bicha and Felix Mufti-Wright plus a DJ set from Sonic Yootha.
We welcomed Travis Alabanza to Liverpool for a long-weekend artist residency, in partnership with National Museums Liverpool. Travis delivered a pop-up performance at the International Slavery Museum, as well as taking part in an in-conversation event the next day.
On Saturday night audiences flocked to our cabaret night, ‘An Evening with Travis Alabanza and Friends’ at Blackburne House. Compered by Travis, the night featured performances from Jason Andrew Guest, Auntie Climax and Ms Kevin Le Grand.
The night was opened by Homotopia’s youth arts group self-titled ‘We’re Here, We’re Queer’, a partnership project with Creative Encounters. Nine performers aged 14 – 18 years old brought the house down with their hilarious and touching self-penned performance, which was developed and directed by Alex Ferguson and Associate Artist Ashleigh Owen.
Travis was also involved in a panel discussion earlier that day, ‘Art at the Intersections’ held at the Museum of Liverpool and featuring novelist Niven Govinden, videographer Niloo Sharifi and artist Tammy Reynolds.
On the first weekend of the festival we welcomed children and families to a world of drag, glitter and magic with the brilliant Fantabulosa performing at Liverpool Central Library and (taking the festival over the water for the first time) at New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion Theatre. Fantabulosa at Homotopia was held in partnership with Wirral Borough of Culture.
In the final week of Tate Liverpool’s historic Keith Haring exhibition and held on the gallery, we invited cultural and media personality Amy Lamé for a conversation on LGBTQ+ activism and art from the 1980s to today.
Our residency at the Unity Theatre began on Tuesday 5 November with Harry Clayton-Wright’s poignant and revealing Sex Education. The next day we were excited to host the Queer Arts North Network for a very special FREE afternoon of discussion and networking with local LGBTQ+ artists and creators. This was followed by Rachael Young’s incredible NIGHTCLUBBING, performed to a packed audience.
On the Thursday we welcomed a work-in-progress to the Unity Theatre, STARS by Mojisola Adebayo. On Friday 8 November the irrepressible, larger than life Oozing Gloop brought their colourful political reflections to the stage with The Gloop Show.
For our final night at the Unity we presented a womxn double bill featuring the iconic feminist double-act Split Britches at 7pm and a fabulous musical retailing of the Joan of Arc story, JOAN by Milk Presents at 9pm.
We programmed four visual art exhibitions as part of this year’s festival. The Homotopia commissioned digital installation Who Are We? by Xavier Velastín and Virág Pázmány was hosted by Northern Lights. Strange Lands and How to Survive by Mandy Romero was displayed in the Unity Theatre’s bar for 3 weeks. We partnered with St Helens Libraries to bring Paul Harfleet’s work back to the festival, with Pansy Boy on display at Chester Lane Library. This year’s DuoVision curated exhibition as part of Homotopia was Bona Pop, featuring artists Daniel Edwards and ladypat.
The final event of this year’s festival was Liverpool Queer Collective’s annual Queercentric Music Night, featuring queer and trans musicians and held in the city’s up-and-coming Fabric District.
Over 1,000 people attend our events with many thousands more attending our exhibitions. A huge thank you to all of the amazing LGBTQ+ artists, creatives, writers and producers who made the festival an absolute treat.
We’ll be back in 2020 – keep an eye on our social media for updates!
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