Midsumma 2022 Kicks Off With Carnival

By Beau
Beau is the founder of Apollo Social. He recently relocated to Melbourne with his husband and has begun a love affair with the city.
Midsumma kicked off with a bang on Sunday with Carnival. As a Midsumma virgin, I went along with no expectations but Melbourne put on a show and proved that the city knows how to party.

The day started with an optimism - both from the clear blue sky and the fact that such a large event managed to dodge pandemic restrictions and go ahead at full capacity. 

Carnival had a few surprises in store for me. First, the scale of the event - it covers a huge area with a large space for community stalls, multiple large bar areas and two stages. The event typically attracts 120,000 people, which makes it the largest event of the festival by far.

Midsumma Carnival stallsCarnival featured rows and rows of community stalls

With a cloudless sky and the sun beating down, shade was in hot demand so all of the best spots were carpeted in picnic blankets and charcuterie boards. Officially, BYO alcohol was not allowed this year but this clearly wasn’t a firm rule because alcohol was flowing freely without so much as a second glance from the police walking through the crowd. Even though service in the bar areas was fast and efficient, BYO is definitely my preference for next year.

Picnickers at CarnivalShade was in hot demand with picnickers

Both stages featured a lineup of acts ranging from obscure musical acts to the iconic dog show. As the sun set, the event transitioned into the T-Dance with DJs spinning beats into the clear summer night. The event took on a more loose vibe as the alcohol flowed and the speakers blared. It was around this time I got my second surprise of the night - an unexpected pash.

As I was attending to a necessity at all large outdoor festivals - waiting at the portaloo, I started up conversation with a young guy who was very flattering and saying all the right things so I let him cut ahead of me in line. Only after I did this did I realise he had used me to skip the lineup! Afterwards, as I was walking through the crowd to leave, I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around to see the same guy. Before I knew what was happening, he reached in for a smooch. His tongue was firmly in my mouth before I managed to pull away and tell him I was just on my way out. The dirty pash was a good thrill to leave the event on and a good reminder that hedonism is still alive and well in Melbourne.