Our Queer Formal was held on Friday 7 April. It was a night to be who you are, wear what you want, and be with whoever you want.
Gathering in the garden prior to 5 o'clock, anticipation ran wild through the crowds of people as guardian angels danced around the steps of the St Kilda Town Hall to speakers blasting pop music that everyone knew and sung along to, their purpose to create a guard of honour and ensure the safety of everyone entering our event.
The night began with 550 people pouring into the venue and being blown away with the beautiful decorations in the foyer, most of which were hand made by the crew. Stopping shortly to grab a bag of candy from our candy bar, a slushy, or some memorable photobooth photos with friends, guests were shown into the breathtaking hall, decked out for a meal and a show!
We were so incredibly lucky to have speeches and performances by: Uncle Chris who welcomed us to country, Bobuq Sayed, Maddison Griffiths, Aretha Brown, Lucy & Luiseach, and TC Band, accompanied by delicious pizza, wedges and soft drink.
If the big crowds and loud music were a bit too much, we had a chill out area available for people to take a break and if they wanted, talk to one of our friendly youth workers. The space was a great place to relax, talk through any problems, and play some quiet games with friends away from all the noise.
Last year the issue was raised to our committee that there was no space for People of Colour to go that was separate from the majority. After many discussions with people from different communities and cultures, we also set up a safe space specifically for People of Colour to take a break as well. We’re constantly striving for improved and further inclusivity at our events and young people's safety and wellbeing is our top priority. We hope this space was beneficial, and if you have any ideas or feedback for future events, we’d love to hear from you!
At 8 o’clock our first DJ Mladen & co took to the DJ booth and kicked off the dance party and 550 young people started tearing up the dance floor. The gorgeous Br00klyn Queenz finished the night off with tunes that people were still singing as they left at the end of the night.
At 10pm we were sad to say goodbye. Last minute selfies and long good bye hugs were bittersweet as crew took people back to the train station, chatting with everyone about their favourite parts of the night, their favourite performance and their favourite type of pizza, while the rest of the crew started the pack up.
The atmosphere throughout the entire formal was incredible. Seeing so many happy faces, cute couples, and groups of friends in a completely judgement free zone was simply beautiful. Whether it was your first Minus18 event, or your 20th, it was definitely a night to remember, and all of your smiling faces and stunning outfits won't be forgotten soon.
We’d love to say a massive thank you to everyone who attended the event, all our speakers and performers and to everyone who helped out, and made the whole night possible. Every overheard compliment, gasp, and happy tears means all our hard work was worth it.
A few crew members shared their favourite moments from the night:
“The look on people's faces as they came into the hall, they looked so so happy it was just an awesome thing to see!” – Sarah
“Being at cloak room when everyone was arriving and seeing their reactions to what is HOURS of setup we have put into formal!” – Freya
“I loved loved loved the vibe of the dance floor and the whole hall, everyone was having a real good vibe.” – Alex
“I overheard someone screaming that it was the best night of their life!” – Lucy
This night is one of the most important on the queer calendar, and holds a special place in the hearts of LGBTI youth in Victoria, and we hope to see you all back again next year (don't forget to tell your friends)!