Spice Girl Melanie C to Headline 24th Big Gay Day Festival in the Valley

Brisbane’s iconic Big Gay Day festival has announced an exciting date and lineup for 2024. The LGBTQIA+ street party will once again take over The Wickham Hotel in Fortitude Valley on Sunday, May 5 for its 24th year, headlined by none other than Spice Girl Melanie C!

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Flying in from the UK, Melanie C will undoubtedly thrill the crowds at one of Australia’s largest queer festivals. She joins a sparkling lineup of popstars, drag queens, musicians, and DJs. Aussie dance duo Sneaky Sound System are set to get feet moving, along with renowned UK DJ Tall Paul.

Local legends on the bill include drag superstar Hannah Conda and sketch comedy group Briefs Factory. Brisbanite Jarred Baker will represent homegrown talent, whilst interstate drag collective Mega Drag rounds out the 2024 Big Gay Day entertainment.

Photo credit: Big Gay Day/Instagram 

The day-long extravaganza takes over Wickham Street, the home of popular pub The Wickham Hotel. Fabulous local identity Paul Wheeler will reprise his role as Master of Ceremonies, having hosted previous Big Gay Days.

Each year the festival raises thousands for LGBTQIA+ charities. In 2024, a portion of proceeds will go towards two queer organisations yet to be announced.

Photo credit: Big Gay Day/Instagram  

With the theme ‘Wickham of Oz’ this year, partygoers can expect a magical trip down a rainbow brick road this May. Tickets go on sale starting February 14 for the beloved event’s 24th year. Mark your calendars, dress in your most dazzling outfits, and get ready for Big Gay Day 2024!

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Big Gay Day History

Photo credit: Big Gay Day/Instagram 

Having started in 2000 as a celebration of Brisbane’s LGBTQIA+ community and a fundraiser for important charities, Big Gay Day has grown into one of the city’s biggest street parties. 

The festival now shuts down an inner-city street to set up a massive main stage and bring an amazing lineup of local, national and international LGBTQIA+ entertainers. 

Over the years, legends like Boy George, Sporty Spice, and The Veronicas have graced the Big Gay Day stage. In 2022, over 3,500 attendees helped raise substantial donations for charities like Diverse Voices and 2Spirits. The stages spotlighted incredible acts such as Vanessa Amorosi, Courtney Act, Faker, and a 30-strong drag extravaganza featuring Brisbane’s best performers.

Published 22-February-2024 

New Entertainment Spaces, Revitalised Vibe as The Wickham Reopens

Cocktails served in disco balls. A weather-proof beer garden. Vibrant artwork set in whimsical spaces reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland and the pub’s peacock. These are some of the reasons why you should check out Fortitude Valley’s beloved pub, The Wickham, now open after an extensive makeover.

A fusion of heritage and contemporary design

With an investment of $3.1 million, The Wickham’s renovation has been a labour of love. The skilled team at Newline Design successfully merged the site’s heritage-listed elements with fresh aesthetics. 

As you explore the venue, you’ll encounter a harmonious blend of historical charm and modern upgrades, creating a unique atmosphere that pays homage to the pub’s 138-year-old legacy. The addition of a new kitchen further enhances the culinary offerings, ensuring a delightful dining experience for all guests.

The Peacock Room and Garland Room

Among the revitalised spaces within The Wickham, the old corner bar and studio areas have been transformed into The Peacock Room and Garland Room, respectively. The Peacock Room exudes a relaxed atmosphere, featuring vintage furniture, local LGBTQIA+ artwork, and subtle nods to the pub’s beloved peacock, Frankie. It serves as the perfect spot for leisurely drinks and conversations. 

Meanwhile, upstairs, the Garland Room awaits with an enchanting Alice in Wonderland theme, complete with eclectic wallpaper and furnishings. This whimsical space hosts the venue’s legendary club nights and offers a captivating setting for special celebrations.

Revamped The Wickham Hotel Brings Back Fabulous Fun, Food, and Entertainment
Photo Credit: Facebook/ The Wickham  

The refurbished venue also brings back a plethora of entertainment options including the Thursday night trivia which takes place in the renovated beer garden, whilst live music performances energise the atmosphere from Friday to Sunday. 

Additionally, drag shows are scheduled on Friday and Saturday evenings, showcasing the Valley’s best queens. The Peacock Room will also be home to a monthly bottomless brunch with a burlesque twist, as well as comedy events and more. 

Culinary delights and quirky drinks

Under the guidance of Executive Chef Dylan Kemp, The Wickham presents a new menu. From stone-baked pizzas to delectable bar snacks and late-night options, the diverse selection caters to various dietary preferences, including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes. 

Highlights include cauliflower hot bites, fried quail with truffle mash, and indulgent treats like deep-fried Golden Gaytimes and fairy bread. Moreover, furry companions are not forgotten, as The Wickham offers a dedicated dog menu featuring enticing options such as crispy pig skin, meatballs, and sweet treats like the Ruff Day bowl.

Revamped The Wickham Hotel Brings Back Fabulous Fun, Food, and Entertainment
Photo Credit: Facebook/ The Wickham  

Not to forget, beverage Director Kevin Peters has crafted a drinks menu that pays homage to the 70s disco era. Expect a delightful array of creative concoctions, including the signature Disco Fruit Tingle cocktails served in eye-catching disco balls. Glitter Bellinis adorned with edible glitter and frozen G&Ts made with pineapple tonic add a touch of whimsy to the experience.

For those opting for non-alcoholic beverages, The Wickham has expanded its range of non-alcoholic wines, spirits, beers, and cocktails, featuring refreshing options such as the No-groni and the Espresso Marti-no.

If you haven’t experienced the magic of The Wickham recently, now’s the time to plan your visit and experience a fabulous evening packed with top-notch entertainment and delectable cuisine. 

Whether you seek a relaxed afternoon in the beer garden or an exhilarating night of dancing, The Wickham promises an unforgettable experience.

For trading hours or if you would like to enquire or book a table, check out their website here.

Published 12-June-2023