fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

news

Midsumma Festival faces sponsorship backlash

In a cautionary tale on the importance of choosing the right corporate sponsors, patrons of the Australian gay event have reacted with fury to new gold partner News Corp

By IQ on 28 Nov 2016

DJ Adam Love, Midsumma Festival 2009

Adam Love DJs at Midsumma 2009


image © Midsumma Festival

Midsumma Festival, a music, arts and cultural festival for Melbourne’s ‘DGS’ (diverse gender and sexuality) community, has been criticised by festivalgoers, journalists and gay activists after accepting sponsorship from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp for the 2017 event.

News Corp, which owns several newspapers, book publishers and radio stations, has been involved with the festival since 2015, but its recent announcement as a ‘gold partner’ for Midsumma 2017 has sparked a backlash, with gay journalist Doug Pollard writing that “hardly a day goes by without a News Corp story attacking the LGBTI [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex] community”.

Opinions on Midsumma’s Facebook page have been similarly hostile (one commenter accuses the festival of taking “blood money”), while a petition calls for Midsumma CEO Karen Bryant to terminate its “unholy alliance with News Corp”.

“The community concerns raised over the weekend have resulted in the need for conversations about these issues to happen with News Corp”

A Jewish gay support group, Aleph, has also withdrawn from the 2017 festival, with its co-convenor Michael Barnett saying “News Corp journalists like Andrew Bolt, Miranda Devine and Rita Panahi are on a crusade to destroy transgender kids […] and marriage equality”.

Speaking to Gay News Network, Bryant says Midsumma is weighing up whether to continue the partnership. “We haven’t made a decision yet, but we will make a decision after we have consultation with the community that is informed,” she says.

“Obviously the community concerns that have been raised over the weekend have resulted in the need for those conversations about these issues to happen now with News Corp.” IQ has contacted Midsumma for further comment.

Midsumma Carnival 2017 starts on 15 January 2017.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

FOLLOW IQ

7 responses to “Midsumma Festival faces sponsorship backlash”

  1. Really simple Midsumma. Cancel the sponsorship arrangement and bring your community along.

  2. Really simple Midsumma. Cancel the sponsorship arrangement and bring your community along.

  3. Nal says:

    The behaviour by Barnett, Pollard and Co. has been nothing more than disgraceful – more liken to the vitriol the Bolt and Devine espouses – they should be ashamed! The Newscorp sponsorship should be more than about Bolt and Devine… it should be about engagement and respectful debate. Newscorp’s community and regional papers have been good supporters of the LGBTIQ community for a number of years – something we should commend them for, not lampoon! Barnett and Pollard think they speak for the community – well they are wrong – I know many who are upset at their behaviour – and they definitely don’t speak for me. Congratulations to Midsumma and Newscorp for developing this partnership – I just hope the behaviour of a couple of bad eggs, doesn’t spoil it for the rest of us!

  4. Nal says:

    The behaviour by Barnett, Pollard and Co. has been nothing more than disgraceful – more liken to the vitriol the Bolt and Devine espouses – they should be ashamed! The Newscorp sponsorship should be more than about Bolt and Devine… it should be about engagement and respectful debate. Newscorp’s community and regional papers have been good supporters of the LGBTIQ community for a number of years – something we should commend them for, not lampoon! Barnett and Pollard think they speak for the community – well they are wrong – I know many who are upset at their behaviour – and they definitely don’t speak for me. Congratulations to Midsumma and Newscorp for developing this partnership – I just hope the behaviour of a couple of bad eggs, doesn’t spoil it for the rest of us!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *