Despite the tropical weather being a little more wet and rainy than hot and steamy, the Port Douglas Hot & Steamy Festival weekend shines bright like a diamond as an excellent example of diversity and inclusion of the LGBTQI+ community in Far North Queensland, as well as successful festival management in a Covid-19 world.
THIS year’s Hot & Steamy Festival headline act was international cabaret phenomenon Hans, a clear crowd-pleasing favourite who belted out high energy anthem tunes alongside his two talented backup singers and two bare-chested dancers at three separate events, each show outdoing the last. First time visitors to Port Douglas, Hans and his crew were well received by weekend crowds who danced and celebrated from Thursday through to Monday.
The second Port Douglas Hot & Steamy Festival drew around 1600 ticket holders across eleven events in iconic spots around Port Douglas including sell-out main events, the Friday Night White Party, the Glitter & Glam After Dark Cabaret night, and the Sunday SOAKED Pool Party. Shoulder events including a Vintage Swimwear show at Peppers Beach Club and the Get Lei’d Luau at Zinc Restaurant were also widely attended, giving the area a much-needed boost to tourism during the traditionally quiet time of year.
Festival Director Nathan Clarke said the patronage of the event was over and above what anyone could have expected, especially in the light of last-minute border closures between Queensland and Victoria, where 25% of festival attendees were coming from.
“With almost 65% of the guests from out of the Douglas Shire, this weekend has provided a healthy cash injection into the town during the quietest time of the year,” he said. “While we missed our Victorian friends dearly and closures also impacted the entertainment line up at the eleventh hour, it gave us an opportunity to tap into our waitlists for events, showing that a festival like this is not only good for local businesses but also for morale.
“The local and surrounding regional communities really embraced this event wholeheartedly, and we couldn’t be prouder. Next year’s event promises to raise the bar once again, truly making this an event to mark in the calendar.”
Rebecca Badenoch, from the event’s principal sponsor Culshaw, Miller & Badenoch Lawyers in Melbourne said “Hot and Steamy has absolutely cemented itself as the premier LGBTIQ+ event here in Queensland, as well as on a national and international stage. Having attended the first one last year, I was so impressed that I was excited to join again this year as major sponsor. Everything exceeded expectation – the venues, the performances and the crowd. This has been such a well-organised event, and we will absolutely be coming back next year.”
Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said “I thoroughly congratulate festival directors, Nathan Clarke and Jason Penrose, regarding the success of the event. It exceeded everyone’s expectations, was an enormous amount of fun and has been a much needed boost to our local economy.
“I’m very proud that Council supported this and look forward to its return in 2022.”
Planning for Hot & Steamy 2022 has already commenced and will be held in conjunction with the national Better Together 2022 conference, facilitated by LGBTIQ+ advocacy group, The Equality Project. The Port Douglas Hot & Steamy Festival dates have been locked in for January 20 – 23, 2022.
For further up to date information, head to www.pdhotsteamy.com.au or to Facebook @pdhotsteamy