Port Douglas to get Hot and Steamy with a new LGBTQI festival


Karlie Brady


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Members of the festival committee: Dean Scadding, Ian Flemming, Matt Sturt, Jason Billingsley, Nathan Clarke & Jason Penrose.

Planning for Port Douglas’ new LGBTQI festival is in full swing with the inaugural event kicking off in February.

Festival Director, Nathan Clarke, said the Port Douglas Hot & Steamy Gay Festival is about creating a first of its kind festival here in the Far North.

“It is very early days of course but we're trying to create an annual festival that becomes world-renowned and brings people up to Port Douglas in the quiet season,” he said.

“The intention of the festival is to try and create something of a long-lasting benefit to the town, the locals, and the LGBTQI community.”

Mr Clarke said while there are festivals of this type around the world, none are in such a beautiful location as Port Douglas.

“Port Douglas is an incredible location for a festival of this type, it’s got amazing scenery and venues and I think that we can put on a festival like nothing else in the world.

“I want to build something that all Port Douglas businesses will benefit from the exposure that the town will get.

“And I am encouraging locals to get involved, gay, lesbian, or straight, everyone is welcome,” Mr Clarke said.

The festival will run from Friday 14 to Monday 17 February kicking off with a long lunch at Salsa, followed by a T-Dance at the Sugar Wharf and an after-party at Jimmy Rums.

Day two will feature a cruise to the Great Barrier Reef and the main dance party at the Port Douglas Yacht Club.

Sunday will start with a brunch at Choo Choos before festival goers catch the “gay train to the pool party.”

The historic Bally Hooley Steam Train will be decorated to suit the occasion and will transport everyone to a final pool party at Niramaya.

The fourth day has been left free and Mr Clarke said this was to allow visitors to go out and explore the region and hopefully bring a boost to the local economy during a traditionally quiet time.

“It's not just about coming to the festival and then leaving, the whole idea is to experience the whole region,” he said.

Mr Clarke added the support from the community so far has been incredible and he hopes more locals will get involved.

“We're not trying to replicate Carnivale, that’s great, but this is different

“It is something that hasn't been done here before and it's going to be lots of fun, lots of extravagance, and people can be what they want to be,” Mr Clarke said.

Tickets are on sale now at Port Douglas Hot and Steamy Festival.

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