Midsumma will kick off in Hobsons Bay on Sunday with the first of six events being held as part of Australia’s premier queer arts and cultural festival.

Hobsons Bay councillor Tony Briffa said a coalition of western councils known as Midsumma Westside would host 18 events across Melbourne’s west.

“Midsumma Westside is the next chapter of the eight-year GOWEST partnership that was initiated by Hobsons Bay City Council,” said Cr Briffa, who was the world’s first openly intersex mayor.

“Hobsons Bay is proud to continue its longstanding partnership with the LGBTQIA+ community and the festival’s celebration of diversity and culture, which brings the spirit of Midsumma to the western suburbs.”

Australia-born artist Melanie Jame Wolf, who lives and works in Melbourne and Berlin, will launch an exhibition,

Chorus at The Substation, in Newport on January 20 from 2pm. A Mad Hatter Tea Party will be held at the same venue on January 23 from noon-4pm for people aged 12-25.

Archer Magazine’s Bobuq Sayed and Adolfo Aranjuez will host Writers in Conversation at Newport Community Hub on January 31 from 6.30-7.30pm. Drag performers Rex Spandex and Jesse Dean will host Rainbow Storytime celebrating diverse families at the same venue on February 1 from 4pm.

The Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia International pageant will be held at Williamstown Town Hall on February 2 from 6-11pm.

A Rainbow Pride in Altona event will be held at the Louis Joel Arts and Community Centre on February 9 from 11am-4pm.

Details: midsumma.org.au