For Courtney Act, it’s a real treat to be coming home as the inaugural ambassador of Melt Open Festival.

Returning to where she was born and bred to celebrate queer identity while leading a floating flotilla in a River Pride Parade is about as good as it gets.

Watercraft of all shapes and sizes are welcome to join the flotilla in a kaleidoscopic celebration of LGBTQIA+ communities and allies in the inaugural family friendly parade down the Brisbane River on November 9.

“There are so many people putting on shows and events, celebrating queer identity and the Pride Parade on the river is just going to be epic,” Courtney says.

The internationally renowned performer is now known as the Queen of Melt Open – Brisbane’s major new festival celebrating Queer art and culture.

Melt Open runs from October 23 to November 10 and will showcase diverse arts and cultural events. It builds on the success of Brisbane Powerhouse’s Melt Festival with an expanded lineup of venues and artists.

And Courtney Act (aka Shane Jenek) is a perfect fit. As one of the first artists to boldly express their gender fluidity, she broke out of the box in 2003 and her star has been on the rise ever since around Australia and the globe.

The renowned performer boasts sold-out world tour stage shows, music releases with more than 40 million online views, and modelling, theatre and TV appearances.

But leading the River Pride parade from William Jolly Bridge to Brisbane Powerhouse on November 9 will be a career highlight.

“What an original way to incorporate the geography of Brisbane into the celebration of Pride,” she says.

“I’m so excited for Melt to be taking over Brisbane. Festivals like Melt are important because they bring so much culture to a city.

“Brisbane’s so stylish and chic now and I think that this arts festival just brings the creativity out of people. It gives artists and creatives a reason and a place to focus our attention and builds that sense of community and creativity that makes a city so rich and wonderful.

“It feels like the festival is just going from strength to strength. I love that it’s a celebration of pride that’s centred on an open access arts festival. I think it’s a wonderful way to build an event.”

Courtney Act is not giving away too much, though, on what her Melt Open performances might involve. She wants to keep them a surprise, for now.

“What am I planning to do at Melt Open? I don’t actually know yet,” she says. “I will have to put my thinking wig on and work that out. Maybe a big opening night gala. Who knows?”

Registrations for the River Pride Parade are now open. Spencer Tunick is also inviting people to be part of his mass nude installation Tide as part of the festival. You’ve got until June 30 to register for the River Pride Parade and until October 20 to express interest in being part of Spencer Tunick’s event. Register your interest at



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