Nocturnal X Midsumma Festival



Melbourne Museum
11 Nicholson Street
Carlton, Victoria, 3053
What's On

Nocturnal and Midsumma Festival present a special summer celebration: an exploration of queer and pan-African cultures through music, performance and talks. Featuring Nakhane, Okenyo, Cocoa Butter Club and spoken word line-up curated by Candy Bowers.


Person photographed in red light

Stunning. Challenging. Brave. Soulful. This unmissable South African performer is visiting Australia for the first time, making appearances at Sydney Festival and Mona Foma. Nakhane's You Will Not Die LP puts his ravishingly beautiful voice on full display, exploring his queerness, past traumatic events, and renouncement of Christianity with love, joy, and self-acceptance. Nakhane's sound ranges from effervescent glam, to sumptuous, electronic pop, to anthemic, choral hip-hop. A singular talent set to fill the museum with these glorious sounds.

Candy Bowers

Two people with blue face paint
Candy Bowers

Writer. Actor. Social-activist. Comedian. Producer. Artistic Director. A South African Australian powerhouse, Candy has curated an evening of spoken word poetry and storytelling in response to the Mandela My Life: The Official Exhibition. Seven extraordinary voices from across literature, media, music and theatre reflect, throw-down and flow using Madiba's life and legacy as inspiration. Set to the selections of Cape Town born DJ, Colette these performances will still your heart and spark your passion for justice.


Portrait of person in a red sweater

Evocative. Enigmatic. Empowered. The perfect sonic neo-soul complement to the splendid sounds of Nakhane. This Sydney-based vocalist and Elefant Traks alumni is fearlessly pushing the boundaries of modern pop music, addressing representation, equality and challenging stereotypes while she's at it. Also an actor and performer, Okenyo is posed to change the world, one tune at a time.

Cocoa Butter Club

A group of five people in burlesque costumes
Cocoa Butter Club
Photo: Roxene Anderson

Proud and loud. The cabaret show, centred on and celebrating People of Colour and First Peoples performers, are the creative clap-back putting POC firmly at the front! The Naarm chapter of the London-born group was launched at the Melbourne Spiegeltent in 2017 and has risen to great and fabulous heights ever since with a slew of sold out shows. Catch these incredible QTIPOC performers serve up burlesque, drag, spoken word, live music and genre-defying performance art of the highest order.

Nocturnal Talks

Expert museum staff will be delivering illuminating talks and presentations throughout the museum's iconic spaces. In February, they'll be themed around activism, identity, and equality, inspired by the Mandela My Life: The Official Exhibition. Hit attending on the Facebook event for scheduling as it drops.

Nocturnal X Melbourne Fashion

Friday 1 March 2019

This special edition of Nocturnal, curated in collaboration with the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF), celebrates the opening of the festival with live music, performance, drinks, and late night access to museum exhibitions.

Info and tickets

Host your next event at Nocturnal

Hospitality lounges and tailored event packages are on sale now. Contact Alex Fisher at [email protected] to find out more.

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