Melt Festival fuses Berlin’s LGBT nightlife with music festival culture

Melt Festival is emblematic of the German people’s insistence on equality and diversity.

The festival, now in its 21st year, takes place annually in July in Ferropolis, a former mining town 140 kilometres south-west of Berlin.

Melt festival is famous for leading the charge in the fight against homophobia.

Located in former East Germany, the land the festival occupies was once a hotbed of right-wing homophobic beliefs but the festival now stands in opposition to Germany’s problematic political past.

Each year, the festival combines live music acts with DJ sets from Berlin’s most legendary gay parties and club nights a short trip south of the capital.

(Matías Altbach)

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Iconic Berlin gay party Labrador Bar have been hosted by the festival, and in 2016 the festival demonstrated their commitment to being the best at LGBT representation when they launched the now iconic LGBT+ Stage.

Berlin creatives Yo! Sissy splurged their goodness all over it as curators for the first two years, but this year the festival’s ambitious LGBT scheduling returns with the performances rethought entirely.

Sadly, Yo Sissy are no more, but the troupe live on in new LGBT+ Stage curator and former Sissy director, Berlin drag queen PANSY, who will bring her House Of Presents show to Melt festival for 2018.

(Matías Altbach)

Channeling Yo Sissy’s hedonistic and inclusive party vibes, House Of Presents will feature PANSY and a host of their friends as DJs fuse into live performance and drag shows throughout the night on the LGBT Stage.

PANSY is a drag artist hailing from North Carolina in the US who produces weekly dance parties and drag shows in Berlin.

Melt festival’s late-night LGBT stage will host some of the best international DJs from the disco, dance and techno music scenes and is a catch-all solution to experiencing the queer German club movement in one fell swoop.

LGBT+ acts playing on the stage this year include techno DJ The Black Madonna, former Bloc Party singer Kele, dance duo Smerz, producer Honey Dijon, electro duo Fischerspooner and US mixtape artist Jungle Pussy.

Other queer names and allies confirmed to play the stage this year are nightlife giants Kim Ann Foxman, Marc Miroir, and Faka.

House Of Presents tease audiences by revealing “you never know what you’re gonna get” on the night and in Berlin, host their weekly residency at the Monster Ronson’s karaoke club.

(Matías Altbach)

Related: Green Man festival will reveal what makes people gay as part of 2018’s line up

Previous acts to have played the LGBT+ stage at the festival include “XXL disco diva” Hard Ton, US electro-pop duo Hi Fashion, Fritz Helder of Azari & III fame and multi-disciplinary artist and musician Black Cracker.

Other famous LGBT allies and names to have played the stage include JD Samson, Hannah Holland, Chance & Dark, Boris and Pansy & Scout.

PANSY and friends will take over Melt Festival’s The Orangerie stage for two nights of LGBT+ scheduling.

Related: Mighty Hoopla: Catch TLC, Sink The Pink, Glitterbox and London’s best club nights all in a field this summer

Melt festival is set to the industrial backdrop of a former open-air mining works.

Host town Ferropolis is known to modern audiences as the ‘City of Iron’ so old industrial metalworks dramatically pepper the skyline of the festival as unique talking points in opposition to the serene freshwater swimming lake also on site.

(Stephen Flad)

And headliners The xx, Florence And The Machine and Fever Ray head the line-up which features international names from an array of music scenes.

Alongside the hefty representation of dance music in ode to Berlin’s club music heritage, there is a vast selection of alternative indie acts including Little Dragon and Nina Kravitz, if lying beside the lake recovering from the night before isn’t your vibe.

For more information and to book tickets to Melt Festival, visit their website. Melt Festival runs July 13 – 15th 2018