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Heaps Gay Heaps Yummy @ Queens Hall, State Library

The atmosphere of Heaps Gay Heaps Yummy, a feast for the Melbourne Music Week, was utterly striking from the very beginning, before even entering the party. The State Library was alight and brilliantly glowing, in addition to featuring a thumping DJ booth set up on the lawn. The vibrant outdoor atmosphere drew curious crowds. Even for those without tickets, the night was to be enjoyed. With mobs of people dancing outside the State Library, it was a sight to be seen.
 
Inside, the venue was breathtaking. Walking up the beautiful marble staircase, the paintings of muscular near naked men were more than a fitting welcome while Cher's Believe lifted all the way to the top of the high ceilings. Bright lights swirled along the walls and onto the roof in a kaleidoscope of colour. Projections played out on the pillars and walls of Queens Hall, engulfing the entire stage and room.
 
The library was there to be explored. The reference room was a sea of emerald green. The rows and rows of desk lamps were a vivid green, lighting up the huge four-level dome and the impossibly high ceiling. Music radiated from the centre of the circle, people lining the desks, dancing, talking, being.
 
Both rooms were alive with music, and with a lineup of over 30 artists, there was ample local and queer talent to be enjoyed. HTMLflowers brought an incredible energy to the stage, while Donny Benet and his saxophonist gave the crowd something to groove to. YUMMY, Melbourne’s own drag cabaret group were magnificent. Each time they took to the stage they stole the show with their effervescent energy. One of the many highlights was a performer swirling countless rainbow of hula hoops around their naked form.
 
"We’re lucky that people of our craft and our culture can be at home here," stated one of the artists during the night, a reminder of what made this absolutely special. One of Melbourne’s most iconic venues was filled with a community of people who historically have experienced horrible treatment, and continue to face discrimination even in 2016. Yet every attendee made their way into the hall filled with palpable joy.
 
A safe space for all. That's what this was billed as, and it fucking delivered. 
 
By Claire Varley
 
Highlight: The lights. I can’t get over the lights.
Lowlight: The huge line to get drinks.
Crowd favourite: YUMMY’s showcase was unbeatable.