alexandra-burke-resize.jpgSummer 2010 might be the year of the queer in music fests. Lesbians have Lilith Fair – back now touring for the first time since 1999 – and now Europeans and pond-hoppers have the Milk Festival, groovin’ up Ireland this August 14.

The first-ever outdoor music and arts festival for the LGBT community to hit Europe, over 5,000 gays and hip hets are expected for the 12-hour experience (noon–12am) at Ballinlough Castle, a 1614 stone stunner an hour outside Dublin. Complementing the already magical setting of rolling green hills, lakes and a sloping natural amphitheater that has seen acts such as the Pet Shop Boys, Carl Cox and Hot Chip, event organizers will be transforming the grounds and historic walled gardens into a “technicoloured dream world” with a Mardi Gras atmosphere, part Wizard of Oz, part Alice in Wonderland.


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Taking attendees down the rabbit hole will be over 45 live acts and DJs on two stages offering a range of sounds, from nu-disco darling Sophie Ellis Bextor and 2008 X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke, funky DJ sets by Ireland’s own Roisin Murphy, Seb Fontaine and Bodyrox & Luciana, plus ’80s pop throwbacks by Bananarama and Right Said Fred.


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If you’re too sexy for the music, chill out in the Alternative Tent for some of Europe’s up-and-coming drag and comedy acts, hosted by Riyadh Khalaf, star of reality docu-series Growing Up Gay. A dedicated Chillout Zone in the gardens features Brazilian, Hollywood, and Californian cocktail bars, an art zone with installations and experiences, plus a full-service high-end food court. VIP tents available for the glitterati.

For a full list of acts and event logistics, check out Milk2010.ie. Tickets start at €99.99 and VIP tickets are priced at €125 – a steal given the four-year-low of the Euro against the dollar. (Use the extra dough to bedazzle some Wellies.)

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