This weekend in Melbourne, The Workers Club plays host to mini-festival Euphorian Dreams, a self-dubbed ‘Transgender Celebration’ organised by Violet O’Hara, herself a transgender musician and one half of electronic duo Zen Robotic, and Penny Black. After approaching local nightclub DTs about putting on a show and being told “sorry, we only put on drag shows,” O’Hara took the initiative to put something together herself.

“I think they offered us if we wanted to play a Wednesday night, when basically no one goes there.” O’Hara says. “We just thought it was an interesting idea to create an event rather than just trying to have a gig and inviting a lot of our friends we already had and then trying to drum up a bit more support and have a larger sort of event.” From there it was a matter of assembling the lineup.

“The primary thing I was looking for was trying to get as many trans acts as I could, so that’s what I went out and looked for first,” O’Hara explains. “There are a few transgender acts around that we actually tried to contact to get as many transgender people on the bill as we could, but we couldn’t get as many as we would have liked. I didn’t really mind if it was electronic or otherwise, I just wanted to create a party atmosphere.”

As to the amount of transgender people that ended up on the lineup and whether that affects the overall intentions of the event, Penny Black expands. “I don’t think it’s important to be honest. I’m not going to ask someone ‘what’s your gender, what’s your sexuality, what’s your religion, what’s your race?’ That’s the whole point, the whole point is we want to unite people, just to be peaceful and to have a good time. The main aim was to have an event where transgender people could come, be celebrated, have a good time.”

Since our chat last week, O’Hara has posted in the event’s official Facebook page, responding to some negative comments on the page and further elaborating on the inclusive nature of the lineup. “Other than my band Zen Robotic, we also have DeeDee Francis on the bill and as previously stated my team and I tried our hardest to include as many transgender acts as we could. Yes, there are other transgender musical acts in Melbourne and some were unable to accept our invitation. Regardless, we have a brilliant line up, and I for one am completely and utterly pumped.”

I look forward to seeing how the event pans out, and hopefully seeing more events like this in future with even more trans-inclusive acts.

Euphorian Dreams: A Transgender Celebration is on Sunday, January 24th. For more information visit their Facebook event page.

Euphorian Dreams: A Transgender Celebration