Sarah Akawa isn’t entirely sure how to define Hot Summer Gays. Lately, she’s landed on calling it a “summer-long mini-festival series.”

“It’s not quite a party series, because it’s not just parties. It’s not quite a festival, because it’s more ongoing,” said Akawa, a longtime DJ and party organizer in Madison’s queer community.

Whatever it is exactly, Hot Summer Gays is entering its third year as a summer attraction celebrating queer arts and entertainment in Madison and in the broader Midwest. After two initial iterations that were party-centric, Akawa said that the series is now going to be more expansive, with concerts, dances and comedy in the mix.

“It was very, very DIY in the initial two years.

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