Parade, pride and party come together once a year in Melbourne's iconic march celebrating solidarity in gender and sexual diversity. Tie up your bootlaces or throw on your heels, and join the spectacular act of unity that is Midsumma Pride March.
This page contains information to assist those who are participating in the event (i.e. for those who are marching). Go to Midsumma Pride March 2018 for general information about what's happening on the day.
The 23rd Midsumma Pride March will return to Fitzroy St, St Kilda on Sunday 28 January 2018. Kicking off at 2pm with the much-loved pre-march procession by Dykes on Bikes followed by thousands of marchers. Stay on for the post-Pride Celebrations at Catani Gardens, running until 7pm.
Whether you join the fanfare by foot or by wheel, with workmates or with family, with friends or with lovers, as ally or as queer, Midsumma Pride March is for you.
Want to join the march?
Read on for information for groups and individuals who want to participate in Midsumma Pride March 2018.
Vehicle registrations closed: Mon 20 Nov 2017
Marcher registrations closed: Mon 4 Dec 2017
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are invited to march in the Indigenous Pride Float alongside Elders. Meet at 1pm at Ian Johnson Oval, St Kilda (find the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags at Wave A) and be sure to RSVP on Facebook.
Marching: how it all works
There are five steps to participating in Midsumma Pride March:
- Register to march. It is free and simple to register in Midsumma Pride March. Vehicle registrations (for motorbikes, cars, trucks) close Monday 20 November 2017 and marcher registrations (for everyone else) close Monday 4 December 2017.
- Attend the Midsumma Pride March Briefing on Monday 22 January, 6 – 7pm at St Kilda Town Hall (Auditorium). Who attends this briefing? A representative from each group as well as all vehicle drivers must attend this briefing. (It is also live-streamed for those living rurally or remotely).
- Read the Pride March emails you receive from Midsumma in the lead-up to the march. These contain vital information about arrival times, marching orders and other bits and pieces that you'll need to know.
- Plan a vibrant and meaningful presence in the march. You never know, you might win a Midsumma Pride March Award.
- Arrive on time on the day with your group, ready to march!
Read on for the answers to all your questions. Can't find what you're looking for? Call Midsumma on 03 9296 6600 or email [email protected].
Can I march as an individual?
I'm registering a vehicle, what do I need to know?
- Driver and Vehicle Check: for the safety of all participants, Victoria Police will approve vehicles and their drivers. At the time of registering you'll be asked to provide the vehicle registration of each vehicle, licence details of each nominated driver as well as their contact details.
- Communication: Each driver will receive communications from the Midsumma team, vital to their participation in the march.
- Briefing: Each driver must attend the Pride March Briefing on Monday 22 January, 6 – 7pm at St Kilda Town Hall (Auditorium).
- Road rules: As required by Victoria Police, any individual inside a vehicle will be required to follow standard road rules. This includes wearing a seat belt at all times, wearing a helmet if you are driving a motorcycle, and no standing on the rear tray of a ute or similar. For the safety of all marchers and viewers, drivers will be breathalysed at Assembly.
- Parking: There is no designated parking for vehicles after the parade.
How is the marching order decided?
- Groups are assembled together into sections called "waves" according to similar area of interest or themes. At the time of registering you will be asked to elect a wave grouping. Midsumma will confirm the order on midsumma.org.au before the day. In special circumstances, we also might need to make small adjustments on the day if any new information arises.
- Marchers with special needs or living with disability are placed early in the march as a long wait or lengthy exposure to the elements would adversely affect their health.
- Non-queer identifying businesses and organisations showing pride are very welcome, but they do not march ahead of queer advocacy and diverse gender and sexuality (DGS) representative groups. No non-queer identifying corporate businesses (even if they are Midsumma Festival partners) pay to be a part of the march or do they get to march ahead of other not-for profit groups.
- Some placement is determined by Main Stage call times, to get artists and crew to Catani Gardens in time to perform at the post-Pride Celebrations.
- Some contingents request a late start time and don't mind being towards the end.
- Over 40,000 people line the streets to support the march each year and the march needs to be as exciting all every stage of the march, not just at the start. The final marching continents are just as important as the first.
- The balance of the remaining contingents are organised based on volume of sound clashing, vehicle/pedestrian safety or significant placement history.
- The Midsumma team always marches last.
- Midsumma Festival spends considerable time curating the march to be as fair as possible and can only enter into conversation about line-up requests with non-profit queer organisations that may from time to time express interest in marching with particular other non-profit queer organisations.
Is Midsumma Pride March family friendly?
As our pets are often considered family too, please make sure you have foot protection for your pooches if you bring them, otherwise plan to leave them at home. That road tar can get painfully hot on the paws.
Why are corporate businesses involved in Midsumma Pride March?
In 2018, businesses will not march ahead of queer advocacy and gender-and-sexuality-diverse-representative groups. No businesses pay to be part of Midsumma Pride March though some who march are sponsorship partners of Midsumma Festival. Without their financial support the 22-day festival could not take place.
Why are Police at Midsumma Pride March?
Victoria Police have a presence in the Parade itself, as allies and as part of their work in building mutual trust between police and LGBTQIA+ peoples, and as part of their internal pride for Victoria Police employees who identify as LGBTQIA+.
What is Midsumma's role in organising Midsumma Pride March?
As Victoria's leading Festival for and by LGBTQIA+ peoples, Midsumma is proud to deliver this vital event, which takes yearlong planning and significant resourcing. Midsumma is always looking for ways to improve this event in response to Victoria's diverse, dynamic and ever-growing queer communities. We welcome feedback on the event!
Where can I find the Marching Order?
When should I arrive?
When does the rest of the group arrive?
When and where do Dykes on Bikes arrive?
Can I bring a vehicle?
Do I have to follow the road rules?
My vehicle is part of the parade. Is there parking for me afterwards?
Is there water for participants?
Be sun smart
Handing out stuff?
- Avoid handing out materials likely to be dropped on the street or in Catani Gardens.
- Flyers and other paraphernalia must include an acknowledgement to 'recycle responsibly'.
- Go balloon-free. City of Port Phillip has joined with Zoos Victoria in their campaign to replace balloons with other environmentally friendly alternatives.
- You can't hand out food or beverages without a current Food Handling Certificate (and that includes lollies).
If your banners, flags or other props are taller than 2.5 meters please contact the Festival Office to discuss further.
Parking and public transport
We highly recommend using public transport or cycling where possible - see the Transport topic below for more information. Please note that Fitzroy Street will be closed to traffic between 1pm and 5pm approximately.
What accessibility services are provided?
If you are Deaf, hard of hearing or have difficulty speaking, contact the National Relay Service on 133 677 or via relayservice.gov.au, then ask for 03 9296 6600 during business hours. There is no additional charge for this service.
The Midsumma Pride March Awards
After their inception in 2017, the Midsumma Pride March Awards are returning in 2018.
Following the lead of our queer cousins in Pride Marches across the world, the awards are intended to encourage a bright and meaningful presence from participants. Winners will be selected by a panel of diverse community representatives and announced at the post-Pride Celebrations.
The 2017 inaugural awards winners were:
- Most Fabulous - awarded to the most fantastically frocked group. The 2017 winner: Melbourne Frontrunners
- Significant Message - awarded to the group with a timely and well-conveyed message. Joint 2017 winners: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders; Minus18 and Safe Schools
- Most Innovative - awarded to the cleverest float in the show. The 2017 winner: VAC and their Riff Raff Marching Band
Register to March
Marcher registrations close: Monday 4 December 2017
Pride March Map
Midsumma highly recommends taking public transport to the event.
Public transport Options
Route 96 tram to Stop 133 (St Kilda Station)
Route 12 to Stop 143 (Park St/Fitzroy St)
Route 3a & 16 to Stop 133 (St Kilda Station) or any St Kilda Rd tram to Stop 30 (St Kilda Junction)
Route 3a or 16 (CBD bound) to Stop 138 then walk along Acland St
Route 246 to St Kilda Rd/Barkly St
Route 600/922 to Robe St/Grey St
Route 623 to Luna Park/The Esplanade
FROM TRAIN STATIONS:
From Balaclava Station
Tram 3a or 16 to Stop 138 (Luna Park / The Esplanade)
From Caulfield Station
Tram 3a to Stop 138 (Luna Park/The Esplanade)
From Elsternwick Station
Tram 67 to Stop 30 (St Kilda Junction) or Route 246 bus to St Kilda Rd/Barkly St
From Flinders Street Station
Tram 3a, 5, 16, 64 or 67 to Stop 30 (St Kilda Junction)
From Southern Cross Station
Tram 96 or 112 to Fitzroy Street
From Windsor Station
Tram 78 to Stop 37 (Carlise St) then route 3a or 16 to Stop 138 (Luna Park/ The Esplanade)
Tram 5 or 64 from Stop 32 (Dandenong Rd) to Stop 30 (St Kilda Junction)