Parade, pride and party come together once a year in Melbourne's iconic march celebrating solidarity in gender and sexuality 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.
Registrations have now closed. Read on for vital information for groups and individuals who registered.
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.
Pride March Briefing: Monday 22 January 6pm
It's really important (read, compulsory) that a member of your group attends the Pride March Briefing on Monday 22 January, 6 – 7pm. The Pride March Briefing can be attended online or in person at City of Port Phillip's Council Chamber, St Kilda Town Hall (Auditorium).
Unfortunately, if you can't organise someone from your group to attend the briefing on your behalf, either in person or online, your group's registration will have to be cancelled. Like most rules, this is a requirement that comes to us as a matter of safety.
Also, as a matter of safety, each vehicle driver MUST attend this meeting (online or in person).
P.S. Feel free to also join us at the City of Port Phillip Pride Flag Raising Ceremony at 5pm out front of St Kilda Town Hall (optional) immediately preceding the briefing.
Arrival Times and Assembly Location
The assembly point for vehicles is Lakeside Drive and arrival times for vehicles will be from midday to 1pm.
Dykes on Bikes & Melbourne Motorcycle Tourers
Dykes on Bikes and Melbourne Motorcycle Tourers assemble and sign-in at the corner of Acland St and Fitzroy St at midday.
Group Representatives: Please ensure a representative of your group signs in at St Kilda Sports Club (adjoins the Marchers Assembly Point at the Ian Johnson Oval) between midday and 1.30pm. Then head over to the Marchers Assembly Point to greet your group as they arrive.
Waves A – O: entire group on site at the assembly point at the Ian Johnson Oval by 1.30pm. Find your group representative at your designated Wave location. Enter Ian Johnson Oval via the drop-off point on Lakeside Drive.
Waves P – U: entire group on site at the assembly point at the Ian Johnson Oval by 2.30pm. Find your group representative at your designated Wave. Enter Ian Johnson Oval via the drop-off point on Canterbury Road.
This year there will be food vendors and activities in the Marchers Assembly Point.
Other Key Times
1.30pm: Trams in the area stop running (or rolling) until the march concludes
2pm: March begins
4.15pm: March ends (approx)
2.15pm - 7pm: Post-Pride March Celebrations at Catani Gardens
The bar will be open in Catani Gardens from 12.30pm or so, but we encourage friends and families of participants to view the march from the street if they can.
View the Marching Order – the order in which groups will march and information about how the marching order is decided.
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].
How do I register to march?
Registrations for Midsumma Pride March closed in early December 2017. Due to the extensive planning that takes place in the lead-up to Pride March, we cannot accept registrations on the day to march. However, the General Public are invited to follow the final marchers into Catani Gardens.
Subscribe to the Midsumma eNews to hear about registrations for Pride March 2019.
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 nor 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 exciting at every stage of the march, not just at the start. The final marching contingents 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!
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
Midsumma Pride March Map
Due to the congestion caused by Midsumma Pride March, and the size of the event, there will be less parking than what is normally available in the precinct.
* NEW: There are also extended road closures this year imposed on the event for the safety of the marching group, affecting traffic on:
Ferrars Street at Kerferd Rd - 10am to 6:30pm
Canterbury Rd at Fitzroy Street - 10am to 6:30pm
Fitzroy Street between St Kilda Rd & Jacka Blvd - 10am to 6:30pm
Princes Street between Barkly & Fitzroy Street -10am to 6:30pm
Inkerman Street between Barkly & Fitzroy Street -10am to 6:30pm
The Esplanaade at Pollington Street -10am to 6:30pm
Fitzroy St at Balluk William cnr. -10am to 6:30pm
Fitzroy St at Canterbury Roadd cnr - 10am to 6:30pm
Fitzroy St at Grey Street cnr. - 10am to 6:30pm
Fitzroy St at Loch Street cnr-10am to 6:30pm
Fitzroy St at Jackson Street cnr - 10am to 6:30pm
Fitzroy St at Park Lane cnr - 10am to 6:30pm
Fitzroy St at Park Street cnr - 10am to 6:30pm
Fitzroy St at Acland Street cnr - 10am to 6:30pm
The Esplanade - 10am to 6:30pm
Canterbury Road - 10am to 6:30 pm
Mary Street between Park Street & Beaconsfield Parade - 10am to 6:30pm
Beaconsfield Parade - 12pm to 5pm
Jacka Boulevard - 12pm to 5pm
More >> (map of road closures)
* Yarra Trams will cease travel along Fitzroy Street from 1.30pm on Sunday 28 January until 5.30pm. Please find further details from PTV about tram route changes affected by the march, in particular tram routes 3, 16 and 96.
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)