Pride March Participation

Image: Suzanne Balding 2017

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.

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 close: Mon 20 Nov 2017
Marcher registrations close: Mon 4 Dec 2017

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!
 

Registering: FAQs

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?

Of course! Individuals are grouped together towards the front of the march.
 

I'm registering a vehicle, what do I need to know?

If you're planning on driving a vehicle (whether it is a motorbike, fire-engine or car) there are a few things you 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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Some contingents request a late start time and don't mind being towards the end.
  6. 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.
  7. The balance of the remaining contingents are organised based on volume of sound clashing, vehicle/pedestrian safety or significant placement history.
  8. The Midsumma team always marches last.
  9. 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?

Midsumma Pride March is a family friendly event that appeals to individuals of all ages. Families are warmly welcome to participate in the March and attend the post-Pride Celebrations in Catani Gardens.

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?

Many corporations and businesses participate in Pride Marches across the world. The two most common reasons that businesses participate in Midsumma Pride March is to empower their LGBTQIA+ employees to show Pride and feel safe within their workplace, and to demonstrate to the general public that their business is queer-friendly.

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 play an important role in the safe delivery of Midsumma Pride March. As with all of Victoria's large-scale events, organised protests and parades, police officers are present to monitor and deal with threats of violence, terrorism and any situations that may become unsafe.

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?

In 2015 Midsumma become the custodians of Victoria's Pride March when the body Pride March Victoria, who had organised the March since its inception, folded.

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!

 

Marching: FAQs

Where can I find the Marching Order?

The marching order for Midsumma Pride March 2018 will go online in early January 2018. If you're a registered marcher, you'll receive an email from us with your placement.
 

When should I arrive?

A representative of your group (just one!) AND each vehicle driver will be required to sign-in at the Assembly Point (Ian Johnson Oval) from 12.30pm onwards. Each group will be provided with an exact sign-in time in early January. Once signed-in, your group's representative will be sent to the Ian Johnson Oval to greet the rest of your group. Vehicle drivers will return to their car on Lakeside Drive.
 

When does the rest of the group arrive?

The rest of your group must arrive at Ian Johnson Oval at their designated arrival time between 1.30pm and 2.30pm, which will be communicated with you in early January.
 

When and where do Dykes on Bikes arrive?

Dykes on Bikes assemble and sign-in at the corner of Acland St and Fitzroy St at 12:30pm.
 

Can I bring a vehicle?

Please note that only registered vehicles and drivers approved by Victoria Police will be allowed to participate. If you are unsure if your vehicle and nominated driver have been approved, please contact us on [email protected] or 03 9296 6600.
 

Do I have to follow the road rules?

Yes. 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. For the safety of all marchers and viewers, drivers will be breathalysed at Assembly.
 

My vehicle is part of the parade. Is there parking for me afterwards?

There is no designated parking for vehicles after the parade. 
 

Is there water for participants?

Bring a reusable bottle to the march. Free water refilling stations will be available at both the marshalling grounds at Ian Johnson Oval and Catani Gardens after the march.
 

Be sun smart

Don’t forget, slip, slop, slap!
As this is during the middle of summer, Midsumma Festival would like to remind everyone to remain sun smart by wearing sunscreen and hats (or carry an umbrella). We recommend leaving your pets at home, where it's cool.
 

Handing out stuff?

Keep a few things in mind:
  1. Avoid handing out materials likely to be dropped on the street or in Catani Gardens.
  2. Flyers and other paraphernalia must include an acknowledgement to 'recycle responsibly'.
  3. Go balloon-free. City of Port Phillip has joined with Zoos Victoria in their campaign to replace balloons with other environmentally friendly alternatives.
  4. You can't hand out food or beverages without a current Food Handling Certificate (and that includes lollies).

Height restrictions

There will be tramlines above you!
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

It's a big event, parking is going to be limited!
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?

Wheelchair Accessibility: all of Fitzroy St and Catani Gardens are wheelchair accessible. 
Auslan Interpretation: Post-Pride Celebrations are Auslan interpreted, with interpreters provided by Auslan Stage Left. 
Questions? If you have any questions, feedback or would like any information in another format, please don't hesitate to contact us on 03 9296 6600 or by emailing [email protected].

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

Registrations for Midsumma Pride March 2018 have now closed.
Please click on the button below to register for inclusion in the 2018 Midsumma Pride March.
You cannot partially fill in your registration form and return to it later, so please have all your material ready at the time of registering your event.
Vehicle registrations close: Monday 20 November 2017
Marcher registrations close: Monday 4 December 2017
 

Register NOW to participate in the 2018 Midsumma Pride March

 

Pride March Map

Marchers' Assembly: The Ian Johnson Oval on the corner of Lakeside Drive and Fitzroy Street. Vehicle Assembly: Lakeside Drive (next to the Ian Johnson Oval).
Marching Route: Proceeds down Fitzroy Street and ends in Catani Gardens, St Kilda.
End of March: Marchers will turn right and enter Catani Gardens at the designated crossing. Vehicles will turn right onto Beaconsfield Parade.
 

Transport

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. Fitzroy St will be closed to traffic between 1pm and 5pm approximately.
Midsumma highly recommends taking public transport to the event.

Public transport Options
TRAMS:
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

BUS:
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)

 

Partner: City of Port Phillip