Midsumma Pride March
Midsumma Pride March by Patrick Ryan So
This page offers a summary of Midsumma Pride March and its rich history. The event information for Midsumma Pride March 2022 will be available following the Midsumma Festival program launch in November 2021. If you are looking to participate in Midsumma Pride March, please visit the Pride March Participation page.
Midsumma Pride March 2021
Midsumma Pride March will return on 6 February 2022. More details about that will be posted here shortly.
In 2021, due to COVID-19, things were a little different, with Midsumma Pride March 2021 occurring on Sunday 23 May 2021, and the event was live-streamed.
Australia’s LGBTQIA+ arts and cultural experience, Midsumma Festival, brings Midsumma Pride March to Fitzroy Street, St Kilda every year, in a display of pride and solidarity. Pride March 2021 premiered a livestream of the march on YouTube, showcasing exclusive performances and never before seen footage of the first ever Pride March in Victoria.
To ensure the event could proceed in a COVIDsafe capacity, meeting the Victorian Government’s requirements, in 2021 Midsumma encouraged audiences to attend and view the march in one of three ways – either by booking into a hospitality venue on Fitzroy Street, St Kilda to watch the parade from 11am, or by viewing the parade from a registered viewing party venue or from the comfort of their own home via the livestream of Midsumma Pride March available from the Midsumma Facebook page or YouTube page from 10:45am.
The march itself was led by Boon Wurrung Elders and a beautiful Rainbow Aboriginal contingent and followed by 240 separate marching groups made up of diverse communities, pride organisations and allies.
The live stream was hosted by Sarah Ward, the multi-award winning, powerhouse and performer (known as Yana Alana), and Community Darling and busy homosexual Dean Arcuri; plus our on-ground commentator was comedian, radio host, actor and celebrant - Annie Louey. The livestream also showcased performances by drag performer Olympia Bukkakis; He’s Every Woman stars Justin and Jamie performing ABBAlicious; Georgie Munroe performing an original composition; Elvin Lam: performing 'I Am What I Am' with support from Marc Ethan, Auslan Interpreter; and Variation Three performed a dance composition to activate Catani Gardens. To pay homage to our histories, Midsumma Pride March Livestream also showed exclusive video footage of the first-ever Pride March in Victoria in 1996.
To view Midsumma Pride March, audiences were encouraged to:
- Book into a Fitzroy Street, St Kilda venue to watch the parade from 10:45am.
- Watch the parade at a registered Watch Party venue.
- Watch the live stream, beginning at 10:45am (YouTube or Facebook)
The livestream was also available at: facebook.com/midsumma
Midsumma also provided an Audio Described version of the livestream. This AUDIO DESCRIPTION was presented by Midsumma and Description Victoria.
Midsumma held a private event for pre-registered marchers in Catani Gardens after the March. This was not accessible for the general public to attend (as per our COVIDSafe event plan).
This event operated in accordance with the Victorian Government COVIDSafe guidance to make sure we were doing our part to be COVIDSafe. We wanted everyone to be able to enjoy Midsumma Festival 2021 and keep themselves safe at all of our events.
Please follow Victoria's COVIDSafe practices while attending Midsumma Festival events.
Midsumma Festival 2021 was delivered under a COVIDSafe plan. Our COVIDSafe plan was reviewed and updated to align with the changing situation, and attendees were updated with information as it evolved.
Midsumma Festival COVIDSafe Plan
Midsumma has a COVIDSafe Plan whose objectives are to document how Midsumma will operate in a COVIDSafe way, including the various requirements and procedures put in place for running COVIDSafe events.
As the COVID-19 situation changes, the plan is updated to incorporate new evidence-based information disseminated from the state and federal government, which may affect the protocols and procedures listed. Each time the plan is updated, all inducted staff will receive a new briefing from senior Midsumma staff to ensure compliance with any updated or reviewed procedures.
The COVIDSafe Plan is intended to supplement, not replace, the normal Risk Assessment and Emergency Management Plans for each participating venue or event.
The key aspects of the Midsumma COVID-Safe Plan are:
- COVIDSafe Guidelines: designing the specific guidelines to be followed
- Communications, Awareness and Inductions: ensuring that every single person involved with Midsumma, including audience members, receives appropriate levels of information (and training where appropriate)
- Record Keeping: keeping track of every interaction made, so that contact tracing can be conducted efficiently if a confirmed COVID-19 case is detected
- Physical Distancing and Crowd Management: developing and enacting procedures to ensure that appropriate physical distancing is maintained
- Confirmed Case Response and Incident Management: ensuring efficient response to suspected, or confirmed, COVID-19 incidents
The Midsumma COVIDSafe Artist Management protocol includes guidelines on communicating COVIDSafe requirements to artists. This covers agreements, induction and accreditation/authorisation mechanisms to both minimise contacts and facilitate contact tracing should that be needed.
It also includes site and venue-specific protocols to maximise physical distancing, outline cleaning and disinfection requirements and the use of hand sanitiser and other health-related mechanisms that will be put in place.
Pre-event attendee communications will be designed to further the awareness of COVID-19 and COVIDSafe practices put in place at Midsumma events, venues and operations.
Midsumma dedicated communications will be made via Midsumma website pages, social media posts and eDMs. Messaging will include scheduling of key health messages (staying home if unwell; how to seek assistance; hygiene best practice; physical distancing responsibility).
Midsumma's Record Keeping protocol includes:
- Utilising an online solution for contact tracing with records kept safe and secure for the required period as set by state and federal government requirements;
- Keeping cleaning records to track compliance with COVIDSafe cleaning and hygiene requirements;
- Where possible, record keeping and checklists will use an online touch-free platform. Where this is not possible, COVIDSafe hygiene and cleaning will be maintained for shared pens/paper;
*Data for record keeping requirements will only be stored for the required time (currently 28 days), after which time it will be securely deleted. The data will only be made available to Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services if requested.
What is Midsumma Pride March?
Midsumma Pride March is one of our signature events, where over 7,400 marchers usually take to the streets down Fitzroy Street in St Kilda each year and over 45,000 people line the streets and balconies along the march route to show their support – making this the best-attended Pride March in Victoria. In terms of scale, march numbers for Midsumma Pride March are considerably larger than other annual marches held in Victoria including Moomba and the Australia Day March.
Dykes on Bikes precede the marching contingent as per tradition, with the march itself led by Boon Wurrung Elders and a Rainbow Aboriginal Float along with the Premier of Victoria, Minister for Equality and the Creative Industries and Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality.
Hundreds of young people, often amongst the most vulnerable within our communities, are placed towards the front of the march as a positive and strong affirmation for LGBTIQA+ youth.
The Midsumma Pride March Awards encourage colourful and innovative contributions from March participants and is judged by selected members of the community.
At the conclusion of the march, attendees are led into Catani Gardens for celebrations and entertainment including DJs and live performances.
After their inception in 2017, the Midsumma Pride March Awards will be back in 2021.
The awards are intended to encourage a bright and meaningful presence from participants. Winners are selected by a panel of diverse community representatives and announced at the post-Pride Celebrations.
2021 Midsumma Pride March Award Winners
★ Peter Dewildt Award - Most Significant Message - awarded to the group with a timely and well-conveyed message: LAHRC - Latin American & Hispanic Rainbow Community
Home Style Aged Care Services
Coburg High School
POW (Performing Older Women's) Circus
★ Most Innovative - awarded to the cleverest group in the march: VICPaH - Victorian Pups and Handlers
Melbourne Argonauts Rowing Club
City of Port Phillip
Motafrenz Car Club
Bisexual Alliance Victoria
2020 Midsumma Pride March Award Winners
★ Peter Dewildt Award - Most Significant Message - awarded to the group with a timely and well-conveyed message. This award honours the memory of Peter Dewildt, Pride March Victoria's first president, who passed in 2019: Parents of Gender Diverse Children
★ Most Fabulous - awarded to the most fantastically-frocked group: Rainbow LARP (Live Action Role Play)
★ Most Innovative - awarded to the cleverest group in the march: Pacific Essence
2019 Midsumma Pride March Award Winners
★ Most Fabulous - awarded to the most fantastically frocked group.
The 2019 winner was: VIKA
★ Most Significant Message - awarded to the group with a timely and well-conveyed message.
The 2019 winner was Lifeview Residential Care
★ Most Innovative - awarded to the cleverest float in the show.
The 2019 winner was Rainbow Aboriginal Pride
★ Victoria's bisexual community
★ Deaf-initely Pride
★ Melbourne Aces - Asexuals Australia
2018 Midsumma Pride March Award Winners
★ Most Fabulous - the 2018 winner was Jews of Pride
★ Significant Message - the 2018 winner was No Pride in Detention
★ Most Innovative - the 2018 winner was Scouts Victoria.
2017 Midsumma Pride March Award Winners
★ Most Fabulous: Melbourne Frontrunners
★ Most Significant Message: joint winners: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders; Minus18 and Safe Schools
★ Most Innovative: VAC and their Riff Raff Marching Band
The 26th Pride March will take place in St Kilda on 23 May 2021, though the number of participants will be capped at 8,000 and crowds are asked to book in to a Fitzroy St venue or watch the live-stream of it due to COVID-19.
In 1996, Melbourne's LGBTQIA community took to the streets in a show of solidarity for the first Pride March. The 1996 march took almost the same route along St Kilda’s Fitzroy St, transforming the strip into a show of community pride. The first Pride March in Melbourne, governed by Pride March Victoria, is remembered as quite extraordinary, with a gathering of 11,000 people.
Midsumma Pride March is about affirming that we’re fabulous, and we’re loved, and we’re diverse and we’re proud. We march in solidarity for those who can not.
Pride March - Graham Willet; Source Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives.
Midsumma Pride March 2021 Event
The Midsumma Pride March 2021 event, held on 23 May 2021, will be live-streamed.
Registrations to march in Midsumma Pride March 2022
Registrations for Midsumma Pride March 2022 will open 26 Aug, and close on 26 Nov 2021.
Images: Pride March 2000 by Angela Bailey