Midsumma Pride March Registration
Midsumma Pride March 2020 by J Forsyth
Join the spectacular act of unity that is Midsumma Pride March
The recent restrictions released by the Victorian Government show that gatherings of scale were unlikely to be approved in time for Midsumma Festival to operate at our usual time of January to February. This information has guided us to enact an “understudy-plan” to move Midsumma’s 2021 festival dates.
Midsumma Festival 2021 will return from 19 April to 5 May 2021 with Midsumma Pride March to be held on Sunday 23 May. Event registrations will now close on 14 Dec 2020.
This event will operate in accordance with the Victorian Government COVIDSafe guidance to make sure we are doing our part to be COVIDSafe. We want everyone to be able to enjoy Midsumma Pride March 2021.
Once you have registered for Midsumma Pride March 2021 we will keep you up to date on contingent numbers and evolving plans.
We take pride in delivering a premier festival each year and by moving our festival dates mid-year, we hope to put our artists, producers and venues in the best position possible to deliver an accessible festival that connects our communities and celebrates queer arts and cultures. Find out how you can stay COVIDSafe at Midsumma Festival 2021.
The full Midsumma Festival 2021 program will be launched in mid-March 2021. We are working hard to create the best Midsumma possible in 2021 and are so excited to celebrate queer arts and culture together again, stronger and more resilient than ever!
Read more about our date change HERE.
Midsumma Pride March 2021
Midsumma Pride March will be held in St Kilda on SUNDAY 23 MAY 2021. Due to capacity limits on events in a COVIDNormal Victoria, we are currently only able to register groups of 10 marchers per contingent. This is to help ensure that all groups are able to be represented at the event. As government COVIDSafe regulations change, we will contact participants to advise if group sizes can increase or need to decrease.
Read on for participation guidelines and tips - Register to participate via the form at the bottom of this page.
Midsumma Pride March is a signature events, where historically over 7,400 marchers normally 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 or the Australia Day March.
Parade, pride and party come together once a year in Melbourne's iconic march celebrating solidarity in gender and sexuality diversity. A chance to tie up your bootlaces or throw on your heels, and join the spectacular act of unity that is Midsumma Pride March. 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.
The celebration continues after Midsumma Pride March with post-Pride celebrations at the end of the parade route, inside Catani Gardens. The seaside soiree will offer fine food and drinks, and the cultural celebrations of queer communities, all beside the beautiful views of the famous St Kilda foreshore - See the Midsumma Pride March event details closer to the date for details of the marching order, maps, how to get there, accessibility details and all event information.
Read on for vital information about participating in the march. Talk to us if you have any queries. Midsumma can be reached on 03 9296 6600 or [email protected].
Newsletters will be listed here as they are issued....
After their inception in 2017, the Midsumma Pride March Awards were back in 2020.
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.
Award winners for Midsumma Pride March 2020 were:
- 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:
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
12 things you need to know for a fabulous Midsumma Pride March
Attend the Pride March Briefing.
It's compulsory to attend so check out the Participant Briefing topic for more info.
Familiarise Yourself with the Assembly and Marching Times
See the Arrival Times and Assembly Location topic to find out where to go and when.
Driving a Vehicle in the March
See the I'm Driving a Vehicle topic for essential info for anyone driving a vehicle in the march.
Help us reduce the impact of single-use plastic water bottles by bringing a reusable bottle to the march as we have free water refilling stations across the event.
You will find food trucks at Assembly and in Catani Gardens. There are also fantastic bars and restaurants along Fitzroy Street.
Be Sun Smart
Don’t forget to slip, slop, slap! We also recommend leaving your pets at home, where it’s cool.
Read our FAQs
Whether you are handing out things to the crowd or crafting your own banners, check out our Marching FAQs topic for the do and don'ts of activities during the march.
Plan Your Travel
Midsumma Pride March is a big event with road closures, limited parking and changes in public transport. See Getting There below.
Be an Award Winner
Awards are up for grabs for the Most Fabulous group, the Most Innovative group and the group with a timely and well-conveyed Significant Message. See The Midsumma Pride March Awards topic to learn more.
We rely heavily on volunteers to make the 22 days of Midsumma a success. Help us recruit over 200 volunteers by encouraging your friends, workplace associates and family to volunteer at a major Midsumma event such as Midsumma Carnival or Midsumma Pride March.
Respect Each Other - Together We March
Midsumma Pride March brings together diverse groups, personalities, perspectives, sexualities, genders and experiences. Everyone who marches deserves to feel safe and belong. Remember we are stronger as one and greater together, so treat each other with respect on the day.
Familiarise Yourself with the Marching Route
It takes about 20 minutes to walk the marching route - see the Midsumma Pride March Map below to learn more.
It's really important (read, compulsory) that a member of your group attends the Pride March Briefing. It can be attended online or in person at St Kilda Town Hall (Auditorium).
The date for the 2021 Pride March Participant Briefing, as well as instructions on how to attend online are currently TBC.
You may also access the slideshow from the 2020 briefing. **To be updated in 2021.
The briefing from 2020 can be viewed as two separate videos:
Also, as a matter of safety, each vehicle driver MUST attend this meeting (online or in person).
The assembly point for vehicles is Lakeside Drive and arrival times for vehicles will be from 9am to 10.30am.
Dykes on Bikes, Melbourne Motorcycle Tourers & MeetUp: Gay Riders Melbourne
Dykes on Bikes, Melbourne Motorcycle Tourers & MeetUp: Gay Riders Melbourne assemble and sign-in at the corner of Acland St and Fitzroy St at 10am.
Your group's arrival time will vary depending on your group's placement in the march:
- Waves A to J: entire group on site at the assembly point at the Ian Johnson Oval by 10.30am. Find your group representative at your designated Wave location. Enter Ian Johnson Oval via the drop-off point on Lakeside Drive.
- Waves K to U: entire group on site at the assembly point at the Ian Johnson Oval by 11.30am. Find your group representative at your designated Wave location. Enter Ian Johnson Oval via the drop-off point on Canterbury Road.
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 9am and 10.30am. Then head over to the Marchers Assembly Point to greet your group as they arrive.
There will be food vendors with coffee and brunch in the Marchers Assembly Area.
Other Key Times
10.30am approximately: Trams in Fitzroy Street stop running (or rolling) until the march concludes
11am: March begins
1.15pm: March ends (approx)
11.15am - 4pm: Post-Pride March Celebrations at Catani Gardens
Revving up the rally is the much-loved pre-march procession by Dykes on Bikes, Melbourne Motorcycle Tourers & MeetUp: Gay Riders Melbourne followed by thousands of marchers led by Midsumma's Indigenous Pride Float. The celebration continues after the march with post-Pride Celebrations at the end of the parade route at Catani Gardens, where you can enjoy the balmy afternoon and seaside soiree.
The Marching Order is the order in which groups march. It will be listed here as soon as it has been finalised.
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 marching order online 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 can be placed early in the march since 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.
- 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 30,000 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.
How do I register to march?
Registrations for Midsumma Pride March will open in November and remain open until Friday 19 March.
Due to the extensive planning that takes place in the lead-up to Pride March, we cannot accept registrations on the day of the march. However, the general public are invited to follow the final marchers into Catani Gardens.
NB - Registrations to participate with a vehicle close on Friday 5 March.
Can I march as an individual?
Of course! Individuals are grouped together towards the front of the march but you still need to register and attend the participants briefing.
Why is there a capacity on marching numbers in 2021?
In order to adhere to government restrictions on capacities at events, Midsumma Festival has put a limit of 10 marchers per marching group/organisation. This is to ensure that all of the organisations who want to be involved will get a chance to participate.
As the government guidelines change, we will update participants accordingly.
Why has the time changed to 11am?
Because Midsumma Pride March occurs in summer, the possibility of extreme heat conditions on the day of the march is always present. In order to minimise the risk to the health and well-being of marchers, volunteers, staff and crowd members if extreme heat conditions were to prevail, we have moved the march forward to 11am.
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. However, parental or guardian discretion is advised: Pride March celebrates diverse genders & sexualities so the march does contain references to sex, and you will see the odd bare bottom.
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.
Handing out stuff?
Unfortunately to ensure the event is as COVIDsafe as possible, we will not be able to allow distribution of merchandise or collateral at the event.
We recommend thinking of innovative ways to get your message across - through chants/songs or signage etc.
Are balloons allowed at Pride March?
Midsumma Pride March is a balloon-free event. City of Port Phillip has joined with Zoos Victoria in their campaign to replace balloons with other environmentally friendly alternatives.
Are there height restrictions?
There will be tramlines above you!
If your banners, flags or other props are taller than 2.5 meters please contact the Midsumma Office to discuss further.
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 are 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 2021, 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 happen to be sponsorship partners of Midsumma Festival.
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 year-long 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!
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.
Vehicle Registrations will close on Friday 5 March 2021.
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 at St Kilda Town Hall (Auditorium) or watch the briefing online (Date TBC).
- Safety: For the safety of all marchers and viewers, drivers will be breathalysed and drug tested at Assembly. As required by Victoria Police, any motorcycle drivers are required to wear helmets.
- Parking: There is no designated parking for vehicles after the parade.
- Registration: You must register prior to the vehicle closing date (Friday 5 March), although marchers participating "on foot" have until Friday 19 March.
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.
Midsumma Pride March is a big event with road closures, limited parking and changes in public 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. Midsumma highly recommends taking public transport or cycling to the event. If you are unable to catch public transport, surrounding options for parking include:
- Palais Theatre Parking - Jacka Boulevard, Saint Kilda (via Carlisle/Acland Street only)
- Luna Park - 23 Shakespeare Grove, Saint Kilda (via Carlisle/Acland Street only)
- Acland Court - 158 Acland St, Saint Kilda
There will be extensive road closures throughout the area.
Beaconsfield Pde, Marine Pde and Jacka Blvd will be closed from Elwood to Port Melbourne between 6am and 2.30pm approximately.
Fitzroy Street and adjoining side streets will be closed to traffic between 8am and 4.30pm approximately.
Public Transport Options
Trams will not be traveling down Fitzroy Street between 10.30am and 2.30pm, but can still be used to get you close to the march (see map below).
Route 96 tram to Stop 132 (St Kilda Station)
Route 12 to Stop 143 (Park St/Fitzroy St)
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 (Carlisle 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)
The red dots indicate where trams will be running throughout the event, even while Fitzroy Street is closed for the march.
Being COVID-Safe at Midsumma Festival
We have made some adjustments to Midsumma Festival 2021 in accordance with the Victorian Government COVID-Safe guidence to make sure we are doing our part to be COVID-Safe. We want everyone to be able to enjoy Midsumma Festival 2021 and keep yourself safe at all of our events.Being COVIDSafe at Midsumma Festival
Subscribe to our eNews to stay up to date
We'll keep you posted on all of the festival news – typically fortnightly throughout the year with special frequency throughout the festival period.Stay in Touch