Midsumma Pride March Registration
Midsumma Pride March 2020 by J Forsyth
Join the spectacular act of unity that is Midsumma Pride March
** For details about the 2021 event, see MIDSUMMA PRIDE MARCH - LIVESTREAM EVENT.
Registrations to participate in Midsumma Pride March 2021 have now closed.
Unfortunately, due to stringent restrictions placed upon the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to accept late registrations this year.
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.
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.
Midsumma Pride March email communications:
- Midsumma Pride March Newsletter #1 | Important Changes for 2021!
- Midsumma Pride March Newsletter #2 | Your Pride March Order!
- Midsumma Pride March Newsletter #3 | Don't forget! Book your tickets and attend the briefing
- Midsumma Pride March Newsletter #4 | Thanks for coming along last night!
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 at 11am. Due to capacity limits on events in a COVIDNormal Victoria, we are currently only able to register groups of 30 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.
Participation guidelines and tips
Midsumma Pride March is a signature event, 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.
Midsumma Pride March 2021 will return to Fitzroy St, St Kilda on Sunday 23 May 2021 with 8000 marchers, and the event will be live-streamed starting from 10:45am.
NOTE: this is a few weeks outside of Midsumma Festival 2021 dates (19 April - 5 May 2021).
Australia’s LGBTQIA+ arts and cultural experience, Midsumma Festival, brings Midsumma Pride March to Fitzroy Street, St Kilda on Sunday 23rd May, in a display of pride and solidarity. Pride March 2021 will premiere a livestream of the march right here from YouTube, which will showcase exclusive performances and never before seen footage of the first ever Pride March in Victoria.
To ensure the event can proceed in a COVIDsafe capacity, meeting the Victorian Government’s requirements, in 2021 Midsumma is encouraging 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 your own home via the livestream of Midsumma Pride March available from the Midsumma Facebook Page from 10:45am.
The march itself will be 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 livestream will be 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 is comedian, radio host, actor and celebrant - Annie Louey. The livestream will also showcase performances by drag performer Olympia Bukkakis; He’s Every Woman stars Justin and Jamie performing ABBAlicious; Georgie Munroe who is performing an original composition; Elvin Lam: Performing 'I Am What I Am' with support from Marc Ethan, Auslan Interpreter; and Variation Three will perform a dance composition to activate Catani Gardens. To pay homage to our histories, Midsumma Pride March Livestream will also show exclusive video footage of the first-ever Pride March in Victoria in 1996.
To view Midsumma Pride March:
Midsumma will hold a private event for pre-registered marchers in Catani Gardens after the March. This will not be accessible for general public to attend (as per our COVIDSafe event plan).
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 Festival 2021 and keep yourself safe at all of our events.
Please follow Victoria's COVIDSafe practices while attending Midsumma Festival events.
Midsumma Festival 2021 is delivered under a COVIDSafe plan. Our COVIDSafe plan will be reviewed and updated to align with the changing situation, and attendees will be updated with information as it evolves.
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 celebrations at the Catani Gardens Stage during the formalities at the conclusion of the Midsumma Pride March route.
There are three Award categories, explained below.
Midsumma Pride March Award Categories
Peter Dewildt Award for Most Significant Message - awarded to the group with a timely and well-conveyed message of pride. This award honours the memory of Peter Dewildt (1953-2019) who was the first president of Pride March Victoria (now known as Midsumma Pride March). See below for more information about Peter Dewildt.
Most Fabulous Award for Fantastically Frocked Group - awarded to a group who are fabulously dressed up, adorned and decorated for Midsumma Pride March.
Most Innovative Award for the Cleverest Float, Props or Theme - awarded to a group with an exciting and innovative float, props or theming for their marching group.
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: 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
More information about Peter Dewildt: Peter’s motivation towards initiating Victoria’s first Pride March was because Peter (along with the small group that came to create Pride March Victoria) felt that Melbourne’s LGBTI community needed to share their own voice and their own stories that were intrinsically a Melbourne show of Pride; and its courage, strength, and diversity in an inclusive way. The first Pride March was held in 1996 and attracted an unexpected gathering of 11,000 people, when initially Peter expected around 3,000. This was mind-blowing for a first-time event organised by a volunteer committee in just a few months with minimal funds. Peter’s vision for Pride March was for it to get bigger and stronger each year with more and more community organisations participating. Peter remained as President of the committee for a further two marches, finalising his tenancy in 1999. One of Peter’s proudest moments was the first Pride March and receiving the Rainbow award for the Best Community Service Event in 1996. Nine months before his passing in 2019, Peter was thrilled to marry Graeme, his partner of 30 years. In presenting this award, Midsumma also acknowledges Peter's husband Graeme, daughter Laura, and late son Damien.
13 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 at Ian Johnson Oval 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.
Wash your hands, stay physically distant, and wear a mask if you feel more comfortable. Remember to stay home if you are unwell, and get tested.
It's really important (read, compulsory) that a member of your group attends the Pride March Briefing.
The Midsumma Pride March Briefing took place Tuesday 18 May, 6 – 7:00pm at St Kilda Town Hall's Auditorium.
Missed the briefing or need to review?
The Midsumma Pride March briefing is still available online. Follow this link to watch the briefing: https://youtu.be/-FQFfDN5K0Q
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 arrival time will vary depending on your group’s placement in the march.
In 2021 the pre-marshalling precinct of Ian Johnson Oval will be entirely fenced off and only those with valid tickets will be permitted access to the site.
In the lead up to the event, each individual participant will be issued a ticket with a 15 minute arrival window between 9:00am and 12:00pm. Participants are to arrive at their allocated time to have their tickets scanned by Midsumma representatives, to check in to the event via the Service Victoria contact tracing QR Code, and to be wristbanded – allowing access to the March and to the Catani Gardens event precinct.
Organisations taking part in Midsumma Pride March will be provided with detailed instructions prior to the event date.
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, Rainbow Riders Victoria and Melbourne Motorcycle Tourers 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.
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.
- For the benefit of those watching from the bars and restaurants along Fitzroy St, and those watching from home 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 have now closed for 2021.
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.
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 20 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.
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 tram lines 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 and Midsumma Pride March is not sponsored by a commercial organisation or business.
Why are Police at Midsumma Pride March?
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 are now closed.
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 Details: for the safety of all participants, 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. This will be held by Midsumma Festival in the event that Victoria Police ask us to do any checks.
- 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 Tuesday 18 May at St Kilda Town Hall (Auditorium) or watch the briefing online.
- 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 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 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.