Midsumma Carnival

Image by Nikki Russian Photography

The annual queer-day-out to kick start Midsumma Festival's 22 days of celebration

Midsumma Carnival highlights the opening weekend of the three-week Festival each year.

Showcasing our local and international artists and performers, with endless things to see, do, and eat your way through, Midsumma Carnival is an iconic full-day outdoor extravaganza dedicated to kicking off our three-week-long festival!


Quick Links:  2024 details coming soon!


Midsumma Carnival is an iconic full-day outdoor extravaganza dedicated to kicking off our three-week-long festival! Located in Alexandra Gardens in Melbourne’s bustling CBD, Midsumma Carnival features a vast array of LGBTQIA+ acts that will grace the three carnival stages. This popular annual day event attracts over 120,000 people and entry is free!

With over 180 stalls including pop-up bars, two large food zones, free giveaways, and multiple queer-friendly community groups and business stalls for you to visit, there's bound to be something for everyone. There's even a parade for your dog, with awesome prizes up for grabs! Or you can try your hand at Auslan beside the Rainbow Expression stall or enjoy Auslan Storytime with the kids in the Families Tent.

Midsumma Carnival offers a variety of fun safe spaces accessible to everybody, including, Sports activities, a Youth area, and Family-areas that are open to everyone from dawn to dusk.

Fancy a picnic? Bring your friends and family to one of our grass pavilions surrounding the stages to enjoy Carnival’s entertainment! Our talented artists will leave you in awe with a variety of singers, drag artists, DJs, performers, and even an opportunity to show off your own talents with our Lip Sync Limelight competition!

As the night approaches, Midsumma Carnival begins to wake up with an extravagant dance party held across both the Main and Picnic stages. You’ll join thousands of people dancing the night away and party to a huge line-up on each stage, including a handful of major headliners.

Scroll down to find out more details including information about specific accessibility services in the tab at the bottom of this page: MIDSUMMA CARNIVAL ACCESSIBILITY.


  • 2024 details coming soon!


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YMCA Skate Park

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Family Precinct Stage -Emcee: PO PO MO CO

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Roving Performances

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Map of the Midsumma Carnival precinct

Download Midsumma Carnival Map 2023

Zoom in to the PDF maps to see more detail. Note that the Picnic Precinct Info Tent (where you can register for the Dog Show) is marked with a paw icon.

Main Stalls Area - Picnic Precinct

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Sports Precinct

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There are two main stall blocks: the main Stalls Village in the Picnic Precinct, and the Sports Precinct at the St Kilda Rd end of the park.

  • 2024 details coming soon!

The iconic Midsumma Carnival Dog Show will be back once again in 2024 on Sunday 21 January, from 3pm on the Picnic Precinct Stage at Alexandra Gardens. This is a fun day out with your pooch.


You can register your dog for the show on the day from 11am - 2:30pm at the Picnic Information Tent adjacent to the Picnic Precinct Stage.

Entry is free and the dog show will start at approximately 3pm.


  • 2024 details coming soon!


We’ll be searching high and low for winners in the following categories:

  • Cutest Bitch
  • Sexiest Stud 
  • Best Trick
  • Best Dressed
  • Best Owner/Dog Combo

The winners of these five categories will go on to compete to win the Ultimate Best Dog prize. 


All category winners will receive a prize and The Ultimate Best Dog winner will also take home a voucher for a portrait from Unusual Pet Portraits.


Midsumma Carnival Dog show is supported by: Unusual Pet Portraits and Midsumma.

Terms and Conditions – Midsumma Carnival Community Dog Show to be held 22 January 2023

1. The Promoter is Midsumma Festival, Ground Level, 77 Southbank Boulevard, ABN: 50 783 159 198. Telephone number 03 9296 6600.
2. Information on how to enter and prizes forms part of the terms of entry. Entry into the competition is deemed acceptance of these terms and conditions.
3. If there is any inconsistency between these Terms and Conditions and anything else that refers to this competition, these Terms and Conditions will prevail.

When to enter

4. The competition commences on 22 January 2023 at approximately 3pm AEDT. Entries must be received by the Promoter via the advertised channel and by the advertised time, as published on this website.

How to enter

5. Entrants must enter the competition in advance and in person at Midsumma Carnival on 22 January 2023 at the location advertised above.

Conditions of entry

6. Entrants are required to take full responsibility for their entry and to be in effective and safe control of their dog(s) at all times. All entrants agree to indemnify the promoter and the event sponsors for any incident that may occur as part of the Midsumma Carnival Dog Show.
7. As part of the entry all entrants agree to still or video photography being taken that may be published by the promoter in any form or channel the promoter wishes for promotion of the event or subsequent events.
8. The Promoter reserves the right to disqualify any entrant whose dog(s) is deemed by the organisers to not be under the effective safe control of the handler at all times.

Prizes on offer

9. Advertised Prizes are listed above.
10. Prizes cannot be transferred, exchanged or redeemed for cash.
11. It is a condition of accepting the prize that the winner must comply with all the conditions of use of the prize and the prize supplier’s requirements. It is the responsibility of the winner to confirm such conditions with the prize supplier or other relevant third parties.

Further Terms and Conditions

12. The Promoter reserves the right to amend, cancel or suspend this competition if an event beyond the control of the Promoter corrupts or affects the ability for the competition to take place.
13. If any prize is unavailable, for whatever reason, the Promoter reserves the right to substitute the prize for a prize of equal or greater value.

Are you ready to lip sync for your legacy? Midsumma Carnival’s Lip Sync Limelight, hosted by Frock Hudson, could be the perfect place for you to debut your charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent to the world!

Where? Midsumma Carnival Picnic Stage, Alexandra Gardens

When? approximately 5pm on Sunday 21 January (register by 4pm)!

How do I sign up? Go to either Info Tent (marked with "i" or a paw icon on the Carnival map) to sign up on the day, choose your song (must be available on Spotify) and limber up… ready to let them HAVE IT! 


  • Best LIPS - double pass to one of a selected list of Midsumma shows
  • Best OUTFIT - double pass to one of a selected list of Midsumma shows
  • Most ORIGINAL - double pass to one of a selected list of Midsumma shows

Each winner will also receive a $50 gift voucher.


  • 2024 details coming soon!

Midsumma Carnival will have two licensed bars for you to purchase your drinks. In addition to the bar near the Main Stage, there will be a second bar in the Picnic Area, providing easy access from the main Stalls Village and the Picnic Stage. Midsumma encourages guests to support Midsumma by purchasing their drinks from the Midsumma-operated bars.

In order to gain entry to the bars, all patrons need to obtain a proof-of-age wristband from the wristbanding tent near the bar or from the Main Information Tent.

No Glass: To minimise the risk of injury, Midsumma Carnival has a strict no glass policy across the site. Broken glass has been one of the major causes of injury to guests in the past, so please don't bring glass drinking vessels, glass wine bottles or glass beer bottles to Carnival.



Midsumma Carnival has something for everybody, and is designed with the varied needs of our diverse community in mind. 
There is clear directional signage across the site indicating facilities and services. The site is also staffed by our friendly crew and volunteers if you have any questions or need more information. 

Getting There

  • Accessible Drop-Off Bay for Vehicles: marquee with seating and ramp up to kerb located at the intersection of Boathouse Drive and Alexandra Avenue, managed by traffic controllers and specially-trained volunteers, allowing vehicles and taxis to drop off close to the event precinct, with ramp down to road and a temporary marquee to give shade to people who are waiting.
  • Accessible Parking: unfortunately, there is no onsite accessible parking, but accessible parking is available at:

Wheelchair Accessibility

The entire Midsumma Carnival precinct is wheelchair accessible. The majority of permanent bitumen pathways remain free of infrastructure to maximise accessible routes across the site. Grass areas will also be cut low for wheelchair access through parklands, and low-hanging tree branches trimmed by Council arborists. The majority of food service areas are positioned on hard stand surfaces, with low-service counters included where possible.

Specific wheelchair facilities provided are:

  • Wheelchair Charging Facility: at the main Information Tent, beside the Sports Precinct at the St Kilda Rd end of the park.
  • Wheelchair Lift: available as required at the stages.
  • Accessible Toilets: all toilet blocks, in multiple locations throughout the event site, include accessible toilets, including inside the bar and behind the stage (for performers).


  • There are 6 x locations of gender-neutral portable toilets across the site and every one of these locations has an accessible toilet.
  • All back of house areas have access toilets for our artists and staff. 
  • There are an additional 2 x City of Melbourne Accessible toilets that are part of the static event site facilities in Boathouse Drive.  
  • There is an accessible toilet with a baby change facility located on Boathouse Drive behind the Main Stage area.

Designated Viewing Areas

Positioned close to the front of each stage for people with varying requirements.

Auslan Interpretation

  • Carnival Stages: All programming on the Main Stage and Picnic Stage will be Auslan interpreted (aside from DJ sets). This includes The Dog Show. Auslan interpretation for Main Stage and Picnic Stage is provided by Auslan Stage Left. 
  • Families Tent: All programming in the Families Tent will be Auslan interpreted. This includes the Skate lessons. This service is provided by Expression Australia. In 2023, there will be a Deaf artist offering Auslan Storytime in the Families Tent. This is provided by Expression Australia. 
  • Stallholders Precinct: There will be roving interpreters provided by Expression Australia at the Stallholders Precinct for any Deaf community who would like to communicate with stallholders on the day. 
  • Volunteer Briefing: Auslan interpretation at the Volunteer Briefing if this service is requested by participants. 

Audio Description

  • A describer guide from Vitae Veritas will be onsite from 2-5pm at Carnival offering tailored audio description and guiding service to blind and low-vision community. Anyone requiring this service should make their way to the Main Information Tent, located at the St Kilda Road end of Alexandra Gardens, near the Sports Precinct.

Social Story

  • Download our social story here for a visual map with images from the Carnival site to guide people through the event site ahead of time.
  • The social story has also been posted to our social media accounts prior to the event.

Children & Families

  • The entire Midsumma Carnival precinct is pram accessible. The majority of permanent bitumen pathways remain free of infrastructure to maximise accessible routes across the site. Grass areas will also be cut low for pram access through parklands.
  • There is an accessible toilet with a baby change facility located on Boathouse Drive behind the Main Stage area.
  • The Families Tent will host a range of family-friendly programming from 12:00pm-4:30pm including Auslan Storytime. All programming in this area is Auslan Interpreted.

Commitment to Ongoing Improvement

  • Vitae Veritas will be conducting an audit at Midsumma Carnival 2023 and providing feedback to Midsumma so that we can continue to improve our offering of accessible and inclusive services at future events.
  • Midsumma has a range of ways that you can provide feedback to us. A feedback form will be linked here in the coming days. For Auslan-users, Expression Australia will provide a bilingual feedback form in Auslan and English. You can also contact us after the event at [email protected].


Additional accessibility services and features will be listed here as arrangements are finalised.

Can I bring glass?

No. To minimise the risk of injury, Midsumma Carnival has a strict no glass policy across the site. Broken glass has been one of the major causes of injury to guests in the past, so please don't bring glass drinking vessels, glass wine bottles or glass beer bottles to Carnival. Midsumma encourages guests to support Midsumma Festival by purchasing drinks at the Midsumma-operated bar. In order to gain entry to the bar, you need to obtain a proof of age wristband, available beside the Main Information Tent or near the entrance to the bar.

You can BYO alcohol and drinks at Midsumma Carnival, but please ensure they are not in glass containers.

What happens if there is severe wet weather or smoke?

We are monitoring the Melbourne weather very carefully, and will also have professional risk assessors on the day of Midsumma Carnival who will be monitoring the weather. Our first priority is you and our communities at Midsumma Carnival. If there is severe rain or smoke on the day we will pause the activities on the stages until it is safe to resume. For weather and air updates in Melbourne visit the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology. Make sure you have a contingency plan, stay safe in all weather, and look after each other.

Is food available?

Yes, a diverse selection of delicious food trucks will be at Midsumma Carnival at differing locations throughout the precinct, offering food options for all. Whether you're feeling like sweet or savoury, something vegan, gluten free or craving a meaty delight, Midsumma Carnival has it all.

Can I bring my own tent structure or umbrella to Carnival?

Midsumma will provide umbrellas around the event precinct for the public to use. The City of Melbourne absolutely bans pegging any structures into the ground or placing them close to trees. If you do bring a structure it must be weighted to ensure it is safe in wind gusts, and it cannot be located anywhere that it will block views for other attendees. Non-conforming structures will need to be dismantled and removed from the site.

Is Midsumma Carnival family friendly?

Midsumma Carnival is a family friendly event, but at 6pm Carnival transforms into a dance party, which is recommended for 16+.

Are pets allowed?

Pets are welcomed at Carnival and you're invited to enter your dog in the Midsumma Carnival Dog Show. Please note though that the event is held in an outdoor space in the middle of summer. As there is limited natural shade available, we highly recommend taking the necessary precautions to ensure your pet is protected from the heat and stays hydrated. With all that in mind, the safest place from the heat for your pet is at home.

How do I stay cool and sun-safe at Midsumma Carnival?

As Midsumma Carnival is held in the middle of Summer it is important to remember to:

  • Slip on a shirt
  • Slop on sunscreen (throughout the day) - free sunscreen available at the Information Tents
  • Slap on a hat (or bring an umbrella)
  • Seek shade
  • Slide on some wraparound sunglasses
  • Hydrate regularly (with three free water stations onsite)

Due to the natural structure of Alexandra Gardens, shade is limited and in high demand.

Check the SunSmart website for the current UV rating and advice on how to minimise sunburn and skin cancer risks, the Bureau of Meteorology website for weather forecasts and warnings or the EPA Victoria website for information about air quality ratings.


Midsumma Carnival is held at Alexandra Gardens (opposite Arts Centre Melbourne), which is a short walk from Flinders Street Station. As parking is limited, we recommend taking a train to Flinders Street Station, any tram along Swanston Street or Flinders Street, or cycling to the event.

Can I film, photograph or interview people?

If you are working for a media organisation and intend to use film, photography or interviews of participants or performing artists for content, please get in touch with Felicity McIntosh, Midsumma's Marketing and Communications Manager, at [email protected] to request Media Accreditation.

If you are capturing memories for personal use, we ask you to please be respectful and ask for people’s permission before doing so.

Can I sell merchandise at Midsumma Carnival?

Stallholders and registered rovers are able to sell merchandise, but people who haven't registered are not permitted to do so. In order to sell merchandise outside of your stall space, you need to have a pre-approved Midsumma Rover pass.

What happened to T Dance?

Midsumma Carnival is the opening event for the festival - Midsumma Carnival used to turn into T-Dance at 6pm. Midsumma no longer calls the evening celebrations "T-Dance", we consider the event all "Midsumma Carnival".

What accessibility services are provided at Midsumma Carnival?

Check out Midsumma Carnival Accessibility for a comprehensive description of the accessibility features provided at Midsumma Carnival and see Access Information for details about accessibility across the festival.

Wheelchair Accessibility: all of Alexandra Gardens are wheelchair accessible.

What measures are taken to protect the environment?

Midsumma Carnival is a large event - having so many people gathered in a relatively small space has the potential to seriously damage the environment. Some of the measures taken to reduce that impact include the following:

  • Dedicated recycling and food waste bins are located in all areas of the venue, and are regularly cleared throughout the event
  • Hydration stations and bubblers are provided to promote the use of refillable water bottles (and to encourage participants to keep well hydrated)
  • No glass is allowed into the venue, to minimise the possibility of broken glass 
  • No balloons or streamers are allowed on site. Vendors may be permitted to use Eco-Glitter subject to approval on a case by case basis
  • Electricity is provided via mains power or bio-diesel generators
  • Food traders only use biodegradable products (no single use plastic)
  • Volunteers and staff members are provided with refillable water bottles to be refilled at the hydration stations

Further 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.com.au, then ask for 03 9296 6600 during business hours. There is no additional charge for this service.

Event & ticketing details


Audio Described
Auslan Interpreted
Wheelchair Access
Vision Rating less than 50%

Dates & Times

WHEN Sun 21 Jan 11am-10pm


FREE No ticket required


Alexandra Gardens

St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

Get directions


Flinders Street


Any Swanston St tram to stop 14 (Arts Precinct/St Kilda Rd)
Principal Partners
Major Partners
Gold Partners