Fringe Parade & Lygon St Block Party

Parade Participant FAQs

What are we marching for?

Echoing the 2022 Festival provocation of “it’s about time”, this gloriously raucous Parade is your time to party in true fringe fashion for everything that matters to us. Whether it’s making demands of our artistic future, rejoicing in your creative accomplishments, or showing up to show the world that the arts matter now more than ever; whatever your reason, join us this October to march, dance, dress-up, commune and celebrate for the arts.

Can I participate as an individual?

Yes! Although you won’t have to walk alone. If you register your interest as an individual, we may find a group for you to walk with. This could be based on shared interests, skills or history. Some of these groups may be taught some simple choreography or given a prop on the day, although making one of your own is highly encouraged.
You might need to wear item of clothing in a specific colour so that the group looks cohesive, but we will be in touch with details closer to the day.

If you have an idea that is specifically for a solo march, let us know! Anyone with a wild idea for a costume or prop is welcome to take to the street with their own vision. While we’d like to find individuals a group on the day, there will be plenty of important moments or memories that we’d love to include. Let us know your ideas in the EOI form.

What sort of group can be registered to march?

Any group is welcome! Are you a member of a sports team? A choir? A chess-club? A tai-chi gathering? A gym? An improv troupe? A drum circle? A union? Fringe class of ’82? Class of ’22? A group of friends who enjoy parades?

Your Parade entry doesn’t have to be restricted by how you know the members of your group. That might be how you know each other, but don’t feel limited by labels. If you have an idea and you have the people to pull it off and everyone’s keen to join then register as a group!

We suggest groups have a minimum of 25 members in order to give the best impact, so start calling your community and get that group together!

Do I have to make a float?

No! There are many ways to get involved with the Parade that don’t include creating a float. You could paint banners, wear a group themed costume, dance a choreographed boogie, bring household items which create music. We don’t want to limit your ideas.

An important reminder: this is a people-powered parade. While there won’t be any vehicles allowed, we highly encourage you to think outside the box, whether it be wheelbarrows, nanna trolleys, bikes, roller skates, wheelie bins or carts, we want to see it all.

If you have an idea for a float and are curious if it can be done, get in touch with us. We have a small pool of cash to provide some financial support of up to $1000 to a select number of float builders to help realise their vision. You can apply in the EOI form.

Do I need a costume?

No! You can come as you are. But we all love a costume moment, so if you can think of something – weird, whacky, wonderful – we’re here for it.
How will I know where I’m marching in the Parade?

As registrations come through we will be coordinating the Parade order to ensure that groups that are making noise (amplified, percussive, vocal or musical) are spaced throughout the parade. On arrival, you will be directed into your Parade order to make sure every part of the Parade is experienced in its full glory. Make sure you can tell us as much as possible about your idea so that we can find the best place for you to shine!

Can I run a stall or a food truck?

Unfortunately, not at this stage. Lygon St will be open for business on the day, so there will be plenty of food and beverage options in the area.

What will the route be?

The Parade will leave from Argyle Square, Carlton at 3pm. It then makes it way up Cardigan St (heading north), then turns right onto Faraday St towards Lygon St, where we will make our way all the way along back to Argyle Square. The length of the route is approximately 1km (1000 metres) in total and takes approximately 45 minutes to one hour to travel.

If for any reason you need to break off from the Parade early for access or other reasons, you will be able to so – there will not be any physical barriers in place along the route.

The Parade lasts for approx. 45 minutes?! Do I need 45 minutes of content?!

No! The great thing about parades is that there is a new audience approximately every 30 seconds. So while the Parade itself will last for roughly 45 minutes, your group will only need a killer 30 seconds of entertainment. We also suggest so as not to exhaust yourselves you have three levels of energy throughout the route – Super High Energy, mid-energy and a “resting” phase.

How do I get there?

There are many options for getting to the Parade!

Train – The closest station is Melbourne Central Station. It is 1.2km from the station to Argyle Square. Alternatively, there are a number of trams that head towards Melbourne University on the Swanston St Tram Stop where you can alight at Lincoln Square and travel 240m to Argyle Square.

Tram – Tram lines that stop at Lincoln Square tram stop are all Melbourne University bound trams (3/3a, 5, 16, 64, 67 & 72). Tram routes 1 (East Coburg) and 6 (Moreland) also access this stop. These trams all travel along Swanston St in the city. It is 240m from Lincoln Square tram stop to Argyle Square.

Bus – Due to road closures, bus routes will be disrupted on the day. There are buses that travel along Rathdowne St (250, 251 & 402), where the closest stop to use would be Exhibition Building/Rathdowne St. This stop is 500m from Argyle Square. Bus routes that usually travel along Lygon St (200 & 207) will be disrupted due to road closures, and the closest stop will be Lygon St and Elgin St, which is 750m away from Argyle St. Bus 202 will also use this stop.

Cars – On street parking will be limited due to road closures. There are a few paid car parks in the area, at the Melbourne Museum (accessed by either Nicholson or Rathdowne St’s, 500m from Argyle Sq), Greenco Parking (accessed by Cardigan St, 500m from Argyle Sq), Greenco Parking (accessed by Elgin St, 750m from Argyle Sq), Cinema Nova Carpark (accessed by Drummond St, 750m from Argyle Sq) and University Square (accessed by Grattan St, 800m from Argyle Sq). There will be a designated drop off point for those with access requirements on the day, if this is a service you will require let us know!

Bicycles – there is ample bicycle parking in the area.

Can kids be in the Parade?

They certainly can (with an accompanying adult of course)! This is a family friendly event. Something important to keep in mind though is that parades are chaotic, loud and filled with people. For the safety of children and the peace of mind of adults, kids must be accompanied by an adult at all times if they are walking in the Parade.

Who can join the Parade?

Everyone! We want the Parade to be made by the community for the community. We will endeavour to help where we can to make it easy to participate and to help you make your vision come true. We will also do everything in our power to make sure disability access needs are met.
At the end of the EOI form please let us know about any access requirements you or members of your group have, and we will be in touch with you about how we can support on the day. We’re very open to having a conversation about how to ensure the best and safest opportunities for you to participate in the Parade.

Can I leave valuables somewhere safe during the Parade?

As the Parade takes place in a public place, there will be nowhere to leave your belongings. Please keep this in mind as you prepare for the day. We recommend keeping your belongings to a minimum so they can travel with you on the route, but if this doesn’t suit your costume, float or artistic vision, make sure you bring all your friends, family, sports teammates, colleagues, lecture-buddies, and ask one of them to mind your belongings while you march. They can even become your own personal media entourage using your own device, so that you can post memories of being Paradulous immediately following the march.

Do I have to be an artist to take part?

No! But here at Fringe we believe everyone is an artist and that there should be no barriers to anyone’s involvement in the arts.

Do I need a fully formed idea to apply to the Call Out?

No! If the call-out has sparked an idea and you’re not sure how to go about realising it, we want to hear it. Now is your time to be bold and to give it a go!

Will water be available?

Yes! There will be a water station at Argyle Square. We strongly suggest bringing a water bottle on the day for use while travelling with the Parade. But the water station will be there for everyone to use all day long.

What are the Covid safe protocols?

Melbourne Fringe is operating within all current Covid guidelines and restrictions and are monitoring and implementing any changes as the situation develops. As this is a public event, we want to make it safe for all members of the community, whether participating or spectating. Social distancing will be difficult throughout the day, so we strongly recommend that all participants test before marching on Saturday October 15 for the safety of fellow participants. We recommend that everyone carries a mask for times where social distancing is not practicable too.

Access Considerations

How many hours will I be required to be there on the day?

Marshalling for the Parade will begin at 1pm for most participants (if you are required early to unload a float for example, we’ll let you know in advance). The Parade then kicks off at 3pm and takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour to walk the complete route. Once the Parade has finished you are welcome to stick around for the Block Party which will continue into the evening. Seating is limited onsite so please be aware that there may be long periods of standing (and travelling!)

Will there be a space I can sit down and rest between arriving and moving in the parade?

Seating is limited at Argyle Square, however there are a number of benches in the park next to the marshalling area. If you need to rest between arriving on site and the start of the Parade, these will be the closest options.

Will there be a space I can rest after the parade?

There is limited seating available at Argyle Square, with benches in the park next to the performance space. Hospitality venues will be open along Lygon St throughout the day and trading as usual.

Will there be accessible parking available?

There will be limited accessible parking available close by to the event site due to a number of road closures. If you need to reserve an accessible parking spot, please let us know in the EOI form.

Will I be able to take my guide dog or service animal with me?

Yes, of course. However please keep in mind the safety and wellbeing of your animal in this environment as there will be thousands of people about and various loud noises in the Parade and at the Block Party.

 

Will the route be wheelchair accessible?

Yes, both the entrance and exit to Argyle Square is wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs will be travelling along public roadways, not paths however. Please note that the route up Cardigan St (heading north) does have a slight incline that is approximately 250 metres of the Parade route (from Argyle Square to Faraday St.)

Will the Parade be livestreamed?

No, however we will be filming some content on the day which will be available online following the event.

Will the event be Auslan interpreted?

Yes. Entertainment at the Argyle Square and Grattan St stages will be Auslan interpreted for the Block Party.

What can I bring with me? Food, drink, medical supplies?

Please bring anything along with you on the day that you might need, including food and drink. Its important to stay hydrated throughout the day, so we recommend bringing a large water bottle with you. There will be a water station available at Argyle Square to refill your bottle if needed.

Anything you bring along will need to be taken with you for the Parade, so please keep this in mind as well. There will be a First Aid tent and emergency services onsite at Argyle Square if required.

Will videos/photos be taken of me, and what if I don’t want to be captured in this way?

As this is a large social event that takes place in a public space, it is highly likely that there will be many photos and videos taken of the Parade. While Melbourne Fringe will have a dedicated media presence on the day, we anticipate that members of the public will also be taking photos and video.