Melbourne Fringe to bring back iconic Fringe Parade for 40th Birthday Celebrations

Melbourne-Fringe-Parade-AnnouncementOne of Victoria’s most beloved and lively parade party events is making a massive comeback in 2022. The Fringe Parade & Lygon St Block Party returns as a large scale, free parade and party on the middle weekend of the 2022 Melbourne Fringe Festival, Saturday 15 October 2022.

Melbourne Fringe is calling upon all artists, performers, boutique retailers and community groups wishing to participate in the parade to register their interest on the Fringe Parade & Lygon St Block Party website.

Anyone can register to be a part of the Parade – either as a group to build a float, or as a single marcher. In keeping with the Fringe philosophy, anyone who wants to be part of this extraordinary march for the arts can participate.

“The return of the Fringe Festival Parade will showcase the very best Melbourne has to offer – and the flow-on effects of hundreds of festival goers each night enjoying the city and its restaurants and bars will be enormous,” said Minister for Creative Industries Steve Dimopoulos.

Melbourne Fringe Creative Director and CEO Simon Abrahams explained how the event will unfold in 2022. “The Fringe Parade & Lygon St Block Party is a march for the arts. We knew there was only one way to celebrate Melbourne Fringe’s 40th birthday, and that’s with the return of our iconic Parade for the first time since 2001,” he said.

“We will celebrate the importance of art in our community and invite everyone to witness our enormous moving outdoor party. Our huge Parade kicks off at 3pm with floats, music and dance, celebrating 40 years of extraordinary art making.”

“We’ll see the return of our iconic Waiters’ Race (where Lygon Street restaurants race without spilling a latte), plus have live music, roving performances, participatory dances and more in our block party to close to event. Of course, there’ll be after parties in Lygon Street venues – including the Festival Hub at Trades Hall – to keep the party going all night.”

“The first meeting of the Fringe Arts Network took place at La Mama in August 1982 – and the Fringe Parade & Lygon St Block Party will trace the route from La Mama to Trades Hall, a symbol of the organisation’s journey,” said Mr Abrahams

From 1984 to 2001, the Melbourne Fringe Parade was one of the most beloved events in the Victorian events calendar, manifesting as a vibrant street takeover of Brunswick Street Fitzroy.

Complete with floats, thousands of colourful parade participants and street vendors, music, performances and art, the event attracted crowds in the tens of thousands annually.

“In the wake of 9/11 and the tightening of regulations around public events it became understandably difficult and expensive for arts organisations to produce such large-scale events,” said Abrahams. “The team at the time made the hard decision to retire the parade and replace it with a series of public art commissions.”

“I’m proud that after all these years, we are able to produce them both. We are thrilled to bring this Melbourne icon back in 2022 for Melbourne Fringe’s 40th anniversary alongside what will be our largest Festival ever.”

“We’re creating a new type of participatory parade and march that captures the spirit of the old Brunswick Street Parade but creates something new for these times. We are going to create something extraordinary, celebrating the past, present and future for the independent arts.”

“We encourage anyone who believes in the centrality of creativity and the arts in our culture to join us for the Parade,” said Abrahams.

“The City of Melbourne is overjoyed to welcome back the iconic Fringe Festival in 2022, and can’t wait to see the return of the beloved Fringe Parade & Lygon St Block Party! Melbourne is the arts and events capital of Australia, and it’s celebrations like this that cement that reputation,” said Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp.

“Events are what bring people into the city. We know that the huge crowds flocking safely to Fringe events will not only bring our streets to life, they will also provide a major boost to businesses throughout the CBD.”

“For decades, the City of Melbourne has supported local artists through Melbourne Fringe with the mission of making the arts accessible for all Victorians. We know that creatives have been some of the hardest hit by the pandemic, and are delighted that the Fringe will celebrate all the talents our community has to offer.”

“We’re encouraging anyone who wants an exhilarating and unique experience to check out Melbourne Fringe 2022,” said the Lord Mayor.

The 2022 Melbourne Fringe Parade & Lygon St Block Party takes place on Saturday 15 October (from 3.00pm to late). For more information, visit: for details. The Fringe Parade & Lygon St Block Party is proudly supported by the Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund.

Image: Melbourne Fringe Parade & Lygon St Block Party Announcement (supplied)