A hot and sunny metropolis with a growing restaurant, bar and cultural scene

A hot and sunny metropolis with a growing restaurant, bar and cultural scene
  Brisbane City guide
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Cultural Venues 5
Name Brisbane Pride
Time September
Major Events Fair Day, Queen’s Ball, Parade
First Parade 1990
Parade Route Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley

Brisbane Pride festival takes place in spring - before the full force of the Brisbane summer - and includes a month of parties and events. The festival is smaller in scale than other cities of a similar size, however, it has been revamped in recent years and has grown from a protest march in the middle of winter to a spring-time festival full of colour and energy. Attendance is growing year on year as more of the city gets behind the festival.


The parade starts in Fortitude Valley and proceeds the length of Brunswick street to New Farm Park. The parade has more of a community feel that other pride parades and is primarily made up of marchers rather than floats. Fair day takes place at New Farm Park where the parade terminates. The crowd is entertained by a lineup of drag, music and dance performers. Rows of stalls feature community groups, businesses and services.

Queen's Ball

The Queen’s Ball is a lavish awards night honouring achievements of individuals, organisations and groups in the local LGBTIQ community. The event is held at City Hall during the Queen’s birthday long weekend (hence the name) and is now the longest continuously running LGBTIQA+ event in the world[5]. Each event has a theme and attendees go all-out with costumes for the evening.

The first Brisbane Pride took place in 1990 at a time when “sodomy” was still a crime in Queensland. While other states started decriminalising homosexuality in the 1970s and 1980s, the seemingly endless era of conservatism under premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen meant that decriminalization did not arrive in Queensland until late 1990[3].

Change was in the air with the newly-elected Labor government and organisers felt inspired to take the next step with Brisbane’s pride movement.

The parade came about thanks to the efforts of a group of activists known as the Lesbian and Gay Pride Collective. The group was committed to the equal participation of women, so Dykes on Bikes led the first parade, and they have ever since[4].

After a rally at Roma Street forum, the parade worked its way across Victoria Bridge to Musgrave Park in West End. The march was protested heavily. Religious protesters hurled not only insults, but also rocks, and a man drove a ute into marchers. Thankfully no-one was seriously injured.

The parade route and date were later changed to a springtime march down Brunswick Street from Fortitude Valley to New Farm Park - closer to Brisbane’s beating gay heart. The festival continues to grow each year as acceptance increases and more of the city gets behind this colourful festival.