How to plan a Pride party

By Joel Evans, updated 1 year ago in Travel and party / In Australia

five gay friends lay on floor laughing among pride party confetti

A Pride party is an event held during your local Pride month or festival. These celebrations look very different around the world, and there’s no shortage of diversity in Australia, either.

In New South Wales, there’s the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, which occurs around the end of February. In the Northern Territory, Darwin Pride Festival (also known as Top End Pride) occurs in June. Some states, such as Victoria, have multiple celebrations (Midsumma Festival, ChillOut Festival, and more!). Find Australia’s biggest LGBTQ+ festivals here.

Wherever and whenever the festivities occur, if you’re planning a house party for Pride, here’s our list of tips to have a fabulous and safe event!

1. Choose a theme for your Pride party

Everyone loves a themed party, right? There’s usually someone we know who goes all out. But not everyone in your group might be so committed with time, energy, and resources. Choose a theme that lets your guests put as much – or as little – effort in as they want to. Something like a colour, or a particular accessory, is simple and inclusive.

Some Pride events have an annual theme. If this is the case for your celebration, consider using it for your house party. They’re usually broad enough to allow your guests to exercise their own interpretation and creativity. For example, the theme for Sydney WorldPride was: gather, dream, amplify.

gay men dresses his dog in matching feather boa for themed house party

2. Organise food and beverages

Speak to your guest list in advance to understand their dietary requirements. If alcohol’s involved, ensure there’s an opportunity to eat a decent meal. Whether you serve dinner yourself, do a group takeaway order, or visit a nearby venue, it’s crucial to line the stomach before you wet the tongue.

You can find some truly delicious recipe ideas for mocktails online if you have guests who prefer non-alcoholic drinks. Soft drinks and juices are also great alternatives to help everyone pace their drinking. Throw in a few sugar-free options for anyone being calorie conscious.

two rainbow cocktails with shaker and fruit garnishes

3. Collate a Pride party playlist

You’re the expert on what kind of music you and your friends love! But if you want something that gets you fired up for Pride celebrations, you can start the party with a playlist bursting with high-energy anthems! Need we say more? Just be mindful of noise levels if your party winds into the late hours.

If you’re after further inspiration, check out these Pride playlists:

young man wears headphones and rainbow pride flag

4. Care for your friends

Look out for your mates during and after your event. Ensure water is available to keep everyone hydrated. No matter how hard you plan to party, do it safely. For alcohol and drug information specifically produced for LGBTQ communities, visit Touchbase and Pivot Point.

Sexual health is also something to keep in mind. Whether you planned it or otherwise, sometimes a house party can get a little sexy. If you and your guests share that vibe, part of being a good host is ensuring everyone has a safe and fun time. Pop a bowl of condoms next to the chips and dip, or direct your guests to where they’re stowed away (wink!). You don’t need to shoulder the cost yourself. Hit up your local sexual health organisation, as some offer free or low-cost party packs.

While love might be in the air for Pride, nobody wants to spend the next morning worrying about HIV. Be aware of how you can access PEP in your local area if you or a friend need it. Alternatively, consider if PrEP is an option for you before your Pride party. With options that don’t rely on daily use, there are convenient ways to use PrEP over a weekend or for short-term protection across your party season.

young man drinks water to rehydrate at mardi gras party

5. Have an emergency action plan

If you’re heading out to an event or nightclub after your party and planning on celebrating hard, have an emergency action plan:

  • Choose a meeting point in the event your group gets separated.
  • Create a group chat on social media to stay in touch through the evening.
  • Designate an emergency contact who is not at the event and can assist if something goes wrong.
  • Remember, you’re a mate and not a doctor. Call 000 for support if you believe a friend needs medical assistance. Even if alcohol or drugs are involved, ambulance officers aren’t required to involve the police unless they feel in danger.
crowd enjoys confetti downpour at poof doof gay nightclub

So, there you have it. Now plan a spectacular party to celebrate Pride!