MEJ Masthead

SpringOUT: 15 years

Samara Gentle

The Canberra SpringOUT Pride Festival, which will kick off with the annual SpringOUT Fair Day at the end of this month, has been part of the LGBTIQ community in our city and surrounding region for the past 15 years.

The event plays an important role in acknowledging and celebrating the contribution LGBTIQ Canberrans make in our community.

When I interviewed Mat Knobel, one of the organisers, I couldn’t resist asking him if he considered Canberra to be a LGBTIQ friendly place.

“Absolutely,” he answered, “Not only do I see Canberra as a friendly LGBTIQ city, I find it is one of the most friendly cities all around! It’s progressive nature and its desire to be at the forefront on many things will hopefully allow for it to embrace the Canberra SpringOUT Pride Festival as a main stay on Canberra’s culture calendar.”

Cheif Minister Andrew Barr at the launch of SpringOUT

Cheif Minister Andrew Barr at the launch of SpringOUT

This year the festival has some major supporters behind it like the ACT Government, Brand Canberra, AIDS Action Council of the ACT, Gay and Lesbian Tennis Club and Cream Residential.

For the first time in the festivals 15 year history, this year has a theme. “I can announce [that] our theme is ON!” shared Mat, “We are turning our community and it’s splendour, ON. Encouraging participants to be ON.”

“Also for the first time in our festivals history we have a Patron for the Canberra SpringOUT Pride Festival, Ms Catherine McGregor AM,” explained Mat.

OAM Catherine MacGregor

Catherine McGregor AM

The 2015 festival program has events taking place throughout the whole city, with the return of much loved events and some new and exciting things for the community to get involved in.

Highlights of the festival include:

• The SpringOUT Fair Day and new Roof Top After Party on Saturday 31 October at Westside Acton Park;
• The Waifs concert on Sunday 1 November at Canberra Theatre Centre;
• The Bushdance community fundraiser on Saturday 14 November at the Yarralumla Woolshed; and
• The SpringOUT Rainbow Family Gathering on Sunday 15 November.

Some of the SpringOUT merchandise available for purchase at the festival

Some of the SpringOUT merchandise available for purchase at the festival

When I asked Mat if he had any advice for those who are maybe a little shy to attend, he had some great insights.

“The Canberra SpringOUT Pride Festival is an avenue for all to come together and celebrate our cities diversity. We have events that cater for those who are a bit shy to attend and these can be seen in the Festival Guide.”

“We understand that some events can seem overwhelming to some and we have definitely catered for that as we want everyone to be able to participate in and celebrate the Festival in whatever way they feel comfortable. Come along! You never know who you may meet!”

To find out more about the SpringOUT festival head to All images courtesy of Yes We Are.


Samara Gentle

Samara is a Canberra based freelance makeup artist who specialises in bridal and event makeup but loves the creativity of fashion and editorial. She has a passion for sharing her pro knowledge and seeing other women embrace makeup to help share their personal style. More about the Author