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Melbourne – Where Events Reign Supreme

May 16, 2014 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Melbourne has long been recognised as the events capital of Australia – from major sporting events to food, fashion, theatre, music and more – the city regularly welcomes thousands of visitors from around the world to join in the festivities and celebrations.  

Many of Australia’s most iconic events are based in Melbourne, including the Melbourne Cup Carnival, the Australian Open Tennis Championship the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and the Formula 1 Grand Prix just to name a few.

The cities sporting credentials have just been recognised at the 2014 SportsBusiness Ultimate Sports City Awards with Melbourne named the world’s best ‘Large City’ for sports. Melbourne also won the title for best city in the world for Sports Venues with world class facilities such as the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Formula 1 Grand Prix Track and the Melbourne and Olympic Park sports precinct all located within five kilometres (3.1 miles) of the city centre.

The Big Sporting Five

Melbourne Cup Carnival, 1-8 November 2014

Australian Open Tennis Championship, 14-26 January 2015

Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship Melbourne, 22 March 2015

Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix, 12-15 March 2015

ICC Cricket World Cup Final, 29 March 2015

Winter Events

As the weather cools down and Melburnian’s pull out their winter jackets, the cities vibrant events scene keeps visitors pulses running hot as an impressive line-up of events celebrating arts, theatre, architecture, film, music and the written word all take place.

  • The world-first DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition,opened at the Australian Centre of the Moving Image (ACMI) on April 10 welcoming the first of the 2014 Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibitions. An exclusive exhibition for the city the exhibition is ACMI’s largest ever showcase, featuring over 400 items including never-before-seen concept drawings, interviews, models and original artworks and interactive experiences for children and adults. The exhibition will run until 15 October.
  • The second instalment for the 2014 Melbourne Winter Masterpieces takes place at the National Gallery of Victoria which will host Italian Masterpieces: from Spain’s Royal Court Museo del Prado from 16 May 2014 until 31 August 2014. The Melbourne exclusive will showcase over 100 works comprising 70 paintings, many measuring over three metres, alongside more than 30 superb drawings. Melbourne is the first ever city to secure such a large number of works for one exhibition from theMuseo del Prado and their renowned collection of Italian masterpieces.
  • The remarkable story of The Aztecs is being told at the Melbourne Museum (9 April-10 August 2014), in a fascinating exhibition that takes visitors back more than two thousand years to one of the greatest empires of modern history. The exhibition showcases a selection of intricate artefacts, striking statues and more than 200 sacred treasures.
  • Melbourne reinforces its title as theatre capital of Australia with the Australian premier of Les Miserable at Her Majesty’s Theatre in early July. It will be the first time the show has been performed in Australia in 17 years. This season also see the return of Wicked the Musical from May 2014 at the Regent Theatre.
  • The Melbourne International Jazz Festival will swing back into town from 30 May – 8 June. Sultry jazz tones will infuse the city as over 300 artists entertain audiences in a series of late-night parties, intimate club gigs, film screenings, masterclasses, dance classes and free lunchtime concerts. The 10-day festival is the largest of its kind in Australia will bring together artists from around the world to perform in over 100 events.
  • Other events to note during May include the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (15-18 May) and the Melbourne Showgrounds or for those who prefer beer over coffee Good Beer Week (17-25 May) will celebrate craft beer at various venues throughout the city.
  • Looking further ahead other events that will attract visitors to the city over the cooler months include The Light in Winter (1-30 June) at Federation Square; Nite Art Melbourne (23 July) when visitors can experience simultaneous gallery openings and art walk across well-known, cutting edge and experimental gallery and artist run spaces; Open House Melbourne (26-27 July) when some the city’s most stunning architectural gems open their doors to the public; the 64thMelbourne International Film Festival (31 July – 31 August) – one of the oldest film festival’s in the world; and the Melbourne Writers’ Festival (21-31 August) when over 350 international and local writers take part in over 300 events.

Upcoming Arts & Culture Events

Melbourne Winter Masterpieces, April-October 2014

Les Miserable, from July 2014

Melbourne International Film Festival, 31 July-31 August 2014

Melbourne Writers Festival, 21-31 August 2014

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, 17 October 2014-8 February 2015

White Night Melbourne, February 2015

Quirky facts about Melbourne’s vibrant events scene

  1. Our events calendar reaches fever pitch during March with an international event taking place every day throughout the month. The month kicks off with foodies favourite, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, then moves on to the glitz and glamour of the Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix, next up is the stylish and innovative Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, followed by the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship Melbourne and the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show. The month ends with the side splitting humour of theMelbourne International Comedy Festival.
  2. During March 2014 Melbourne played host to an impressive number of guests from around the world – this included approximately 22 racing car drivers, 1200 comedians, 15 international chefs, over 200 renowned Australian chefs, 50 fashion designers, 100 models, 2500 Ironman athletes and 500 florists/ horticulturalists.
  3. At the World’s Longest Lunch during the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival guests quaffed 1600 bottles of wine; at the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival guests sipped on 11,000 glasses of premium sparkling wine; competitors stayed hydrated with 52,000 litres of water at the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship Melbourne; and spectators carb loaded with 350,000 beer stubbies at the Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix. That’s the equivalent of 182,350 litres of liquid, enough to fill a fuel tanker.
  4. The Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix  is the only circuit in the world with a lake in the middle and is the only race to have run both anti-clockwise, and now in its current F1 standard, clockwise.
  5. The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is one of the three biggest comedy festivals in the world with over 1200 comedians performing more than 6500 shows during the Festival at over 100 different venues throughout the city.
  6. The Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show  is ranked as one of the top five flower and garden shows in the world – it is the event is the only major flower show in the world that brings together both cut flower and garden design.
  7. Melbourne is one of only seven cities in the world that is recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature. It is the only city in the Southern Hemisphere to earn the title. Each August literary greats are attracted to Melbourne for the annual Melbourne Writers Festival. The major international event attracts international and local authors and thinkers.
  8. The National Gallery of Victoria is home to over 68,000 works of art and numerous exhibitions every year. A major upcoming exhibition is The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk(17 October 2014 – 8 February 2015.The exhibition will feature more than 140 superbly crafted garments in addition to photographs, sketches, stage costumes, excerpts from runway shows, film, television, concerts and dance performances.
  9. White Night Melbourne is Australia fastest growing festival, in February this year up to 550,000 people filled Melbourne’s streets for the city’s annual all-night cultural festival. The festival will return in February 2015 for its third arts inspired year.
  10. The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is Australia’s home of cricket and Aussie Rules Football. In 2015 it will play host to the ICC Cricket World Cup final on March 29. The MCG is the largest all-purpose stadium in the Southern Hemisphere, with a maximum capacity of 100,000. The first ever Test cricket match was held at the MCG in 1877, it was also the site of the world’s first one-day international cricket match (Australia v England) in 1971.

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