The Victorian capital city of Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia and is extremely well known throughout the world as being a city that thrives of hosting special events of international proportions. Melbourne is often referred to as both the sporting capital of Australia and also the cultural capital of Australia and anyone who visits this city will soon dicscover why. This vibrant city has lots of theatres, galleries, performance stages and live venues where you can make the most of the many musical and cultural shows that are constantly being staged in Melbourne throughout the year. Melbourne is also the home of some truly amazing sporting venues including the 100,000 seat MCG stadium, Etihad Stadium and the Melbourne Park Tennis Complex.
Throughout the years Melbourne has attracted people from all over the world with its exceptional major events, including the 1956 Summer Olympics, the 2006 Commonwealth Games, Formula 1 Grand Prix and many other annual festivals and various other sporting events.
The major Special Events and Festivals that take place in Melbourne each year are :
- The Melbourne Cup - this world famous horse race is always held at the Flemington Racecourse on the 1st Tuesday of November (although the entire Spring Racing Carnival goes for this entire week and is always heavily booked).
- Melbourne Formula 1 Grand Prix - held at the street circuit around the picturesque Albert Park Lake the formula 1 grand prix is always a very popular attraction in Melbourne with international visitors. The race is generally held on one of the last 2 weekend in March, although you need to confirm it each year from the official formula 1 website.
- AFL Grand Final - played at the MCG which is located in East Melbourne the AFL grand final attracts people from all over Australia and it is always held on the last Saturday in September.
- Australian Open Tennis - played at Melbourne Park, the Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena in East Melbourne this grand slam tennis tournament is very popular and held throughout the last 2 weeks of January each year.
- Melbourne Comedy Festival - running for a number of weeks around Arpil each year this entertaining and popular comedy festival attracts numdreds of different comics from around the world and each night there are lots of comedy acts being performed is venues right across Melbourne.
- Boxing Day Test - starting on Boxing Day (26th December) and going for 5 days this test cricket match is more popular some years than others depending on who Australia is scheduled to play. For instance if it is an Ashes Test Match against England then the city will be booked out well in advance..
- St Kilda Festival - this community festival in held each February along the main streets of St Kilda (Acland Street and the Esplanade) and along the St Kilda beach foreshore and features numerous live bands performing across many stages, entertainers, great food and fun for the whole family.
- Melbourne International Festival - this internationall acclaimed festival happens in late October each year and includes artistic and cultural events all around the city, including the world famous Spiegeltent.