Making the most of their culturally sophisticated reputation, the first few months of 2016 in Melbourne embrace art, food, music and of course Australia’s favourite past time, sport. Below is our pick of the top quintessentially Melbourne events to attend in the New Year.
A summer of cricket is an Australian institution, it’s reminiscent of scorching days spent inside cheering for your team, or relaxing around the pool listening to the radio describe the flight of every ball. Melbourne is the place to be for cricket fans, with domestic and international matches being played at both the MCG and Etihad Stadium. On 18 January cheer for your team in the KFC Big Bash League at Etihad Stadium, when the Melbourne Renegades take on the Adelaide Strikers. Embrace Australia’s national sport, pack yourself a picnic basket full of delectable treats, bring along a shady hat and enjoy the live game.
Coined as the man who modernised and shaped the Australian Country music scene, James Blundell is gracing Melbourne with his melodic vocals on 22 January. The multiple Country Music Australia and ARIA award winner is set to entertain crowds at the unique big top style venue, Wonder Spiegeltent in the Docklands Harbourtown precinct. Inducted into the Country Music Channel ‘Hall of Fame’ in 2012, James draws inspiration from celebrating the 'now' in life and simply celebrating the joy of music. This is a night not to be missed for any country music enthusiast.
Summer in Melbourne just simply wouldn’t be complete without the annual Australian Open Tennis Grand Slam. Drawing in the most successful tennis stars from the world over, this is the perfect opportunity for Australian’s to see the most impressive, agile and powerful players in action. You’ll be on the edge of your seat as you experience every ace, deuce and match point with bated breath. This year see’s the opening of the Australian Open Festival at Birrarung Marr and the Glasshouse at Olympic Park being converted into a stylish dining and hospitality precinct. So you can wine, dine and relax while enjoying truly world class tennis.
Marching in to the sound of beating drums and echoing bagpipes, be regaled by the unique and moving performance that is the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Admire a life size replica of the Edinburgh Castle and be enthralled by the precise skill of over 1200 performers, as they seamlessly blend music and entertainment with deeply ingrained traditional military ceremony. As one of the biggest entertainment events to grace Etihad Stadium, this is a performance you will remember for years to come.
On 20 February, in a celebration of visual art, music, lighting, theatre, film and design, White Night Melbourne takes over the city from dusk until dawn. Inspired by the Nuit Blanche movement in Paris, it is a festival with the singular aim of making art and culture more accessible and readily experienced. With famous Melbourne landmarks being taken over by dazzling light projections, exclusive screenings of vintage films, and art installations occupying entire streetscapes, you’ll be enthralled and full of wonderment as you wander around the city.
From humble beginnings in 1993, over the last 22 years the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival has evolved into a true gastronomic institution. Growing from an unassuming 12 events, to a 2016 schedule with over 200 food and wine inspired offerings, it’s safe to say that Melbourne’s culinary reputation is one they have fairly earned. From international chef’s dinners, meet the maker wine and produce events, cooking master classes and the renowned World’s Largest Lunch held in a different iconic Melbourne location each year. At the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival you’ll have your senses stimulated and tastebuds tantalised as the city celebrates its distinct epicurean roots.
Where to stay in Melbourne
Experience the best of Melbourne’s events this summer, staying at Peppers Docklands. Opening in January 2016, the state of the art hotel will fulfil all your Melbourne accommodation desires. Located in the emerging Docklands precinct it is the embodiment of unique Melbourne design. Architecturally fluid rooms are accommodated with deluxe European furniture and sleek finishes. An easy walking distance to the CBD, Etihad event attendees will enjoy direct access to the stadium and will also have the convenience of delectable dining options within the hotel.