5 of the best events at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) 

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Gareth Meade
9 minutes to read

An iconic stadium in the heart of Melbourne

Melbourne is well known for its multi-cultural flair, exquisite food and being the gateway to the Great Ocean Road. In addition to all those wonderful things, it is also just as sports mad as every other corner of Australia. And nowhere in the city represents that passion better than the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), the monolithic sports ground just south of the CBD. Like its name suggests, there’s plenty of cricket to take in at the MCG, but there is way more happening there than just some bat on ball. If Melbourne is on your campervan holiday itinerary, it’s easy to leave it parked up, jump on Melbourne’s excellent public transport and head to the stadium for any number of MCG events.

To help out with your planning, GoSee has put together 5 of the best upcoming Melbourne Cricket Ground events you could hope to see. So once you’ve booked your Melbourne campervan rental and before you head off to your next destination, make sure you take the time to visit this iconic stadium and witness some truly stellar entertainment.

The biggest musical acts on the planet

When there’s a break in the sports schedule, the MCG lights up with some of the most-well known musical acts around. Melbourne Cricket Ground has played host to the likes of Paul McCartney, Madonna, Eminem, David Bowie and so many more throughout its history, bringing up to 80,000 fans together. 2022 continues the tradition, with some big names set to take the stage before the years’ end.

For those who enjoy a bit of nostalgia or a cheeky guilty pleasure or two, December will see both Guns N’ Roses and Billy Joel pack out the MCG and bring some 80’s and 90’s vibes to Melbourne.  Axl and the gang last performed at the venue in 2017 to over 70,000 people, while The Piano Man is playing his only Australian show at the MCG. Although Billy Joel is sold out, there’s bound to be some tickets floating around on the resale market if you absolutely must go!

For those who aren’t super keen on spending a night with baby boomers singing along to ‘Uptown Girl’, one of the biggest names in music is heading to Melbourne in March 2023. Ed Sheeran will play the MCG for the first time, with crowds expected to be huge. It’s Sheeran’s first Australian tour since 2018, so hungry fans are likely to snap tickets up once they become available.

A crowd watching a band at a concert.
A person running next to the Melbourne CBD.

Watch or run in the Melbourne Marathon

If you’re the kind of person who loves a challenge, there aren’t many greater challenges than running a marathon and the MCG welcomes runners from all over the world for Australia’s largest marathon festival. Not only do you get to finish the race with a lap around the main stadium itself, but you also get to run past some of Melbourne’s most well known and iconic sites. And don’t worry if you’re not quite up to the full race, there are plenty of other distance options to suit your ability, including a 10km run, half marathon, wheelchair marathon and 3km walk, all ending at the MCG.

The race starts with a lap of Melbourne city, including running past Flinders Street Station, before heading towards St Kilda and Albert Park, which is well known for the annual Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix. You’ll continue running past Luna Park, with its striking entry sculpture, then up past the War Memorial, before heading alongside Federation Square and into the MCG itself. During your final stretch, you’ll be greeted by supporting that pack out the stadium to champion on their friends and family.

If you don’t want to take part in the race itself, you can get free entry to the ground to experience the marathon festival. Note that if you do know someone who’s running, you’ll need to meet nearby after the race, as you won’t be able to meet them within the MCG itself.

Home of the Melbourne Cricket Club

We’d be remiss not to talk about cricket when talking about MCG events. The stadium has been playing host to the game since 1853, when the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) was forced to move to welcome Australia’s first steam train. The rest is history, thanks to world cups, the Big Bash league and many a game of test cricket. If you’re keen on enjoying some summer entertainment, you have plenty of opportunities to witness some of the best-known names in international cricket on the pitch at the MCG.

Starting in October 2022, the Men’s T20 World Cup begins in Australia, with the MCG hosting a number of matches between the likes of India, England, New Zealand and of course, Australia. It will also be the cricket pitch for the final match of the tournament, where the hosts will be hoping to defend their title. It will be a busy time in Melbourne while the tournament is on, so make sure to plan early and then get set to soak up the atmosphere.

If you miss out on a chance to see any of the international teams, there’s still the Australian national T20 league, called the Big Bash. This incredibly fast paced version of the game is all about the spectacle, with fireworks, big hits and huge totals being frequent fixtures of each event. Of course, if you’re old school, you might prefer watching Australia take on South Africa in the Boxing Day Test, which is up to 5 days of psychological determination between two of the best cricketing nations.

Birds eye view of people playing cricket.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground is home to the Australian Sports Museum, which marries historical artifacts, interactive exhibits and opportunities for the little ones to play, making it a great place to visit whether you’re travelling solo or with a family.
People playing AFL.

Sports that aren’t cricket at the MCG

Yes, it is called Melbourne Cricket Ground, but cricket is definitely not the only sport to be enjoyed at the MCG. AFL, Australia’s other favourite pastime, has a long history with the MCG, including many finals between fierce rivals. While it may be difficult to understand for outsiders, it’s hard to overstate just how popular AFL is in Victoria, where one of the first questions you’re greeted with is “who do you barrack for?”, meaning who do you support? There are lots of teams from Melbourne alone and who you support can sometimes separate households. But many would agree that there’s no better place to watch a game than at the MCG.

This year’s finals are right around the corner, with the Geelong Cats and Brisbane Lions meeting at the hallowed ground. Past finals have attracted up to 100,000 punters, all cheering for their team, who some have supported for their entire life!

If you’re still not convinced about heading along to the MCG for some sport, maybe you’d be swayed when we tell you that the world’s most popular game, Football (or soccer), also gets to shine at the stadium. In 2015, over 99,000 people witnessed international superstars Manchester City and Real Madrid play in the International Champions Cup, while earlier this year, Manchester United took on the Melbourne Victory in a huge moment for Australian football fans. It’s always worth keeping an eye out for these kinds of one-off matches at the MCG, as the atmosphere will always be electric.

The Australian Sports Museum and MCG stadium tours

It’s possible your campervan holiday won’t coincide with an MCG event, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out. The Melbourne Cricket Ground is home to the Australian Sports Museum, which marries historical artifacts, interactive exhibits and opportunities for the little ones to play, making it a great place to visit whether you’re travelling solo or with a family.

To get there, you can either get off the train at Richmond or Jolimont Stations, or get the 75 or 48 trams, and get off between Jolimont Station and Yarra Park.

Once you’ve taken in the museum, you will understand why the MCG acknowledges the cultural heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. There’s also the opportunity to join a 75-minute guided tour of the MCG itself. The tour includes:

  • The famous MCC Long Room
  • MCC Library
  • MCG Tapestry
  • Player change rooms
  • Cricketers’ viewing room
  • Ron Casey Media Centre 
  • A walk on the arena
  • City Terrace with view’s of Melbourne’s skyline

It truly is your chance to get up close and personal with this historic sports stadium. Moreover, this famous stadium is not only a traditional meeting place for sports fans, but can also be a hub for your next business event or social celebration.

Train tracks beside the MCG.

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Strategically positioned spanning the Yarra River, the Princes Bridge is always involved in Melbourne's big celebrations.

Where to pick up your Melbourne campervan hire

If you’re picking up your campervan in Melbourne, either before or after taking in an event at the MCG, there are plenty of options. Some companies are close to Melbourne International Airport, like Let’s Go Motorhome and Cruisin’ Motorhome Rentals, while others are dotted around the inner suburbs, like Britz and Maui in Braybrook, Spaceships rentals in Williamstown and Jucy in St Kilda. If you’re staying in Melbourne with your campervan, plan where you need to pick up your vehicle in relation to where you are camping overnight. You’ll find a few holiday parks around Melbourne, but most are some ways out of the city.

Make sure you search and compare on GoSee to find great deals on Melbourne campervan rental. We also have all you need to know about booking your vehicle. It is helpful to get to grips with parking rules in Melbourne as well, as like any major city, some areas are not particularly campervan friendly.