GABS Melbourne Relocates & Changes Dates

March 12, 2024, by Media Release

GABS Melbourne Relocates & Changes Dates

GABS has announced new dates and a change in location for the Melbourne leg of the major craft beer festival, with Melbourne now taking place between June 21 and 23 and shifting to Melbourne Showgrounds. 

The decision follows revelations that significant repairs are required for the Royal Exhibition Building, which is a world heritage listed site, and that new regulations and restrictions were required to hold events inside the iconic Melbourne building. 

Festival owner Mike Bray said in a media statement: "It is a move we did not anticipate making in Melbourne and with the craft brewing industry having faced significant challenges recently with so many breweries under extreme pressure, we’re calling on all beer loving Australians to get down to a GABS Festival this year and come out in record numbers to get behind the 150 plus breweries that will have beers pouring on the tour."

Melbourne in May will still be packed with craft beer beer celebrations however, with Pint of Origin and the Australian International Beer Awards taking place between May 10 and 19, which have historically been the dates of Good Beer Week and GABS Melbourne. 

The full GABS media release is below. 


Media Release: GABS Relocates Melbourne's Iconic Beer Festival 

Recognised globally as one of the best beer festivals in the world, the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular, Australia's premier craft beer festival is back for a whirlwind three-city tour this June!  

Showcasing the best and most innovative brews from around the country with beers from over 150 different breweries,  pouring from more than 500 beer taps,  making it the country's biggest indoor beer festival, GABS is one of the most fun and entertaining food and drink experiences on the Australian events calendar.

Attratracting as many as 40,000 visitors and held annually in iconic landmark buildings such as Sydney's International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour and Brisbane’s Convention and Entertainment Centre, GABS was started in a small craft bar in Melbourne in 2011 and made its big venue debut in the beautiful Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens in 2012.  

Whilst the REB has gone on to be known as the spiritual home of GABS, this year the organisers are forced to make a significant change in a new venue and date for GABS Melbourne. Recent news coverage indicates the current state of the Royal Exhibition Building, a world heritage listed site, requiring an estimated $50m in repairs. Further,  despite having an impeccable usage record over the last 12 years, the organisers were informed, months after they had gone on exhibitor stand sales for the event that Heritage Victoria had imposed new regulations and restrictions on usage of Royal Exhibition Building which ultimately severely impacted GABS’ ability to deliver the festival in the traditional indoor format that fans have come to love and expect over the years. 

As such, out of respect for the building that they’ve called home for many years, along with protecting the curation and delivery of GABS Festival position as one of the best in the world, the GABS Festival Melbourne leg will be relocated. 

The show will go on in the format beer fans all love and that GABS have successfully delivered in other Australian cities at the fantastic Melbourne Showgrounds, home of the Melbourne Royal Show, which attracts over 450,000 visitors each year, as well as many big-name concerts.

The new dates of GABS Melbourne 2024 will be 21-23 June.

Fans can rest assured, GABS Melbourne 2024 will over deliver on offerings including:

  • More than 75 fantastic drinks and food stands.
  • Beers pouring from over 150 breweries through more than 500 taps
  • Pink Friday Night Parties in support of Pink Boots Society 
  • GABS World Record Beer Tasting Attempt, presented by Stomping Ground Brewing Co (Melbourne only)
  • Incredible prizes up for grabs including a 7-day trip for two to the Freising Volksfest in Germany in September 2024 and a 5-day trip for two to Australia's Craft Beer Capital, the Sunshine Coast.
  • A GABS Beer Safari booklet for all ticket holders with over $250 in post GABS drinks and offers.
  • Plus so much more! 

Added to that, Public Transport Victoria will provide dedicated event trains to get customers to the showgrounds before the bell and home safely at the end of each session. 

“It is a move we did not anticipate making in Melbourne and with the craft brewing industry having faced significant challenges recently with so many breweries under extreme pressure, we’re calling on all beer loving Australians to get down to a GABS Festival this year and come out in record numbers to get behind the 150 plus breweries that will have beers pouring on the tour. It’s a great opportunity to be part of the country's biggest indoor ale trail and support so many breweries in one fun session, on one day” Mike Bray, GABS MD.

General public tickets will be on sale in March and be available from www.gabsfestival.com.

2024 GABS FESTIVAL DATES

SYDNEY - ICC, Darling Harbour. Fri 31 May – Sat 1 June 2024.

BRISBANE - Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, South Bank. Fri 14 – Sat 15 June 2024.

MELBOURNE - Melbourne Showgrounds, Flemington Fri 21 – Sun 23 June 2024.


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