Australia Green light for 5,500 crowd on Derby Day as Melbourne Cup Carnival launches at Flemington
10,000 tickets confirmed for Melbourne Cup day at Flemington, with 70 per cent for members and only 500 for the public
A crowd of 10,000 is confirmed for Melbourne Cup day at Flemington, but only 5 per cent of tickets will be open to the general public, as the Victorian Racing Club rewards its members for their support "during the hardships of the last 18 months".The Victorian Racing Club (VRC) said it had received formal approval from the Victorian government for its COVID-safe plan for the race day on November 2.
Victoria's Racing Minister, Martin Pakula, says the state is "back and open for business", as the Melbourne Cup prepares to welcome back crowds for the first time since 2019.
A total of more than 35,000 fully vaccinated patrons are permitted to attend next week's racing carnival at Flemington Racecourse, with up to 5,500 on Derby Day and 10,000 on Cup Day, Oaks Day and Stakes Day.
Mr Pakula said the Melbourne Cup would act as the "firing of the starter's gun" for the return of major events in Victoria, such as the Australian Open, the Formula One and live music concerts.
"I'm frankly jumping out of my skin," Mr Pakula said.
Flemington prepares for Cup week crowds
Crowds, albeit in a limited capacity, are set to return to the Victoria Racing Club's four-day Melbourne Cup carnival.But strict COVID-19 protocols will be in force as the Victoria Racing Club prepares to welcome 10,000 fully vaccinated racegoers on Melbourne Cup day after opening the gates to 5500 spring carnival fans for Victoria Derby on Saturday.
"This week is when it all begins, and it's going to be something to behold."
Melbourne Cup-winning horse trainer Gai Waterhouse welcomed the return of crowds to the carnival, saying it was important Victoria "moves forward",
"We've got to get things rocking and rolling again," Ms Waterhouse said.
"Sydney has embraced it. It's very much the same in Brisbane. Victoria should be the leader instead of hanging back."
VRC confers with government over masks
Under COVID-19 restrictions, all patrons to the Melbourne Cup Carnival will be separated into three zones, with allocated seats for the service of food and drink.
Visitors must also wear a mask at all times, despite Victoria's outdoor mask rule being set to be scrapped this Friday at 6pm, when the state is expected to reach its 80 per cent fully vaccinated milestone.
Nadia Bartel deleted from Melbourne Cup website after white-powder vid
A press release announcing Nadia Bartel as last year's Melbourne Cup Carnival ambassador has been quietly deleted from the official Victoria Racing Club website . Pictured: Nadia at at Flemington Racecourse on October 27, 2020 Interestingly, traces of the web page can still be found on Google Search.It can sometimes take months for inactive web pages to fall off search engine results, so this isn't unusual.A cached version of the press release can also still be accessed.
Victoria Racing Club (VRC) chairman Neil Wilson said the organisation was engaged in "almost hourly" discussions with the state government over the rule.
"The rules are changing pretty regularly. Last week we didn't have [crowds at] Derby Day, now we do," Mr Wilson said.
"So, we'll watch that space and see if there's anything that needs to be adjusted, but right now our event plan dictates that we need to wear a mask outside."
"We certainly don't want to compromise the safety requirements we've signed off on."
Colour-coded zones and dining pods as Cup Day caters to the COVID era .
Stars including footballer Christian Petracca, MasterChef winner Diana Chan and model Montana Cox were given the tricky task of publicising an event to a public that couldn't buy tickets.At Flemington on Monday, the Victoria Racing Club turned to the 21st-century equivalents of the hussars: AFL footballers, MasterChef and Fashions on the Field winners.