Ticket prices to rise for Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show

Ticket prices to rise for Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show
Brendan Rees

Ticket prices for the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS) are set to increase by $10 to $50 by 2029, as operating costs continue to rise for the popular event in Carlton.

The City of Melbourne recently approved the proposed cost increase for the annual event to ensure its longevity at the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens.

The ticketing changes will see an increase from a maximum daily charge of $40 in 2025 to $50 by 2029 per person – a rise of $2 for each event, which draws around 120,000 visitors each year.

According to a council report, ticket sales represent 70 per cent of the event’s income, “which at its current rate is not enough to cover the increasing costs of delivering the event”.

“Additional revenue derived from the price increase will go towards offsetting general cost increases such as increased venue rental for the Royal Exhibition Building, fees associated with the licence, general inflationary increases and increased Council fees as well as enhancing the overall look and feel of the event,” the report said.

The event receives exhibitor revenue, but does not seek commercial sponsorship, nor financial contribution from the state government. The council also does not provide grants or funding for the event.

Councillors voted in favour of increasing the ticketing price at their May 29 Future Melbourne Committee meeting.

In 2022, the City of Melbourne granted a licence for the use of the Carlton Gardens to stage the event for six years from 2024.

The Nursery Garden Industry Association of Victoria, under the Flower and Garden Show Limited (FGSL), owns MIFGS.

The FGSL appoints the International Management Group of America Pty Ltd (IMG) to operate the event on its behalf, which approached the council to increase the ticket price.

The previous ticket increase occurred in October 2018 when the daily charge rose from $30 to $40 per person.

To change the fee, the council will now seek approval from the state government, which sets the regulations prescribing the period the gardens can be closed off to the public for the MIFGS and the entry fee payable by the public. 

The council report noted the event delivers $10 million in economic benefit to Victoria.

As reported by the Inner City News earlier this year, the Carlton Residents’ Association has called for the MIFGS to be relocated to the CBD, citing concerns about the environmental impact to the World Heritage site of the Carlton Gardens and Royal Exhibition Building.

This included damage to trees and their root systems due to the heavy foot traffic, heavy machinery and temporary structures put in place for the event, causing “irreparable damage”.

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