What’s On in Melbourne in May in 2024

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Article written by: Rebecca
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Hello May! We’re now well into the year, almost hitting the halfway mark, which is kind of scary!

But no need to worry, because May in Melbourne is a great month to visit. The leaves have completely changed from green to their autumnal gold, orange and red, and fireplaces are starting to be stoked, creating cosy places to escape from the chill.

Here’s a curated selection of the must-dos happening this month.

This blog post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you).

Melbourne weather in May

The average temperature in Melbourne in May hovers between 10°C and 17°C during the day, so we’re starting to see the cooler weather set in.

There’s usually not too much rain, with around 8 days of rain, but it’s a small amount: only around 24mm fell last May throughout the entire month.

Check the upcoming Melbourne weather forecast online, and read my full guide to autumn in Melbourne.

Public holidays in Melbourne in May

Alas, there are no public holidays in Melbourne in May. After enjoying several public holidays in April, our next one comes in early June.

Major events and festivals in May

Check back regularly throughout the month – I’ll keep this page updated as I hunt down more events!

Melbourne Writers Festival

The Melbourne Writers Festival brings together dozens of international and Australian writers, authors and poets to explore literature and big ideas. Booker Prize winner Paul Lynch will discuss his book Prophet Song (an incredible read I finished a few weeks ago), rapper Ziggy Ramo will both perform and discuss his memoir, while First Nations author Melissa Lucashenko will talk about her epic new novel Edenglassie

Dates: 6-12 May
Where: Various venues
Cost: Various ticket prices
More info: Website

Theatre, film and music

Candelight Concert Series with Fever

Fever brings their stunning candlelit concerts to venues across Melbourne. There’s everything from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake to tributes to Ed Sheeran, Amy Winehouse and Aretha Franklin.

Dates: Various dates in May
Where: Various venues
Cost: From $27
More info: Website

Sunset Boulevard

The glitz and glamour of the Golden Age of Hollywood comes to Melbourne in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new production of Sunset Boulevard, starring Sarah Brightman.

Dates: From 21 May
Where: Princess Theatre
Cost: From $69
More info: Website

WICKED the Musical

Long before Dorothy arrived in the Land of Oz, there were two young witches: Elphaba, whose skin is green, and Glinda, who is blonde and beautiful. See how one became good and one became wicked.

Dates: Throughout May
Where: Regent Theatre
Cost: From $79
More info: Website

Chicago the Musical

The longest-running musical on Broadway is headed to Melbourne – come and enjoy all that jazz.

Dates: Throughout May
Where: Her Majesty’s Theatre
Cost: From $69.90
More info: Website

Cirque du Soleil: Luzia

Luzia showcases the magic of Cirque due Soleil with breathtaking acrobatic stunts and striking artistry.

Dates: Until 26 May
Where: Flemington Racecourse
Cost: From $80
More info: Website

Melbourne Magic Show

Have your mind blown by the magic and illusion of Master Magician Luke Hocking.

Dates: Throughout May
Where: Melbourne Marriott Hotel
Cost: From $35
More info: Website

Museums and art

The NBA Exhibition

The NBA’s first and only global touring exhibition brings you the chance to see how you stack up against the NBA greats, see exclusive memorabilia and play arcade basketball games.

Dates: Throughout May
Where: The District Docklands
Cost: From $36
More info: Website

Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius

The Lume’s newest immersive exhibition celebrates the life and art of of Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci.

Dates: Throughout May
Where: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
Cost: From $44.90
More info: Website

Melbourne Design Week

Melbourne Design Week celebrates design in an annual 11-day program of talks, tours, exhibitions, launches, installations, and workshops across the city.

Dates: 23 May-2 June
Where: NGV
Cost: Free
More info: Website

Melbourne International Animation Festival

At this full week-long animation film festival you can see the best new animated films from Australia and around the world.

Dates: 5-12 May
Where: Various venues
Cost: From $19
More info: Website

Planetarium Nights

Head to Scienceworks for an adults-only, after dark experience. May’s events include Wheres the Water (explore the solar system in search of our most precious resource) and Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon (a tribute to the band’s iconic album).

Dates: Friday nights throughout May
Where: Scienceworks
Cost: Tickets from $25
More info: Website

Monopoly Dreams

Immerse yourself in giant Monopoly sets, win prizes and – most importantly – stay out of jail!

Dates: Throughout May
Where: Melbourne Central
Cost: From $38.50
More info: Website

Experience the Dome Promenade

One of Melbourne’s most iconic buildings has opened a hidden part that hasn’t been accessible to the public for 100 years.

Dates: Throughout May
Where: Royal Exhibition Building
Cost: From $29 for adults
More info: Museums Victoria website

Food events in May

Hawker 88 Night Market

Fill your belly with food, with different weekly themes highlighting the food, culture and music of countries across Asia.

Dates: Wednesday nights until 8 May
Where: Queen Vic Market
Cost: Free
More info: Website

Good Food & Wine Show

Sample food and wine from hundreds of local and international exhibitors and learn cooking tips at this delicious three-day festival.

Dates: 31 May-2 June
Where: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
Cost: Tickets from $39
More info: Website

Sporting and outdoor events in Melbourne in May

The Long Walk

AFL legend Michael Long’s The Long Walk raises money for Indigenous education programs across Australia. Join the crowds for the iconic walk to the MCG (this year is the 20th anniversary), enjoy the live entertainment and food trucks, and be part of a worthy cause.

Dates: 25 May
Where: The walk begins at Alexandra Gardens
Cost: Free
More info: Website

Punting on the Lake

Glide between the bays and islands of the Royal Botanic Gardens’ Ornamental Lake on a guided boat cruise.

Dates: Throughout May
Where: Royal Botanic Gardens
Cost: From $75 (for up to 3 adults)
More info: Website


The Big Design Market: Almost Winter

Browse and buy from more than 200 local makers, plus indulge in delicious food and drinks.

Dates: 24-26 May
Where: Royal Exhibition Building
Cost: Entry $6, kids 12 and under free
More info: Website

Community events and festivals

Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival

During this three-day festival, visitors can participate in guided meditation, learn the art of lion dancing or enjoy the impressive lineup of performances from Victoria’s best multicultural groups.

Dates: 3-5 May
Where: Federation Square
Cost: Free
More info: Website

Korea Festival

This one-day event celebrates Korean culture, with exciting performances such as traditional music, K-Pop dance and singing competitions.

Dates: 10-11 May
Where: Federation Square
Cost: Free
More info: Website

What are you most excited to see and do in May in Melbourne?

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Header image: Supplied by The Lume

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I’m Rebecca, a Melbourne local excited to show you the best of Melbourne. I've visited more than 40 countries and have a Master of International Sustainable Tourism Management. After living abroad for 8 years, I’m back home in Melbourne, rediscovering this city that I love and have missed. My aim is to help you find the best things to do in Melbourne.

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