Event in the spotlight: Tabcorp Birdcage Marquee

More than 200 hours went into creating a custom floral mural that set the tone for this spring-inspired event.

Tasked with creating the Tabcorp Birdcage Marquee at this year’s Melbourne Cup, Event Planet pulled out all the stops.

A custom floral mural, luxe gold bar and a celebrity chef were among the highlights, making it a marquee experience to rival the rest.

What: Tabcorp Birdcage Marquee
When: Melbourne Cup Carnival – 2-9 November 2019
Where: Flemington Racecourse
Who: Over 300 guests on each of the four days including sporting and racing identities, media, Tabcorp clients and staff

The brief 

Event Planet was tasked with designing and producing a Tabcorp Birdcage Marquee that elevated the guest experience from previous years by continuing to ‘surprise and delight.’

The brief was to create an event atmosphere that celebrated the best elements of the Spring Carnival with a strong focus on horseracing.

tabcorp birdcage marquee
A custom, hand-painted mural greeted guests

The event

Event Planet delivered a premium hospitality experience for Tabcorp guests, with the design being instantly eye-catching and embracing the wonderful, freshness of a spring atmosphere.

Oversized, hand-painted hydrangeas enveloped the marquee structure exterior and were complemented with a feature floral installation of real flowers at the entrance. As guests proceeded inside they were greeted with a continuation of the hydrangea theme in a stunning blue, pink and white media wall.

The marquee interior featured an 11-metre-long gold and marble service bar, a stunning Champagne bar and live kitchen.

Open windows along the front of the marquee provided the perfect aspect of the racetrack so guests could have a bird’s eye view of the horses racing past. The EBTs and tote operators ensured there was no shortage of places for guests to have a flutter.

Melbourne chef Guy Grossi was behind the pans


The striking hand-painted hydrangea mural on the exterior of the marquee was created by 12 artists in over 200 hours. It provided the perfect backdrop for many photos.

The café was hosted by the much-adored Melbourne chef Guy Grossi, who curated a custom-designed menu of Italian fare including a fresh salumi station, his signature dishes of spiced veal ragu with casarecce, calamari fritti served with zucchini and lemon. Grossi was there to personally serve the guests on the day.

To cater to those guests with a sweet tooth, Darren Purchese of Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio provided a decadent array of treats in addition to a refreshing pavlova bar.

Punters Previews of the race day’s biggest betting tips were hosted in the marquee and created an opportunity for guests to hear about the latest news straight from a variety of racing talent.

tabcorp birdcage marquee
Culinary highlights


This was Event Planet’s eighth consecutive year in producing the event for Tabcorp and we have wonderful established relationships with all the stakeholders involved including the client, the Victorian Racing Club, City of Melbourne and our preferred builder Five One Group.

Having this proven track record and trust made it a smooth and seamless process with little to no challenges.


The feedback from the client and guests has been fantastic.

Attendees were really impressed by the hydrangea artwork and florals which were visible from afar. The overall celebration of spring was captured so well in the theme and décor. Event Planet also ensure there was a strong link to the main focus of the week – the races and especially the one that stops the nation!

There was an overwhelming number of positive comments about the quality of the food served on the day as well as the exceptional standard of hospitality service. Guests really appreciated how the menu offerings transitioned throughout the day to keep them surprised and satiated.

After so many months of planning, it is always such a joy for our team to see the guests enjoying their event experience so much!

tabcorp birdcage marquee

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