The Aussie venues boycotting Melbourne Cup

Kristine Tarbert
Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
The Melbourne Cup is on this week. Photo: Getty

If you’re considering joining the many boycotting Melbourne Cup this year there are a bunch of ‘Nup to the Cup’ events all around the country to get involved in instead.

A host of celebrities have pulled out of this year’s racing carnival.

Megan Gale, who has been a regular among the marquees at Flemington for many years, decided to shun the Melbourne Cup this Tuesday, amid animal cruelty claims. According to World Animal Protection, research in Victoria found approximately one fatality per 1,000 horse starts.

It follows last month's withdrawal of US singer Taylor Swift and actress Lana Condor who recently pulled the plug on her attendance, both citing scheduling issues.

Over the weekend model Imogen Anthony also slammed the race as ‘doomsday’ for horses.

So, if you’re after an ethical alternative to the traditional cup day boozy lunch, here are the venues that will be offering some horse-free fun.


Fashuns on the Field

Bringing together two of Melbourne's favourite past times, fashion and sport, the event will include a protest, a highly contested fashion competition and a fun “human race.” The cruelty-free event will be held at Newmarket Reserve, Kensington, where food and drinks will be sold to raise money for the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses.

Melbourne Cup Eve Fundraiser show

This event will be a night of loud music to make a lot of noise for a good cause. The Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar will be hosting a Melbourne Cup Eve show to raise funds for charities that advocate for the rights of retired racehorses.

Nup To The Cup Picnic at Free Spirits Farm Sanctuary

For those who live in North East Victoria, Free Spirits Farm Sanctuary is holding its second annual Nup to the Cup picnic. Dress up in your finest vegan fashion, bring along a plate of plant-based food and relax in the sunshine with rescued farm animals. Human races will be organised for entertainment, providing laughs throughout the day.


Yellow, Potts Point

Sydney’s Mecca for vegan and vegetarian fine diners, Yellow in Potts Point, will be offering a champagne lunch for those who want to ditch the cup, while still enjoying the glamour of the day.

Guests can enjoy a five-course vegan tasting menu with the choice of either a welcome cocktail, a glass of sparkling white wine or Champagne. For every ticket bought, there will be a $3 donation to various horse racing charities. The day will also include a fundraising raffle, with prizes from Paradise Palms, Sally Flegg Photography, Bondi Wash and more.


Bodhi: Nup the Cup Lunch

Bodhi’s annual Nup the Cup lunch is back for 2019. Located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, the vegan restaurant will be hosting a planted-based yum cha lunch with pop-up stalls, guest speakers, flower crowns, a raffle and prizes for best dressed.

Newtown Hotel: F**K The Cup

For those who prefer something more casual, Newtown Hotel’s ‘F**k the Cup’ is back for a second time round. This event is not just cruelty-free, but also suit free. Instead of the traditional sit down lunch, the pub will feature local bands and DJs, offer food and drink specials, and screen ‘classic horse movies.’

Newtown Hotel will also have a “Karma Keg,” where all the money spent on beers throughout the day will go towards a charity.

Duke of Enmore: Nup the cup

The Duke of Enmore will have the best of both worlds for those looking to say ‘nup the cup’ - formal dress and a casual beer garden. Located a few short minutes from Newtown train station, The Duke is encouraging you to ‘make something good out of a bad day.’

Instead of a sweep there will be a raffle, and in place of hats will be flower crowns. Buying a ticket you will be making a $15 donation to ex-racehorse sanctuaries, Little Oak Sanctuary and Whisker Woods Sanctuary.


Fark Cup

Inspired by the recent T Rex Races, this alternative racing carnival will involve four fancy dress foot races, as well as a race Caller, DJ, fashion, photo booth and prizes. There will be a selection of delicious hot and cold cruelty-free food (and Vegan booze from Ekhidna Wines) available, with the proceeds going directly to Animals Australia.

Canine Cup

Instead of watching and supporting the horse racing - you can watch pets having fun and support Guardian Angel Animal Rescue Inc. The 'races' are simply dogs running from one owner to the other (if they want).

The Canine Cup will be screening an exclusive race on their Facebook Page just before the Melbourne Cup horse race. Venues and offices around Australia can make an afternoon tea or lunch out of it and raise funds for an animal shelter close to your heart.

Heels & Bow Ties Nup to the Cup

If you love horses and not the races, head to the Joy of Flora Cafe on Melbourne Cup day and help raise funds for Fairview Lodge animal shelter. The event includes a gourmet BBQ, cheese platter, cake for dessert and a complimentary glass of bubbles.

Adelaide is hosting a range of Nup to the Cup events. Photo: Getty


F*** the Cup Responsibly at Birrunga Gallery

Birrunga Gallery is hosting a cruelty-free cocktail event during the Melbourne Cup. There will be entertainment, prizes, vegan canapés and a glass of bubbles on arrival. Additionally, 10 per cent of all proceeds will go to The Coalition For The Protection Of Racehorses.

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