Many sporting legends have graced the MCG in its 170 year history with feats revered and retold from generation to generation.A new name has now entered the MCG’s history books, breaking a previous concert record held at the iconic venue.
Performing as part of his Mathematics tour across New Zealand and Australia, Ed Sheeran’s dream to play in the round at the MCG has seen him not only break a previously held concert record at the venue, but in doing so has also achieved a new personal milestone.
Ed Sheeran + more than 215,000 fans + the MCG = history made.
Across two shows on March 2 and 3, the international artist performed in front of 108,000 fans for his first concert at the ‘G, before going on to break that record the following night, playing in front of the largest crowd of his career – a record breaking 109,500 fans for his second and final show in Melbourne.
Ed Sheeran has now surpassed the MCG’s previous highest concert crowd - a record that was held by Eminem when he played at the venue in 2019 in front of 80,708 fans.
While Ed is no stranger to the MCG having played in front of a crowd of 99,460 as part of the pre-match entertainment at the 2014 AFL Grand Final, this time he had centre stage for the biggest shows of his career – and provided a spectacle like no other.
In addressing his legion of adoring fans, he made mention of how the MCG is used to hosting large sporting events which means the crowd is usually divided, with one team’s fan base leaving disappointed and the other in jubilation.
But as he highlighted, when it comes to concerts, everyone is there for the same purpose – to enjoy the music and the experience, and to walk away with lasting memories - a collective feeling of elation that lasts well beyond the encore.
Ed Sheeran paid his respects to cricket icon Shane Warne and Australian music legend Michael Gudinksi, with a touching tribute across both shows.
Ed Sheeran has now entered the history books among these other record crowds:
- The last time the MCG has hosted a crowd of more than 101,000 people was for the 1986 VFL Grand Final held in September 1986. Hawthorn defeated Carlton in front of 101,861 fans.
- The largest aggregated attendance ever recorded at the MCG was for the 1956 Olympic Games with a total of 1,153,000 (across 15 days).
- The largest aggregated attendance ever recorded at the MCG for a Test Match of cricket was in the 1936/37 season with a total of 350,534 (across six days).
- The largest attendance ever recorded for a single day event at the MCG was the Billy Graham Crusade in 1959 with a total of 130,000.
- In 1973, the Eucharistic Congress, - attended by Mother Teresa of Calcutta and the Archbishop of Krakow, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II – was held at the MCG with three out of the seven days of the event attracting more than 100,000 people. An estimated crowd of 120,000 was recorded for the final day on February 25, 1973.
- The largest attended VFL/AFL Grand Final was recorded in 1970 between Carlton and Collingwood with a total of 121,696.
- The MCG has hosted 116 VFL/AFL Grand Final matches, including three replayed following originally drawn matches, and 34 of those matches attracted an attendance greater than 100,000. In the MCG’s history, a further nine Preliminary and Semi Final matches attracted a crowd of over 100,000.
Fans have witnessed countless memorable performances at the MCG with plenty of centuries in a sporting sense, but this double century is something to be celebrated for a long time to come.