Get ready to gather ’round Adelaide again AFL fans; the league’s biggest regular season event is locked in for 2024.
After a wildly successful inaugural running, the AFL’s Gather Round is returning to South Australia for another year, with all 18 teams set to play in the four-day ‘festival of footy’ across three grounds.
The 2024 schedule has been announced; set for Round 4 of the season, in early April. It’ll be headlined by the matchups of old rivals and the reunion of old foes.
Running from the Thursday night clash, featuring hometown team the Crows, right through to Sunday afternoon, there will be no shortage of action across Adelaide throughout the weekend.
Once again, a few games will move away from the Adelaide Oval — with action also in the city’s east and in the Hills.
While home teams are yet to be confirmed, the matchups and times are set.
So here’s the lowdown for the AFL’s 2024 Gather Round.
2024 AFL Gather Round details
When is it?
Round 4 | April 4-7
The footy festival will take place in early April, once again the weekend after the Easter long weekend. It’s also the weekend before school holidays – in most parts of the country – which means parents may need to get creative with any planning that involves kids.
Only a week earlier than 2023 (date-wise), the league seems interested in keeping this concept reasonably early into the season.
Where is Gather Round?
Adelaide, South Australia
Once again, it’ll be held in Adelaide across three venues — the same grounds as last year.
Norwood Oval, in the city’s east, has had to give up a game from last year to Mount Barker — so the two smaller grounds host an equal amount of matches this time around.
Here’s the breakdown of games played at each venue for the AFL Gather Round 2024:
5 – Adelaide Oval
2 – Norwood Oval
2 – Adelaide Hills, Mt Barker
2024 Gather Round games and fixture
As per usual, all 18 teams will feature in the AFL’s Gather Round, with hometown teams the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power getting their own primetime slots at the start of the weekend. This decision relates to the expectation of interstate visitors planning trips over the main part of the weekend.
Thursday April 4
Adelaide Crows vs Melbourne Demons, Adelaide Oval, 7:10pm
Friday April 5
Brisbane Lions vs North Melbourne Kangaroos, Norwood Oval, 4:40pm
Port Adelaide Power vs Essendon Bombers, Adelaide Oval, 7:40pm
Saturday April 6
Sydney Swans vs West Coast Eagles, Adelaide Hills – Mount Barker, 1pm
Carlton Blues vs Fremantle Dockers, Adelaide Oval, 3:50pm
Geelong Cats vs Western Bulldogs, Adelaide Oval, 7:40pm
Sunday April 7
Gold Coast Suns vs GWS Giants, Adelaide Hills – Mount Barker, 12pm
Richmond Tigers vs St. Kilda Saints, Norwood Oval, 2:50pm
Collingwood Magpies vs Hawthorn Hawks, Adelaide Oval, 4:40pm
Gather Round tickets
As of mid-November (at the announcement of the Gather fixtures), there’s no ticketing information just yet.
However, the AFL will continue its previous policy from the inaugural AFL Gather Round, allowing all club members free access to their team’s game.
What are the must-see games for this year’s Gather Round?
Collingwood v Hawthorn
Headlining the jam-packed four-day ‘festival of footy’ is the final game of the weekend between Collingwood and Hawthorn, when former premiership-winning Magpie Jack Ginnivan faces his old side.
Going down as arguably the biggest trade of the AFL Trade Period this offseason, Ginnivan made the move to his childhood club and will look to back up his new club’s previous outing against Collingwood in round 21 last season where the Hawks stunned the Pies in an upset.
Port Adelaide v Essendon
Friday night’s main game between Port Adelaide and Essendon should also be an interesting one to watch, after the off-season moves of Xavier Duursma from Port to Essendon and Brandon Zerk-Thatcher back the other way.
Sydney v West Coast
It’s also hard to look past the old rivalry of Sydney against West Coast in the Adelaide Hills; a club contest made famous by their consecutive Grand Final matchups in 2005 and 2006.
What has new AFL CEO Andrew Dillon said about the Gather Round?
South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas and AFL CEOs, now Andrew Dillon but was Gillon McLachlan, have made slight changes to the 2024 schedule, looking to build on last season’s success.
Dillon was full of praises for the inaugural event, highlighting the incredible numbers surrounding it.
“We saw more than 260,000 fans attend, more than 40,000 people tracelling in from interstate and over 1,000 player appearances across local footy clubs and school,” Andrew Dillon said.
He explained that across the four-day event there will be a food and wine festival in Norwood, and a family-friendly Footy Festival in the CBD.