One Big Culture Hit: Melbourne nights come alive with new late-night event Art After Dark, 13-14 May

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Inspired by Europe’s Night of Museums, Melbourne’s inaugural Art After Dark invites the adventurous to open doors and discover the dynamic depths of a city with culture in its veins. Explore the city’s much-loved cultural institutions and revel in an inventive, artistic feast on Friday 13 – Saturday 14 May from 6pm – 1am on both nights.


NGV Australia and NGV International, Arts Centre Melbourne, Fed Square, ACMI, State Library of Victoria and Melbourne Museum will all open late for this thrilling night-time experience. Presented by Visit Victoria and produced by The Social Crew, this dynamic and limited-time-only program of free and ticketed experiences includes live music, visual and performing arts, food and drink, encouraging visitors to escape into the city and discover something new at Melbourne’s cultural venues.

Art After Dark will see Melbourne’s famous cultural institutions come together for a late-night program of experiences. See the likes of BRIGGS, Human Nature, late-night screenings of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, never seen before installations and much more for two big nights to experience the city at its cultural creative and vibrant best.

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula said: “Art After Dark Melbourne is an exciting way for Melburnians to discover something new at our unsurpassed cultural venues. This new major event is supporting jobs and will bring tens of thousands of people into the CBD boosting our night-time economy.”

Belinda Collins, The Social Crew creative director said: “We’re really excited to see these iconic Melbourne venues collaborate to curate Art After Dark – a vibrant and colourful program of new works and reintroduce some faves. The breadth of creativity presented in Melbourne’s art scene is one that should be celebrated and we encourage everyone to book quickly and make a night of it – or two!  It’s a wonderful surprise of visual installations, music, film, exhibitions and much more. It’s time to get out there.”

Head to Fed Square on Friday 13 May for a Fed Square Live headlined by music sensation BRIGGS, supported by Kee’ahn, with her signature soulful melodies, Melbourne DJ Soju Gang and neo-soul band Izy. The deadly concert will be followed by the launch of Australian-first art installation, Constellations. Lighting up over two nights, Constellations is a fascinating journey where the vectorial, monochromatic aesthetics of international artist Joanie Lemercier collaborates with the electronic soundscapes of producer Paul Jebanasam. Take in Art After Dark’s sights and sounds at Federation Square with a free takeaway hot chocolate, coffee, s’mores treat and glow in the dark fairy floss.

NGV Australia welcomes the return of popular exhibition, Mass, from Triennial, along with pop-up programming throughout the night to engender moments of joy and contemplation, from poetry readings to choir and DJs, Mass celebrates universally human form that links us all.

NGV International‘s iconic bluestone building will be transformed with a light projection curated as part of the free QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection. While in the Great Hall, artist Hannah Brontë’s immersive video installation EYE HEAR U MAGIK 2020 explores how ancestral intuition has been passed down through Aboriginal people in the wake of colonisation. Visitors can revel at art across all levels as the entire venue will be open with free access to all exhibitions.

Arts Centre Melbourne will present an evening of nostalgia on stage with live performances, including from Australian home-grown heroes Human Nature on Saturday 14 May. In addition, the Art After Dark programming includes the Australian Music Vault to stay open late with curators and tour guides telling stories and engaging with visitors about local music. The forecourt will have DJs playing from the balcony and additional food trucks will accompany the offering of the Art Centre Melbourne bars.

Melbourne Museum will present an immersive and unforgettable night time experience with projections, food trucks, pop-up bars, DJs and more for Museum Universe. Programming includes late night exhibition access to Triceratops and screenings of IMAX’s blockbuster Marvel release Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

An audience favourite is expected to be the debut of Midnight at Pink Lake, a 360-degree immersive projection by The Electric Canvas, in collaboration with The Orbweavers and Gather Media in the dome of the La Trobe Reading Room at the State Library of Victoria. Themed programming, Dream State, will allow visitors to experience a different state of mind as they journey through the library after dark.  In addition, the library interior will be animated with a series of interactions that amplify the theme of wellbeing, including live bibliotherapy sessions, mindful workshops and hands-on activities for all ages, as well as music and food and beverage offerings. This visual and aural experience – part guided meditation, part poem, part chant, part song – will leave audiences feeling uplifted and rejuvenated. Roving performers will move throughout all of the programmed spaces, interacting with and entertaining visitors. Other programming will include drop-in craft activities, giant chess, and a range of wellbeing themed participatory programs.

ACMI will present Gillian Wearing: Editing Life – an exhibition presented by ACMI with Photo 2022 International Festival of Photography. British Artist Gillian Wearing turns the lens on herself in this exploration of memory and mortality. Other programming includes the free exhibition, Oskar Fischinger’s Raumlichtkunst. This exhibition presents one of the first multimedia projections ever made. Raumlichtkunst is a reconstruction of Oskar Fischinger’s multiple-screen film events, first shown in Germany in 1926, and restored by the Center for Visual Music (CVM) in Los Angeles. Also showing is TERROR NULLIUS by Soda Jerk, a free drop-in film program running across the evenings. ACMI is also collaborating with Melbourne institution Bar SK to present a room of innovative and interactive entertainment focusing on Australian game developers. Bar SK was an iconic Melbourne bar in Collingwood that combined art, videogames, nightlife and a sense of community.

Melbourne, you know what to do.

Art After Dark

Friday 13 – Saturday 14 May, 6pm – 1am both nights

Locations: Various 

Mick Pacholli

Mick created TAGG - The Alternative Gig Guide in 1979 with Helmut Katterl, the world's first real Street Magazine. He had been involved with his fathers publishing business, Toorak Times and associated publications since 1972.  Mick was also involved in Melbourne's music scene for a number of years opening venues, discovering and managing bands and providing information and support for the industry. Mick has also created a number of local festivals and is involved in not for profit and supporting local charities.        

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