The Queen Victoria Building (QVB) breathes new life into the Sydney CBD as it kicks off QVB After Dark with a series of rich artistic installations, tours and events running from 1 August – 2 September. QVB Marketing Managers, Robyn Wilson and Clare-Marie Martinez feel confident that the After Dark event will be a welcome addition to Sydney’s night-life this winter.
QVB After Dark represents a change in direction for the QVB, towards a more inclusive, connected and creative future – using dramatic arts to welcome new audiences and to humanise the treasured 120-year-old space.
Through this activation series QVB will reposition itself as a key player in the after dark activities of Sydney, contributing a daringly beautiful, emotive and culturally considered offering to the CBD precinct.
Visual Artist and prominent Sydney performer ØFFERINGS (commonly known as Missy Gilbert) will activate the QVB as a stage. Gilbert (one half of avant-garde music duo Ginger and the Ghost) stated that the QVB’s rich heritage and relationship with the city of Sydney was the inspiration behind the ambitious project.
“The QVB has an incredible bond with the people who pass through it every day – it has become a living being in itself; the ebbs and flows of those walking through the building to their own rhythm feel like the internal workings of the body,” she said.
Central to the event will be the Heart of the QVB, a large-scale installation that will be raised within the ceiling’s dome. Filled with messages from the public and standing at an awe-inspiring 3.6m x 3.6m in size, the installation will serve as a shrine for the community’s visions for the future of the building. For the first three Thursdays in August, visitors will be invited to enter the installation and write their future visions for the QVB on ribbons which will gradually fill the heart. In turn, deepening the connection between the QVB and the community. On 21 August, the heart will be raised to sit inside the ceiling’s dome becoming the beating heart of the QVB and serving as a shrine to the community’s hopes and dreams for the future.
The QVB will also run After Dark tours every Thursday evening for the month of August, giving visitors the opportunity to visit parts of the building usually closed to the public and to learn about the quirky supernatural history of the building. Guests will hear all about QVB’s resident ghost – Mei Quong Tart – a Chinese-born merchant who opened an elite teahouse in QVB’s inaugural year, but was tragically killed following a botched robbery of his store. The tour will take guests behind the scenes of the building, even onto the roof and into the cool night air.
QVB After Dark is the first in a number of new initiatives slated for the next year.
A major event – QVB After Dark Live – will be held on Thursday 22 August, showcasing the complex’s rich heritage and cultural significance. The activation will provide the public with a fully immersive and interactive multi-floor sensory experience from 6pm – 9pm.
QVB After Dark LIVE will run three 1-hour sessions (6pm, 7pm, 8pm), where guests are led through the historic building by roving artists including ØFFERINGS and Twisted Elements, with select audience members invited to participate in the performances.
Much of the internal building will glow red, having been lit up in an eye-catching way never-before-seen at the QVB.
Ginger and the Ghost will present a live music show and an array of creatively engaging retailer activations will be on offer, such as ‘Close Shaves’ Story Sessions at Truefitt and Hill barber’s shop and After Dark Glamour Sessions at Inglot and the newly opened Dyson Beauty Lab. Additionally, popular dining destinations Reign and Esquire will be offering themed dining to those needing to refuel after the performances. Bookings are recommended.
The QVB is owned by Vicinity Centres and GIC and is currently ranked no. 2 for MAT per square metre, reporting $22,871/m2 in the 2019 CBD Guns report.