Melbourne’s galleries and museums come alive in May with new Art After Dark nighttime extravaganza

Melbourne nights come alive with the new late night event ‘Art After Dark’ with a huge program of experiences including live music, visual and performance arts, food and drink.

In May, a late night cultural feast comes to Melbourne as the city’s leading galleries, museums and other cultural destinations keep their doors open for an after-hours extravaganza, Art After Dark.

Making its debut on two evenings, Friday 13 and Saturday 14 May, Art After Dark invites adventurers to open doors and discover the dynamic depths of a city with culture in its veins. Inspired by Europe’s Night of Museums (where thousands of museums and other cultural sites open late each year for a special one-night experience), this dynamic and limited-time program will be both free and ticketed, featuring live music, visual and performing arts, food and drinking, encouraging visitors to escape to the city and discover something new in Melbourne’s cultural venues.

What you need to know

  • Melbourne nights come alive with the new late night event Art After Dark.
  • NGV Australia and NGV International, Arts Center Melbourne, Fed Square, ACMI, State Library of Victoria and Melbourne Museum all open late for this thrilling nighttime experience.
  • The dynamic program of free and ticketed experiences includes live music, visual and performing arts, food and drink.
  • Art After Dark runs Friday 13 May and Saturday 14 May

Keep up to date with Melbourne’s latest art events, exhibitions and performances here

Presented by Visit Victoria and produced by The Social Crew, iconic art institutions such as NGV Australia and NGV International, Arts Center Melbourne, Fed Square, ACMI, State Library of Victoria and Melbourne Museum will all open late for this exciting nighttime experience. As the sun sets over the city, revelers can see the likes of BRIGGS, Human Nature, nighttime screenings of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, never-before-seen installations and more for two big evenings, offering a once-in-a-lifetime chance to explore the city. are best experienced culturally, creatively and vibrantly.

Offering an abundance of experiences and a chance to explore Melbourne’s most famous cultural institutions after dark, Art After Dark provides an exciting new way for both Melburnians and visitors to the city to discover something new, in addition to supporting jobs and bringing tens of thousands of people to the CBD fueling the overnight economy.

Art After Dark Program:

Fed Square

Head to Fed Square on Friday, May 13 for a Fed Square Live headlined by music sensation BRIGGS, backed by Kee’ahn, with her signature soulful melodies, Melbourne DJ Soju Gang and neo-soul band Izy.

The deadly concert is followed by the launch of Australia’s first art installation, Constellations. Illuminated over two nights, Constellations is a fascinating journey where the vectorial, monochromatic aesthetic of international artist Joanie Lemercier interacts with the electronic soundscapes of producer Paul Jebanasam.

Enjoy the sights and sounds of Art After Dark in Federation Square with a complimentary takeaway hot chocolate, coffee, s’mores treat, and glow in the dark fairy floss.

NGV Australia

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

NGV International

NGV International’s iconic bluestone building is being transformed with a light projection curated as part of the free QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection. In the Great Hall, artist Hannah Brontë’s immersive video installation EYE HEAR U MAGIK 2020 explores how ancestral intuition was passed on to Aboriginal people in the aftermath of colonization.

Here visitors can enjoy art at all levels as the entire venue will be open with free entry to all exhibitions.

Melbourne Arts Center

Arts Center Melbourne will bring an evening full of nostalgia to the stage on Saturday 14 May with live performances by, among others, the Australian heroes Human Nature from their own soil. Additionally, the Art After Dark programming includes the Australian Music Vault to stay open late with curators and guides telling stories and engaging visitors with local music.

To round out the entertainment here, the forecourt will have DJs playing from the balcony and additional food trucks will accompany the Art Center Melbourne bars offerings.

Melbourne Museum

Melbourne Museum presents an immersive and unforgettable nighttime experience with projections, food trucks, pop-up bars, DJs and more for Museum Universe. Programming includes late night access to the famous Triceratops and screenings of IMAX’s blockbuster Marvel release Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is sure to be a treat for all Marvel fans out there.

State Library of Victoria

A crowd favorite 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, allows visitors to experience a different state of mind as they travel through the library after dark.

In addition, the interior of the library will be animated with a series of interactions that reinforce the theme of well-being, including live bibliotherapy sessions, mindful workshops and hands-on activities for all ages, as well as music and food and drink offerings. This visual and auditory experience – part guided meditation, part poem, part song, part song – will leave the audience feeling uplifted and rejuvenated. Roaming performers will move through all the programmed spaces, interacting with and entertaining visitors.

Other programs include craft activities, giant chess and a range of participatory programs with a well-being theme.


ACMI presents Gillian Wearing: Editing Life – an exhibition presented by ACMI with Photo 2022 International Festival of Photography. British artist Gillian Wearing turns the lens on himself 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 multi-screen reconstruction of Oskar Fischinger’s film events, first screened in Germany in 1926, and restored by the Center for Visual Music (CVM) in Los Angeles.

TERROR NULLIUS by Soda Jerk will also be screened, a free film program that runs throughout the evening. ACMI is also working with Melbourne institution Bar SK to present a space of innovative and interactive entertainment aimed at Australian game developers. Bar SK was an iconic Melbourne bar in Collingwood that combined art, video games, nightlife and a sense of community.

“We are very excited to see these iconic Melbourne locations team up to put together Art After Dark – a vibrant and colorful program of new works and reintroduction of some favourites,” said Belinda Collins, Creative Director of The Social Crew.

“The breadth of creativity showcased in Melbourne’s art scene should be celebrated and we encourage everyone to book quickly and make a night of it – or two! It is a great surprise of visual installations, music, film, exhibitions and much more. It’s time to go outside.”

Melbourne, you know what to do.

Art After Dark will run from Friday 13 to Saturday 14 May from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. on both evenings at various locations in the city.

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