Geelong: Lit After Dark

Geelong After Dark 2019 Botanical Lobotomy at the Library Photo: Matt Houston

Geelong After Dark 2019
Botanical Lobotomy at the Library
Photo: Matt Houston

On Friday night, Geelong After Dark transformed the City from the ordinary into the extraordinary. The theme for 2019, Heighten Your Senses, was embraced by artists and exceeded all expectations.

One side of the Barwon Water building was transformed with gravity-defying feats from ACTNatimuk/YSpace. Performers floated amongst animations created by students from Barwon Valley School and Barwon Heads Primary.

Nestled on the forecourt of Johnstone Park, the three sensory portals, co-funded by the Arts & Culture Department and Creative VIC were ethereal sensory delights: soft underfoot, surrounded by dancers, soothed with sounds, the portals enabled crowds to have intimate experiences of art.

Connecting Song for 2019 celebrated three unsigned acts, Chloe St Claire, Jack Meredith and Alby Jay mentored by well-known Australian musicians Adalita, Mick Thomas and Mark Wilson with live sets at The Workers Club Geelong and on film in Lt Malop St.

Geelong Mayor Cr Bruce Harwood launched Geelong After Dark in Council Chambers, transformed by artist Anne Wilson PhD Deakin University with her work, If You Stay Where You Are, You’ll Run Into Yourself.

Quotes attributable to City of Greater Geelong Mayor Bruce Harwood:

Geelong’s reputation as a clever and creative cultural destination continues to grow, and Geelong After Dark has again shown why it’s such a popular event on our calendar.

It was great to see so many community members and visitors enjoying the light shows, art installations, performances and music on offer. Central Geelong came alive in what was a fantastic showcase of the depth and diversity of our regional talent.

It’s also been particularly pleasing to see the engagement and involvement of central Geelong’s cultural organisations and businesses.

How to do GAD

Neon Sign GAD.jpg

Event Ready!

Here’s a handy guide to help you on the night – 6pm to 10pm, Friday 3 May. Best bit? Geelong After Dark is FREE.

How Do I Get There?

You can drive, catch a train or park and walk into the City for Geelong’s own home-grown night of art in the heart. Celebrating five years of bringing you interactive art; street performances; installations; music; exhibitions; projections and more.


The two main City of Greater Geelong carparks will be open on the night. Civic Centre Car Park (closes at 1:30am) and Busport  (closes at 12:30am) Car Parks are free after 6pm. You can also park at Westfield Geelong,  Ground Floor only, Malop Street entrance, free after 6pm and Market Square (closes 11pm, casual rates apply).

What Should I Wear?

Layers, layers and more layers is the mantra you should live by when you head into Central Geelong for Geelong After Dark. Think scarves, beanies, gloves, jackets, jumpers. A lot of our projects are in doors at our cultural venues and they will be warmer than outside. Comfortable shoes too, especially if you are going to do the Amazing Arts Adventure.

Amazing Arts Adventure

Designed to keep the young and young at heart keen to learn about all things art in our heart, you can collect cards from 6pm at any of the participating venues – and there are some amazing prizes on offer!

Food Options

Most of Central Geelong traders will be open for business. There will also be a selection of food trucks for operating to keep the munchies at bay and your little ones happy. The Gozeleme Station Salt & Peppa and Humans Drink Coffee will be based in Johnstone Park.

GAD @Renew Geelong

Our mates at Renew Geelong are hosting us! It will be the spot for Lost Property. Have a chat about all things GAD at Renew Geelong – and if you have an idea for a creative hub, have a chat to them about leasing a spot for your artistic endeavour.

Event and Tourist Information

Get up-to-date tips on all things Geelong After Dark from one of our Customer Service Officers. Located throughout the site (check the programme map for locations), they’ll be on hand to give you the inside track on what not to miss at Geelong After Dark.

What Geelong After Dark means to you

Geelong After Dark 2014, photo by Brien Cohn


It has taken just six years for Geelong After Dark to become one of our region’s premier art and performance events. Since 2014, enthusiasts of all ages and from all backgrounds have been able to experience an evening in central Geelong like no other.

When Geelong After Dark 2019 lights up our streets, laneways and buildings again on Friday 3 May, it will be another chance for our clever and creative city to showcase established, emerging and student artists and performers.

What makes Geelong After Dark extra special, is that so many diverse people and organisations have come together to make it work.

This year, we are once again delighted to have the involvement and support of many great institutions such as the Geelong Performing Arts Centre, the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre, the City of Greater Geelong, WorkSafe, Geelong Art Gallery, Barwon Water, National Wool Museum and a wide array of cafes, shops and restaurants who’ll be participating on the night.

We asked some of those key players, what Geelong After Dark means for them and for Geelong.

For Deb Sansom, Executive Manager, Cultural Development & Community Engagement at Geelong Regional Library Corporation, it is her favourite night of the year.

“The city just pops with excitement. It is such an important part of the cultural offering at the Geelong Library & Heritage Centre. It is a night when our communities question, rethink and expand their relationship to the library space and to the broad range of cultural activities that public libraries offer. I love it.”

“GAD says everything about the Clever and Creative agenda. It illustrates (in the most fun way ever) that as a city we are adaptive and enterprising. GAD allows us all to become participant’s in our city’s future, where we can re-interpret where we live, collectively work out what we want to say about our unique cultural selling points and drive the changes we would like to see.”

The collaborative nature of Geelong After Dark is also appreciated by property developer Bill Votsaris who, himself, has been a leader in reinvigorating central Geelong:

“With Geelong After Dark the Council has been able to achieve participation from a broad spectrum of the community. They have achieved this by allowing art to be expressed without any boundaries.”

Kaz Paton, Arts and Culture Manager for the City of Greater Geelong, describes Geelong After Dark as one of the most exciting events in Geelong’s annual cultural calendar and a beacon for Geelong as it cements its place as a clever and creative community.

“It’s a wonderful way for people to rediscover Central Geelong, and reveal the city nightscape in new, original and creative ways.  So much is transforming in and around Geelong, and our artists’ response to this year’s event theme of Heighten Your Senses will take audiences deeper than ever into an intimate experience of Geelong’s secrets, stories and spaces.”

“Our community’s vision for Greater Geelong to be recognised - regionally, nationally and internationally - as a clever and creative city-region is founded on a series of aspirations developed by the community.  Geelong After Dark is a brilliant platform on which to artistically explore and express a number of those aspirations such as: our region’s arts and culture (of course!); tourism; economy and creative sector employment; our diverse environments; and digital access. Responding to these aspirations strengthens Geelong’s ability to be creative, connected, prosperous, sustainable and resilient, and designed for people.”

What will Geelong After Dark mean to you? Come along on Friday night to discover how it can illuminate your understanding and appreciation of our city’s heritage and culture.

Geelong After Dark: What is it and why should I go?

53. Tim Hulsman, Nina Grant & Mike Patton - UPSCALE

You’ve seen the billboards, you’ve noticed images and clips as you scroll through your social fields and you may be wondering, what is Geelong After Dark and why should I go?

Geelong After Dark is Geelong’s own home-grown night of art in the heart of our town, celebrating the diversity and the skills of artists and performers of all persuasions. It gives you the chance to explore the boundaries of art through immersive experiences.

Geelong is Australia’s only designated UNESCO City of Design, and Geelong After Dark contributes to our goal of placing creativity at the centre of all that we do.

The 2019 theme,  Heighten Your Senses, has inspired over 77 creatives, who have all worked towards incorporating at least one of the five senses in their pieces: and the Rhine Experiment (Replicated) by Retail Cargo Cult will have you testing your 6th.

With help from Barwon Heads Primary and Barwon Valley School, ACT Natimuk will take to the skies over Barwon Water Forecourt, defying gravity and challenging your perceptions of sight and sound.

The life-affirming Complimentary Lane includes work done by Diversitat and students of Matthew Flinders Girls High School with Rose Ertler. Their compliments are designed to complement you and your loved ones.

Jessica Costa poses the question - can you ‘hear’ colours? Head to Creative Geelong to find out.

Tim Hulsman has set his sights on playing a 5 metre slide guitar. Along with visual artist Nina Grant, Tim has worked with Mike Patton to develop and create a piece that only he will be able to tame.

Keep your eyes open for the return of Western Edge Youth Arts, searching for the Scent of the Night.

Taking it tiny is Tina’s Tiny Theatre – so tiny only one at a time will delight in the joy of small.

Yes! Those lampposts are talking to and about you – so be on guard when you wander past the Talking Lampposts.

More delights await you from 6pm Friday 3 May, Central Geelong. Download the programme and Heighten Your Senses – abandon what you know.


50. Blink Dance Theatre - Assembly Room.jpg

Geelong’s Blink Dance Theatre Company’s latest production Assembly Room is a merging of concepts designed to create visibility around the changing role of women in Geelong.

Assembly Room – a ten-minute, abstract dance piece – will debut at this year’s Geelong After Dark, transporting the audience back to the industrial age and a time when women’s voices were silenced, and their community contributions widely unseen.

Artistic Director and a founding member of Blink Dance Theatre, Lyndel Quick, said the piece – to be performed amongst the brick and bluestone buildings of Shorts Place - reflected the transformation of Geelong while opening people’s minds to how we have also changed our view of women over the past two centuries.

“We’re exploring this idea of Geelong moving from an industrial city to a vibrant more creative city. We’re looking at things like the textile industry, newspaper production and the importance Corio Bay had as a link to the outside world.”

“It’s an abstract movement piece exploring themes like community and the individual and the body as a vehicle to embody both unity and difference.”

The performance involves eleven women from a diversity of backgrounds and ages. The dance will reflect the rhythmic nature of the city’s former industrial printing presses and looms against a background of historical images and videos of Geelong’s past to be projected by the Little Projector Company.

The title – Assembly Room – is itself a marriage of two concepts. In the 18th and 19th centuries, assembly rooms were gathering places for entertainment and one of the few locations where both men and women were able to mingle. From the industrial age onwards, the term took on a new meaning with its connection to factories and manufacturing.

The ideological significance, where both connotations of the assembly room placed women behind a stone or brick façade for recreation or work, is not lost on Lyndel:

“Back in the 18th and 19th centuries women were not seen on the street… home was very much their place and the streets were not. Even the terms ‘you’ll end up on the streets’, ‘she’s on the streets’ or ‘she walks on the streets’ reflected the gendered nature of outside spaces.”

“I like the fact we are out on the streets in an alley going ‘yes, we are here’ and reclaiming that a little bit.”

Established in 2013, Blink Dance Theatre consists of a core team of four women: Lyndel, Jessica Lesosky, Elise Wilkinson and Jane Acopian. They bring together experience in contemporary dance, ballet, theatre and fine arts.

Past work has involved collaborations with Deakin University, City of Greater Geelong and, most recently, the Geelong Regional Library Corporation for the opening of the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre.

Their home base is the former Rutland Street woollen mills in Newtown. Lyndel was one of the first people to set up a business in the old mills some 15 years ago. Undoubtedly, the transformation of the Rutland Street precinct from an industrial heart to a creative hub is a microcosm of the wider transition of Geelong.

Lyndel says the precinct was deserted when she first arrived and is excited about how the area has been reactivated by new and creative ventures.

“Geelong should be proud of its past. It’s got a wonderfully rich history and I’m incredibly proud of that. I feel so deeply connected to my town, but I love to see the changes happening.”

With the increased visibility and role of women in high profile ventures in Geelong, that change goes beyond revitalising the city’s bricks and mortar.

“It’s about quietly stepping into your own power.  There are huge shifts happening in Geelong for women including with the football club. We are more visible across different industries.  There has to be a community shift and it’s happening.”

Assembly Room will be presented at various times throughout the evening on Friday, 3 May.

Making Sense of our Fears and Priorities

Christian College Geelong (Bellarine Campus): Now You See Me
A Guerrilla Art and Drama Collaborative

Students from Christian College’s Bellarine campus will be challenging us to confront ours fears and question our priorities as part of their interactive show at this year’s Geelong After Dark.

Now You See Me is a collaboration of the college’s Year 9 Drama and Guerilla Arts students in which a combination of theatre styles and installation artworks will tell a story of what happens when we take our senses for granted.

Drama teacher Victoria Kent said the theatrical component of the work – titled Super Senses - mixes several drama styles including melodrama and Greek theatre to deliver a moral story of what happens if super heroes with super senses don’t appreciate those senses.

“We have another character come in who takes those senses away. The super heroes then need to navigate through the artworks without those senses. Once they learn they shouldn’t be taking their senses for granted, they get the senses back.”

“In creating the piece, the students hope people realise that not everyone is blessed to have all their senses … It’s not easy when you don’t have them at all. A lot of people take them for granted.”

Guerilla Arts teacher Lori Ruplal said the installation artworks sit side-by-side of the performance taking their cue from Geelong After Dark’s 2019 theme, Heighten Your Senses.

“It’s like a little avenue of oddities that the audience get to take part in. It’s meant to be interactive with each artwork. For example, some students have created boxes you have to put your hand in and you’re not sure what you are going to get.”

“They have gone with the ideas of what if you couldn’t see or hear or what if you lost your sense of touch.”

In a style reminiscent of Edwardian carnival sideshows, the work is designed to elicit feelings of wonderment and fear by also using glow in the dark pictures and culminating in a video that will be projected on muslin.

“It is all about fear and what fear can create through noise and a very creepy video they’ve created,” said Lori.

“Through the artworks, it is that real focus on disruption. Wanting to disrupt people and see how people respond to being disrupted.”

“It’s about the fact the world is different for each person and how each person interacts with this world we’ve created in this space. Is it going to be a positive experience for you or will it be a challenge for you?”

For the 20 boys and six girls involved in the project, the challenge of creating the piece has been one they have relished.

Victoria said Geelong After Dark offered an experience to the students beyond what was available from the classroom.

“We can talk about being able to make a difference and make an impact through your art but this gives the students opportunity to test that and see the rewards … It’s amazing. They’re blown away by what they’re able to put together and the confidence they have.”

This is the third time Christian College (Bellarine) has taken part in Geelong After Dark and Lori said many students choose Drama and Guerilla Arts as their Year 9 electives with the hope of being part of the festival.

“Because it’s our third year running, these guys chose the subjects knowing they had the chance of being part of Geelong After Dark and they were excited about that opportunity. They started talking about it in October last year.”

The College is one of four Geelong region schools involved in this year’s festival. Newcomb Secondary College is also presenting installation work, Botanical Lobotomy, to highlight how we connect with a changing world while Barwon Heads Primary School and Barwon Valley School have both been working with ACT Natimuk on an aerial dance, animation projection and shadow puppetry performance titled Galaxias: A View Beneath the Surface from the Sky.

Says Kaz Paton, Manager, Arts & Culture

“Engaging with the arts to inform and transform are key elements for audiences at Geelong After Dark. We are thrilled that Year 9 students from Christian College (Bellarine Campus) have once again embraced Geelong After Dark. Their project will engage audiences, make them think and we hope be transformed by the experience. We are also delighted to be able to offer emerging artists a platform to test their ideas in public – another essential part of Geelong After Dark.”

At Christian College, where there is a strong focus on giving back to the community, Victoria said it was important younger generations continued to be involved in local events.

“The students really appreciate the opportunity to be part of something real and put together something for a purpose.”

You will find Now You See Me in Aitchinson Place off Little Malop Street (next to the Geelong Performing Arts Centre). Several performances will be held throughout the evening on Friday, 3 May.

Food Glorious Food - and drink (Eateries, Bars & Food Trucks)

With so much about at Geelong After Dark, getting hungry or thirsty doesn't have to be an inconvenience. There are plenty of cool places to rest your heels while you plan your next leg of the evening. 

They're easily marked in accordance to our program guide zones, meaning no matter where you are - a menu is never too far away! They know you're coming so all you have to do is decide what you're feeling (can be tough - we know), put them into your phone GPS or keep an eye out. Here are some favourites:

Zone 1: Cultural Precinct

Zone 2:  Little Malop street

Little M CaféRipe Pizza & Bar, The Worker’s Club, Brews and BallsParker’s Steakhouse, Sixty Up Degrees, Welcome Back Café, Royal IndianPistol Pete’sHot Chicken ProjectBar CaptainCaruggi Italian RestaurantMarket SquareHucksters & Co., Blackman’s Brewing BarTomodachi Izakaya & BarSober RamenUncle DonutNeo CaféMoo Mouth Coffee, Mavs RestaurantPoke MeCabinet Bar, and

Food Truck: Churros Yummy Donuts                   

Zone 3: Moorabool Street

Twisted Dessert BarCafé Lorae, PBK Persian Bread and Kebabs, Black Bull Tapas Bar & Restaurant,Denny’s KitchenThe Inn HotelMojo Mama Mexican, Kanitar Thai Restaurant, Westfield Food Court,Miss Gina Gelato, Thai Influence Noodle Bar and Restaurant, 2 Chefs

Eastern beach Road

BayView Bar and GrillKing George Fish & Chips, Sailors RestWaterfront Kitchen (Deakin University),Panache Café and CreperieTown and Country PizzaBlis Ice CreamThe EdgeDown the Alley Café,  Bo ThaiThe Greek – Customs House


Through the eyes of Dr Anne Scott Wilson, Geelong is a city whose industrial past and imagined future are at the coal face of a digital revolution with culture having an important role in creating new opportunities and experiences.


Geelong After Dark is delighted to welcome back Anne to this year’s event which will again showcase her experimental and immersive works using kinetic sculpture, light, sound and artificial intelligence to heighten our senses.

Anne will bring two new works to the city on Friday, 3 May. One is an exciting collaboration between herself and the internationally-renowned Ars Electronica Australia (ARS EA), an organisation whose philosophy of art and technology she says synergises with hers.

“With a philosophy of collaboration and experimentation, I use tech like a paintbrush and understand the need to explore what is happening to us in our everyday digital interactions. You need specific types of technicians to work with artists, ones who understand tech as a tool to explore ideas.”

Anne’s 2019 installation will be on display in the Geelong Council Chambers off Little Malop Street. Part 1 is a kinetic sculpture using old and new technologies in a work she describes as playful.

“People will see everyday objects re-purposed into a polystyrene sculpture of moving parts affected by how people move in and around it. As you get closer, the work changes, it moves faster or slower, volumes and moving parts accelerate and decelerate.”

Visuals change too. LED light reflects off a shiny CD recalling its history. The CD while still in use is quickly becoming a part of history with many now relegated to op shops and land fill.

Part 2, the collaboration with ARS EA, is about voice. In this case, the voice of the people of Geelong. Disembodied voices of the past will use the acoustic qualities of City Hall’s atrium.  At the same time, participants will be invited to relate their feelings of Geelong’s culture which will be recorded into the ‘beehive’ – ARS EA’s platform for collecting media.

“It’s about encouraging people to voice their experience of Geelong After Dark.  The City Hall is a place for residents of Geelong to have a voice and the beehive will capture a collective response.”

“Our own experiences and background influences how we respond to artworks. It is very subjective. The beehive will capture how people are experiencing the event. The work fills a physical void of the atrium and a non-physical void, that is the collective voice of its people in the City Hall.”

Therefore, not only is the installation a collaboration between Anne and ARS EA, the encounter will also be a partnership between the artwork and each participant. In the same way Anne is using technology as a tool, the artwork itself becomes a way for individuals to create unique experiences.

The movement and musical nature of the piece is reflective of Anne’s previous dance career. A trained ballet dancer, Anne commenced her artistic life with the Queensland Ballet before moving to Melbourne with her family in the 1970s.

After a stint in Sydney with her then partner, artist and composer Ian Hartley, she returned to Melbourne to continue her life in dance. She performed in musicals and contemporary works before establishing her own dance company whose performances included work in television, at concerts and as cheerleaders at sporting events.

The next phase of Anne’s career saw her studying art at RMIT. It was at this time she started experimenting with technology and installations with a focus on performance. This interest continued through to her PhD studies at Monash University.

Most recently, Geelong has been lucky to attract Anne to Deakin’s Waterfront Campus where she now works as a lecturer in Art and Performance.

Anne’s love of Geelong is based, in part, on the sensory experience our city delivers. For her, the sight of the water and the horizon line on the bay generates a sense of moodiness and space. After spending most of her life in metropolitan cities, Geelong also provides a sense of peace. Anne relishes the relative quietness of the city as night-time settles combined with the ability to see the stars on cloudless nights.

Anne’s commitment to Geelong extends to her involvement in the #VacantGeelong research project. Initiated by Deakin’s School of Architecture and Built Environment, the project seeks to explore the architecture of the city’s industrial past with the redefinition of the landscape in a 21st century artistic and technological locale.

For Anne, it is not hard to recognise the link between her Geelong After Dark artworks and her adopted city and the relationship of industry and technology in Geelong’s history and landscape.

“Geelong is in a state of flux and deindustrialisation. It is reimagining itself and technology is a major part of Geelong’s changes, more so than many cities.”

“It is important for people’s voices to be heard and be able to participate in the future … Tech offers a great opportunity to redesign from grassroots people up but we need to listen to each other.”

Anne says this is something at which Geelong exceeds:

“Geelong After Dark is a great support for local artists and gives them room to experiment. That is unusual with a lot of festivals held in bigger cities.”

“Geelong puts its money where its mouth is. It is a strong supporter of the cultural sector and artists are grateful for that. Geelong has a philosophy of looking out for each other.”

Making a Big Impact with Music at Geelong After Dark

Geelong-based musician Tim Hulsman is never one to shy away from a challenge. And the bigger the challenge, the more determined he is to make an impact.

After making his Geelong After Dark debut shrouded in fairy lights while playing slide guitar in the inaugural 2014 festival, Tim will be back this year with his latest big idea.

When you attend Geelong After Dark 2019 on 3 May, it will be well worth your while heading to the Market Square Mall to see Tim unveil and play a bespoke five-metre-long, four-stringed slide guitar which he believes will be the largest slide guitar in world.

Tim says he always likes to think big and this time he took that thought literally: “I still wanted to play slide guitar but why not create the biggest slide guitar that’s ever been created in the world and play that.”

The concept is the brainchild of Tim, his partner Nina Grant and art director Mike Patton. All three agreed there needed to be a visual aspect to the performance to bring the bones of the music to life.

“Instead of magnifying something we create a larger version of it. You can see sound in motion. A vibration that runs along a really long string can actually be seen.”

“I don’t actually sit there and play it. I have to run along it and dance. I actually have to create choreography to be able to play it.”

“Nina and Mike will also be performing live art in response to the music with the results projected onto a giant screen. So people watching will experience a lot of colour and movement in the overall show.”

Tim knows the over-sized guitar is an experiment but its creation is aligned with Geelong After Dark festival’s philosophy of allowing artists to push their boundaries. For a self-taught musician like Tim, such a challenge is just another step in his development as a musician.

“Music is just in my soul from when I was five years-old. My mum recounted stories to me about how I would react to music even at that age. I would be completely in a trance state. I would stop whatever I was doing and be lost in the music until it finished and then would snap out of some sort of spell.”

“I didn’t really start to play music until I was about 12 years old. I took to guitar and had a friend who was playing guitar at the time. We bounced off each other with that and taught each other to play. I have been self-taught since those early days.”

Tim’s musical talents now extend to drums, piano, bass guitar, violin and vocals. He founded his own band, toured Australia several times and has released four albums.

Since moving to Geelong eight years ago, Tim has established himself on the local music scene with regular appearances at Pistol Pete’s, the Workers Club, Beav’s Bar and the Barwon Club.

“Geelong has a strong history of having a music and arts scene. Although I hear from other people who’ve been around it’s waned in recent years. However, it’s starting to redevelop and I thought it was a really good time to be here while that redevelopment is happening.”

“Geelong is a big enough town to be well-received and there’s enough people for you to make something happen but it’s also small enough for you to make a difference.”

When not creating or playing music, Tim also spends time teaching through the High Voltage Rock School at Drysdale and Point Lonsdale primary schools, introducing kids from ages seven to eleven to drums, keyboards, guitars and vocals.

However, it’s not just the music culture which excites Tim. It is also the wider transition of Geelong to a creative hub.

“Geelong is going through a massive transition from an industrial town. We have been going through a transition for ten or so years now of becoming an education town and, because of that, a melting pot for creativity and new ideas because we’ve got all these young people coming through.

“I’m not just talking about music and art. I’m talking about science and medicine and all those things as well which are very creative fields. Geelong’s identity is really changing and the culture is changing because of that.”

“The cultural change is slow but it is driven by art. It’s driven by the presence of creative people and driven by a community involved and engaged in creating its own identity. Music and art are massive parts of that wherever that happens in the world.”

“Festivals such as Geelong After Dark which we are holding now in Geelong are world class. They are going to do all sorts of great things for the economy here in the long run and the rest of the world’s perception of Geelong and what we are about.”

Geelong After Dark Cultural Venues

Geelong After Dark 2018
Baby Guerilla Street with Olaf Meyer projection
Photographer: Christina Francis

Everyone is open to welcome you to Geelong After Dark.

We love that our town has been redefined as an arts and culture capital. As Australia’s only designated UNESCO City of Design, Geelong After Dark contributes to our mission of placing art at the heart of all we do.

But we don’t do it alone – our cultural venues turn on lights, throw open doors and invite you to be a part of it all.

Geelong Performing Arts Centre; Geelong Library & Heritage Centre; Geelong Gallery; Back to Back Theatre; Courthouse Youth Arts and the National Wool Museum join Westfield Geelong and Market Square in the Amazing Arts Adventure, a race around Geelong to solve the art clues on the card. Once all clues at all venues have been solved, you can drop the card off at any of the participating venues to go into the draw for some Amazing Prizes, courtesy of our venues.

  • Westfield: a $50 Westfield Voucher and a $50 Australian Geographic voucher

  • Market Square: 2 x gift packs ($50 gift voucher and 4 tickets Village Cinemas 

  • GPAC: Four tickets to see Precarious by Circus Oz.

  • NWM: family pass to the opening of the upcoming Playschool Exhibition featuring The Justine Clarke Show,  Wednesday 3 July at 11:45am.

As well as the Amazing Arts Adventure, the venues put on separate, immersive and mostly interactive pieces that are designed to Heighten Your Senses.

Geelong Performing Arts Centre will have some Seaside Adventures with Fava Productions providing the seascapes.

Geelong Library & Heritage Centre features a whole range of projects, from Portraits of Justice by the Youth of Geelong (in conjunction with Geelong Illustrators and Barwon Community Legal Service); Arty Karate After Dark; Wadawurrung Walking with Waa Screening and music music music! Impromptunes (direct from their 2019 Melbourne International Comedy season); Callum Watson’s Boom Box requests; and Andy Howitt’s Juke Box Senses.

Geelong Gallery will feature projects aligned with the current Sidney Nolan Exhibition and sets by DJ Dean Turnley. Kids Activity Stations will be set up for your little ones to indulge their creativity and Mums and Dads can indulge in refreshments from the Pop Up Bar & Café.

2019 Geelong After Dark Event Precinct

2019 Geelong After Dark Event Precinct

Mountains Rise will be situated at Back to Back Theatre and out the front of the National Wool Museum, you’ll be Chasing Fireflies with The Indirect Object.

There is are so many projects that will bring the heart of the City alive next Friday 3 May.

Rug up, check out & download the programme or grab a programme and make your way through the heart of our town to Heighten Your Senses.

Media Release: Our Heart, Illuminated by Art

Alex Evans projection Journey into Inner Space

Alex Evans projection Journey into Inner Space

The 2019 Geelong After Dark programme has landed, filled with over 70 art-projects to engage and stimulate all your senses.

From 6pm, Friday 3 May, Central Geelong will be transformed by music; street performances; installations; exhibitions; dance; and projections.

Fancy hearing sounds from a 5 metre slide guitar constructed and played by local slide guitar virtuoso Tim Hulsman? Lend Wendy Grose your ears as she sings Opera from the Geelong Library & Heritage Centre: question is, will you see her as she does?

In a post-Christchurch world, the work of Rose Ertler and Complimentary Lane project located in the forecourt of Barwon Water, adds potency and spirit. It will have you sharing compliments of your own as you watch contributions from Matthew Flinders Girls High School and Diversitat English language students.

At Johnstone Park, immerse yourself in the worlds of the Sensory Portals; singular spaces designed for intimate experiences of art.

The OYSTER project invites you participate in the ritual of eating an oyster, cleansing the shell in water, then adding to the surrounding middens before they are sent back to the bay to create reefs for sea-life.

Connecting Song returns with the premier of three film clips – the culmination of the work of three local unsigned musicians mentored by Adalita (Magic Dirt); Mick Thomas (Weddings Parties Anything); and Mark Wilson (Jet). Chloe St Claire; Jack Meredith and band Alby Jay have each written, recorded and filmed clips of their songs that pay homage to the mountains, beaches and city they all call home. All three will play at The Workers Club Geelong on the night.

All of our cultural venues will be open with programmes to entice you to Heighten Your Senses.

Geelong After Dark is one of the highlights of our cultural events calendar. Last year it attracted more than 20,000 attendees to central Geelong and contributed around $2.1 million to our local economy. It’s loved by our local community and draws visitors from Melbourne and beyond.

This year’s programme will be a fantastic showcase of our city’s clever and creative arts and culture scene. I’d encourage everyone, particularly if you’ve never experienced Geelong After Dark, to mark 3 May in your diary and make sure you’re in central Geelong for a great night out.
— Greater Geelong Mayor Bruce Harwood:
Geelong will come alive on 3 May with an incredible range of art, music and cultural displays. Our region is home to so many talented and creative people, and this event gives them a chance to showcase their work to a large audience. This year’s programme will entertain, amaze, and make us think. It’s a night not to be missed.
— Cr Jim Mason, Chair, Arts, Culture and Heritage portfolio

Media inquiries: Sue Cartwright  Director Communication Tree 0402 210 484

Geelong After Dark (GAD) 2019 Friday 3 May: Artist Expression of Interest closed

Pixel Alley, Little Malop St, John Fish Collective; Photographer: Christina Francis

Now in its sixth year, GAD is an exciting celebration of art, our artists and the role they play in making Geelong unique.

GAD is a curated event that may include projections, interactive activities, underground or street performances, music, installations, exhibitions and more.

Geelong City Council is now calling for submissions from individual artists, groups and artist collaborations for GAD2019.  

We invite artists to view Central Geelong – its laneways, intersections, cultural facilities and hidden spaces – as a stage to bring us together with artworks that extend boundaries of form and function.  

Working across multiple platforms and genres, artists will reveal new places, new connections and new perspectives.

The GAD EOI process encourages:

  1. Exploration, discovery and going further

  2. Great artworks and practice development

  3. Connections between people and place

  4. Visitation and active participation

  5. Cultural vibrancy and variety

GAD2019 Theme: Heighten Your Senses

We all use our senses – be it through sight, hearing, taste, touch or smell – to navigate, explore and interact in our everyday lives.  And then there is the sixth sense – our intuition or “ESP”, acquired through past experiences, surrounding influences and natural instinct.

Under the cover of dark, which heightens our senses, GAD2019 invites you to explore one or more of the senses via evocative art interventions that inspire and transport audiences to a different world.  

Application Categories

Category 1: $200 - $500
(up to 20 projects will be selected)

Category 2: $1,500 - $2,000
(up to 10 projects will be selected)

Category 3: $3,000 - $5,000
(up to 7 projects will be selected)


Artists are invited to submit proposals responding to the GAD2019 theme, and the following:

  • Less than 15 minutes duration

  • (installations will be considered for the full duration of the event).

  • Able to be repeated no less than 2-3 times between 6.00pm -10.00pm.

  • Site specific, where possible. (If your preferred site is not available, we will assist you to find an alternative site.)

  • Artists are asked to consider unexpected places in their proposals. See event map on next page.

EOIs CloseD: Midnight Sun 23 Sept 2018.

Successful applicants will notified mid-Oct 2018.

2019 Geelong After Dark Event Precinct

2019 Geelong After Dark Event Precinct

Selection Criteria

  1. Proposals will be evaluated according to:

  2. Creative approach reflecting event theme

  3. Use of public/unusual space

  4. Calibre/experience of artist/s/team

  5. Audience engagement/interaction and experience.

  6. Budget

  7. Special consideration will be given to applications that look at the city through a local lens, and reflect Geelong’s designation as a UNESCO City of Design (

  8. and/or the City of Greater Geelong’s vision for a Clever and Creative Future (

Submission Details

All submissions must include:

  1. Contact details (name, email and phone).

  2. Artwork statement (200-250 words max) describing the proposed artwork, concept, project or performance.

  3. Detailed budget and nominated application category.

  4. Preferred site or GAD Event Zone (refer map above).

  5. Bios/CVs of artist/s, including any web/social media links, and detailing total number of individual artists who will participate in the project.

  6. 1-3 quality images reflecting either your concept or your arts practice. (Jpegs must be uploaded separately - they may not be embedded in the proposal document).

  7. Summary of your proposal (50 words max) to be used for event program and other marketing channels if successful.

Successful artists will be required to:

  • Hold their own Public Liability Insurance – certificate of currency must be provided.

  • Develop a Risk Plan for their proposal once a site has been allocated.

  • Register on Council’s Preferred Supplier system.

  • Submit all Invoices prior to commencing.

All proposals to be submitted online. 

For more information contact the Arts & Culture Department on 03 5272 6186.

Geelong After Dark; Immersive, Interactive, Engaging

Photographer: Reg Ryan

On Friday night, Geelong After Dark transformed the City from the ordinary into the extraordinary. Now in its fifth year, this multi-sensory event has evolved into a unique celebration of the arts, an experimental space in which artists converge to explore new technologies and ways of seeing.

Interactive experiences: projections on buildings and walls; installations and street art down laneways; theatre on street corners; music on steps and under balconies; costumed characters in buildings; illuminations in the park; music and dancing in public spaces – over 18,000 people of all ages converged and engaged with art in the heart of our City. 

Seventy percent of the immersive Geelong After Dark experience was presented by professional and emerging Geelong artists. Joining our local artists were a number of nationally and internationally renowned artists, including Baby Guerilla, contemporary artist Kathy Howloko (Spider-Goat and the Insect Electro) and John Fish, the Melbourne-based multidisciplinary creative studio.

Minister for Tourism and Events Hon John Eren launched Geelong After Dark in the forecourt of Barwon Water, the setting for stunning projections from local artist Joel Zika and Sydney-based collective Create or Die.

Photographer: Pam Hutchinson

A highlight of the night was the Gathering of the City in Johnstone Park, part of the biennial Mountain to Mouth (M~M), extreme arts walk. Choirs and lanterns led the procession of walkers and the ephemeral M~M sculpture Canoe along Gheringhap Street to the City. Audiences danced and sang in unison with the walkers and performers as Gathering of the City coincided with Geelong After Dark.

For the first time, After After Dark extended the Geelong After Dark experience from 10pm in the Lt Malop St precinct.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren

“Geelong After Dark is a wonderful opportunity to welcome more visitors to our region, support jobs and generate more business for our restaurants, bars and clubs.”
“Geelong has proved time and time again that it can put on a show, which is why we can’t wait to bring White Night here in October.”   

Quotes attributable to City of Greater Geelong Mayor Bruce Harwood:

"Geelong’s reputation as a cultural destination continues to grow through events such as Geelong After Dark. This wonderful celebration gives our community an opportunity to experience its city in a new and exciting way."
"Central Geelong has truly come alive in a fantastic showcase of the depth and diversity of regional talent."
"It’s also been particularly pleasing to see the engagement and involvement of central Geelong’s cultural organisations and businesses."

Media inquiries: Desiree Jacobson Cultural Marketing and Communications Officer

Helping you make the most of Geelong After Dark

Tonight’s the night! After many months of planning and creating, Geelong After Dark arrives tonight to transform Central Geelong.

Artists are finessing and tweaking, venues are ready and activities are being set up in preparation for The Big Reveal.

With more than 70 arts activities taking place inside venues and outside in the streets and laneways, parks and public spaces, Central Geelong is set to come alive.

Here’s a few tips to make sure you get the best out of your night.

  1. Dress for the cooler conditions to fully enjoy all the activities indoors and out.  Layers are always a good idea.
  2. Plan your parking (or find a friend and share the ride). There are more than 4700 off street car parks and 5400 on street car parks in Central Geelong. On street car parking in central Geelong is free after 5.30pm. The Civic Centre Carpark opposite City Hall is free after 6pm and open until 1.30am. Parking is also available at Market Square and Westfield shopping centres, however hourly rates apply and don’t forget to keep an eye on closing times.
  3. Pick up your paper program from the official Geelong After Dark Info Point on the corner of Little Malop and James Sts, participating venues or our plan your visit to by selecting your zone (there are 3 zones this year) or better still, just rock up and go with the flow!
  4. Keep the kids interested with The Amazing Arts Adventure. Collect your card from Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Geelong Library, Geelong Gallery, Courthouse Youth Arts, Market Square, Westfield or the National Wool Museum. There are great prizes to win!
  5. Enjoy a bite or a beverage at one of the city’s many eateries. Little Malop St has a great selection of bars, cafes and restaurants - but don’t linger too long or you might miss something.
  6. Stay for the Gathering of the City in Johnstone Park at 9.30pm. Welcome Canoe and the Mountain to Mouth walkers in to the park for some much needed nourishment and to celebrate the end of the first day. Warning: there will be smoke and fire.
  7. Be a social butterfly! Take photos and share your experience by using the hashtag #instagad2018. Look out for your photos on the big screen in Police Lane, between GPAC and Back to Back Theatre.
  8. Stick around for After After Dark. When the little kids go home, it’s time for the big kids to play. Head to Little Malop St (between Gheringhap and Moorabool streets) to join in the action.

Can’t wait to meet you after dark!

Here they are - the Geelong After Dark Top 5

One more sleep until Geelong After Dark takes over the city! We’re not the only ones excited about this, in fact people coming from far and wide to experience Geelong’s biggest night of arts.

A big shout-out to all those travelling long distances to be here, we can’t wait to meet you after dark! Wherever you’re coming from, you won’t be disappointed at the wide and varied program.

Top 5 highlights at Geelong After Dark

Feeling snoozy at the end of the week? Get tucked in and take a nap as Joel Carnegie takes you to Dream Town and back. This interactive experience is on the Customs Lawn from every 15 minutes until 9pm.

Not everyone likes the same music right? Come along to the Silent Disco in Little Malop St and dance the night away with headphones or without. Enjoy the effect of everyone singing and dancing to their own beat.

The fascinating story of the Celtic Sea God Mannanon comes to life in Lantunda, a community arts project in Johnstone Park. The rotunda will transform into a glowing lantern from which images with dance and play to create a world of colour, shadow and light.

Pop in to Back to Back Theatre (enter via Police Lane) and hear about the secret hobbies, collections and obsessions of members of the Geelong community. Single Channel Video highlights the value certain objects bring to our lives.

Check out Joel Zika’s disruptive projection Caisson in the Barwon Water forecourt. From key vantage points the work creates a troupe l’oeil that changes the way people view and interact with the space.

There’s also plenty of activity in and around the city’s cultural venues including the Geelong Library, Art Gallery, Performing Arts Centre, Courthouse and the National Wool Museum.


The Carousel on the Geelong Waterfront will be open from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.

And don’t forget, this year’s Geelong After Dark includes an extended program centred on Little Malop St (between Moorabool and Gheringhap streets). Catering for the big kids, After After Dark extends the Geelong After Dark experience from 10pm including interactive performances, music, projection, street theatre and dancing.
So whether you’re a local or a visitor, we hope you discover something new in Central Geelong.

Celebrate Mountain to Mouth at After Dark

Photographer: Brien Cohn

Coming in to the city on Friday night? Don’t miss your chance to be part of spectacular ceremony as Mountain to Mouth (M~M) collides with Geelong After Dark.

M~M is the multi-award winning biennial extreme arts walk, an 80 km journey of discovery. 

In the tradition of the Wadawurrung, M~M creates a contemporary songline across the Geelong and Queenscliffe regions.

The journey begins in the Young Yangs mountain range on Friday morning and crosses Geelong’s industrial heartland at nightfall, arriving in the city centre around 9.30pm for the Gathering of the City during Geelong After Dark.

Soak up the festive atmosphere as a lantern-lit procession makes its way along the waterfront to Johnstone Park where choirs and dancers will welcome the ephemeral Canoe sculpture and walkers.

The festivities begin with a smoking ceremony then participants will follow a “Procession of the Earth”. Geelong After Dark participants are invited to join in the procession.

There will be a massed choir led by Jonathon Welch AM (founder of the Choir of Hard Knocks), along with didgeridoo, dancing plus a few other spectacular surprises (we don’t want to give away everything!)

The Gathering of the City is the second of three important M~M ceremonies and is designed to nourish the participants at the end of day one of the two-day pilgrimage.

So get ready to join in the celebrations and sing your heart out to inspire the walkers for the rest of their journey.

This year’s theme for both M~M and Geelong After Dark is ‘Earth’, honouring our many connections to earth and each other.

For Geelong After Dark artists this has inspired many creative responses and interpretations, from earth-themed projections and installations to creations made from recycled and re-purposed items. Many of earth’s creatures and sounds will also come to life in performances, sculptures and stories.

Come along from 6pm and see the city in a whole new light!

Amazing arts experiences for families

Spider Goat

There are many ways to enjoy the awesome FREE family fun in Central Geelong on Friday 4 May - but one of the easiest is to follow Geelong After Dark’s Amazing Arts Adventure.

It’s easy to participate - just pick up a postcard from one these venues: Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Geelong Library and Heritage Centre, Geelong Gallery, Courthouse Youth Arts, Market Square, Westfield Geelong or the National Wool Museum - and start your journey!

Follow the clues to hunt down amazing arts experiences. Collect a stamp at each point and when you reach the final destination, pop your postcard in the collection box for a chance to win some great prizes. Completed cards must be submitted by 9pm to go in the draw.

One of the family-friendly highlights of this year’s Geelong After Dark will be the exhibition Spider-Goat & The Insect Electro at the National Wool Museum.

Internationally renowned contemporary artist Kathy Holowko has created a giant immersive spider web inspired by the spider goat (genetically modified goats that produce spider silk). Yep, the spider goat is actually a “thing”. Google it!

Light-filled cocoons with gentle electro beats will lead you through the installation where you unravel an unusual and thought provoking story about animal fibres. 

Kathy has teamed up with Pierre Proske from Sensory Empire who has brought his sound and lighting magic to this enchanting installation, created especially for the National Wool Museum and Geelong After Dark.

Another must-do After Dark highlight for families is a visit to the Geelong Library. See the Dome come alive at night. Explore the mysterious and illuminating world of bugs, beetles and other creepy crawlies in a whole new way with pop-up performances, artistic installations and interactive happenings. Create your own glow-in- the-dark mini-beast as part of the Amazing Arts Adventure and experience a world of bugs, beetles and bees.

Pop next door to the Geelong Gallery and delve into the world of children’s books with Reimagine - a survey of Australian children’s literature and book illustration over the past 20 years. Keep your eyes open for the owl and stop in at the creative finger puppet station for some crafty fun.

There will be plenty of action across the road too at Geelong Performing Arts Centre. Look out for costumed crusaders, pop-up music performances and tinkle the ivories on the People’s Piano.

But don’t just limit your visit to the main venues when there’s so much more to explore and surprises around every corner. African drumming and dancing, circus performers, sculptures, street art, theatre and so much more.

Bring warm clothes and a sense of adventure. You never know what you’ll discover!

Even more surprises around the corner…


This year’s Geelong After Dark has plenty of surprises in store for those who like to stay out late. When the family-friendly activities wind up around 10pm, Geelong After After Dark takes over.

Night owls looking for more edgy arts action can explore what’s on offer in Little Malop Street (between Moorabool and Gheringhap streets) with interactive performances, music, projection, theatre and dancing until 11pm.

Among the highlights, Beav’s Bar will become a portal for patrons to express themselves beyond gender lines. Embark on a duet with the mysterious Mx.Red (pronounced Mis Read), but you must be invited! Mx.Red is from another dimension, created by artist Jonathan Homsey using motion capture technology, augmented reality and live performance to create an experience of dance, expression and intimacy.

Homsey is an award-winning artist born in Hong Kong and raised in the United States. He moved to Australia in 2010 and now works as an arts maker and manager interested in the intersection of street dance, visual art and social engagement. Mx.Red is one of two exciting and interactive works Jonathan will present at After After Dark.

Discover the true nature of the gnome with Gnomeless a roving multimedia installation created by Geelong artists David Dellafiora, Sue Hartigan and Teresa Lawrence. Dimly lit, of earth and stone, the gnomes are diseased and despised guardians of the underground. A limited edition of The Small Issue will be offered to those able to see the true nature of the gnome.

Transport becomes art at Geelong After Dark as the The Little Projector Company returns with its much loved Projector Bike - a cinema on wheels. And this year’s program includes a newcomer to the region, BOE’s Audiocycle, an interactive bicycle built from salvaged items that uses people power to share music.

Pixel Alley will be transformed with a dazzling array of colourful patterns and sequences (actually you won’t be be able to miss it). This beautiful installation - the creation of design collective John Fish - features 1344 suspended LED spheres transforming an unassuming alleyway into a mesmerising display of light and colour.

Street art and projection come together in Shorts Place, just off Little Malop St, where an 8m high artwork from highly regarded Baby Guerrilla will be overplayed with projection by Olaf Meyer. Baby Guerilla’s permanent street art project explores the relationship between people and virtual world. Meyer has digitally mapped the artwork and will bring a child to life exploring amazing virtual worlds.

Theatrical experiences will include Bonkel Theatre Company’s The Way We Were, using original music and puppetry to explore the rise of capitalism in the 20th Century while local artist Liz McGrath will bring to life the fascinating true story of Miss Drysdale and Miss Newcomb, lady squatters.

And if that’s not enough, street bands, dancing, installations and even live painting will keep audiences enthralled. Come along and immerse yourself in the diversity of works on offer at Geelong After Dark 2018 - it’s one of our biggest (and longest) events yet - putting the art in the heart of Central Geelong since 2014.

Earth takes centre stage in Geelong After Dark 2018

GAD 2017 Seed by Suyin Honeywell

With just weeks to go, the countdown is well and truly on to Geelong After Dark 2018.

This year’s event celebrates Earth in all its glorious interpretations and creative imaginings.

Now in its fifth year and with more than 70 activities - many of them created by local artists, groups and collectives - this is one of our biggest After Darks yet!

From 6pm on Friday 4th May, city streets, laneways, parks, public spaces, street corners, vacant shops and venues will be teeming with earth-inspired performances, soundscapes, storytelling, music, dancing, illuminations, projections and all things arty.

Geelong’s cultural organisations are gearing up for a massive night, with activities taking place in the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre (the Dome as locals know it), in and around Geelong Performing Arts Centre, the Geelong Gallery and National Wool Museum (just don’t get caught in the web!).

City Hall will be transformed with projections, a giant lantern will illuminate Johnstone Park and Barwon Water’s courtyard will change the way you view a grey brick wall.

And it wouldn’t be After Dark without the The Amazing Art Adventure, taking kids and parents on a journey of discovery, through the city where they’ll find bugs, beetles and bees, make their own glow worm and explore the world of owls.

This year also sees Mountain to Mouth - the award winning 80 km extreme arts walk - intersect with Geelong After Dark. Choirs will sing in the ephemeral Canoe as it travels along Gheringhap St to Johnstone park where the Gathering of the City will take place around 9.30pm.

In fact there’s so much going on, we’ve added an extra hour of activities.  After the main program winds up around 10, head to Little Malop St for another hour of fun - we’re calling it After After Dark (but more about that later).

Program highlights are currently being released on the website and the full printed program will be available very soon to help you can plan out your night. Or if you prefer, just come along and see where the mood takes you.

It’s all free, it’s great fun, so mark it in your calendar and make Geelong After Dark 2018 a great night out in central Geelong.

Volunteer Call for GAD2018



You will be needed on or before 4 May.  We are looking for volunteers to perform the following roles:

  • GAD ZONE WARDEN ASSISTANTS – Help with set up and pack down of sites within the zone, and care for needs and safety of visitors to the zones.
  • GAD EVENT RUNNERS – Act as runner for Zone Warden and artists.
  • GAD PROMOTIONS VOLUNTEERS - Hand out programmes in Central Geelong before and during the event.


  1. Submit your details by completing the online form here (We’ll be in touch with you to talk about your role).
  2. Attend a Volunteer Briefing Session (essential) before the event (dates and times to be announced).