From axe throwing to dining in the dark, here’s Melbourne’s best immersive experiences
05.07.2021

From axe throwing to dining in the dark, here’s Melbourne’s best immersive experiences

The Lume
Words by Gabriela Caeli Sumampow

Immersive experiences are the hot ticket at the moment.

It’s no surprise that even pre-COVID, immersive entertainment had taken a steep rise to popularity. The most obvious examples would be escape rooms, art gallery exhibits – especially some of NGV’s Triennial instalments, VR rooms, and who can forget the classic silent disco dance parties spotted around the CBD.

According to Eventbrite’s 2020 Event Trends Report, immersive experiences are “set to make a big impact on events”. We’re already seeing this take place, if the sheer number of immersive experiences we’ve seen in the past few months are anything to go by.

From dining and drinking, to comedy and art, here are just a few of Melbourne’s most interesting immersive experiences.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in Melbourne here.

The Lume

Opening at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), The Lume is set to be Australia’s first permanent digital art gallery. It’s first exhibition, beginning Wednesday September 1, will celebrate Vincent van Gogh’s work in a permanent multi-sensory digital art gallery which, thankfully, won’t require quiet art-museum tiptoeing and hush-hush. The immersive space allows you to walk within the world of the art, and from the outset, the experience looks jaw-droppingly beautiful.

If you don’t want to miss your chance to experience Starry Night or The Bedroom, now’s the time to get your tickets. While The Lume is permanent, van Gogh’s exhibit certainly won’t be – development is already underway for their next experience.

Tickets to Vincent van Gogh at The Lume are on sale now. Grab ’em here.

Because The Night

“Follow the royals through the palace, roam the length of a town on the cusp of the digital age, or sift through the drawers of a single desk.”

The Malthouse Theatre has been transformed into the Hamlet-inspired world of Elsinore. With entry points from the Bedroom, Gymnasium, or the Royal Office, the immersive theatre performance is centred around visitors moving around the world of the show, bearing silent witness to all that happens in Elsinore.

The more you roam around the more than thirty rooms, the more mysteries you uncover. Everyone’s experience differs and depends on which rooms you visit, and when you visit them. Each performance is limited to an audience of 60 people.

As part of their experience in the show, all audience members are asked to wear a mask and a cloak. No bags, no touching other audience members or performers, and strictly no phones allowed… They really said immersive.

Because The Night takes over The Malthouse Theatre until Sunday September 26. Grab tickets here.

Pitch Black: Dining In The Dark 2

This immersive experience proves that blindfolding people will heighten their other senses – particularly their sense of taste. In a warmly lit room, you’ll try your hand at blindfolded consumption. Each experience lasts 90 minutes, and you’ve got to be as creative as you can.

You’ll never know which part of the dish you eat, and whether you’ve finished or not. As the event organisers say, “Find a method you’re most comfortable with. We won’t tell”.

You get to choose your favourite drink to go with the meal, and there are options for meat, fish, or vegetarian main dishes, but dietary requirements and allergies will be catered for, so don’t worry! At the heart of it, the food you eat is purely a secret!

Pitch Black: Dining In The Dark 2 is on at Aunty Kim’s in Collingwood on Thursday September 2. Book tickets here.

DARKFIELD

DARKFIELD responded to the pandemic with DARKFIELD RADIO, bringing its immersive audio to homes and designing each audioscape specifically to take place in a different room of a house. From now until September 30, DARKFIELD RADIO is presenting KNOT, a three-part immersive audio experience that sees the listener position themselves in three different locations in one evening – a park bench in episode one, in a car for the second, and in a room in their home for the third – before they navigate a sinister storyline.

Fingers crossed DARKFIELD’s in-person events will be back soon too.

For more on DARKFIELD RADIO, head here.

Axe throwing

While somewhat more grounded in reality, there’s something wholly immersive about a dedicated session of destroying things. Enter axe-throwing. Lumber Punks offers an experience like no other – a 90-minute session provides an exhilarating experience where the goal is simple: proving to yourself that you can in fact, throw an axe.

For more info and to book, head to their website.

Sugar Republic

The tooth-achingly sweet “experience museum” is Australia’s first, bringing all your dessert dreams to life. After taking over Bourke Street’s Myer in 2019, Sugar Republic is set to reopen this September, in a brand new CBD location.

For more info, head here

Keen on another fun read? We’ve rated Melbourne’s date spots, from stressful to scrumptious.