Melbourne’s galleries and museums come alive this May with new late-night extravaganza Art After Dark

Melbourne’s galleries and museums come alive this May with new late-night extravaganza Art After Dark

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Melbourne nights come alive with new late-night event 'Art After Dark' featuring a huge program of experiences including live music, visual and performing arts, food and drink.

A late-night cultural feast is heading to Melbourne this May, 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 across two nights, Friday 13 and Saturday 14 May, Art After Dark invites the adventurous to open doors and discover the dynamic depths of a city with culture in its veins.

Taking inspiration from Europe’s Night of Museums (which sees thousands of museums and other cultural landmarks open late for a special one-night experience each year), this dynamic and limited-time-only program will include both free and ticketed experiences, spanning 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.

What you need to know

  • Melbourne nights come alive with new late-night event Art After Dark.
  • 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.
  • The dynamic program of free and ticketed experiences includes live music, visual and performing arts, food and drink.
  • Art After Dark runs Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14

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 arts institutions like 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. As the sun goes down across the city, revellers will be able to 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, offering a unique opportunity to experience the city at its cultural creative and vibrant best.

Offering a bounty of experiences and a chance to explore Melbourne’s most famous cultural institutions after-dark, Art After Dark is offering an exciting new way for Melburnians and visitors to the city alike to discover something new, alongside supporting jobs and bringing tens of thousands of people into the CBD boosting the night-time economy.

Art After Dark Program:

Fed Square

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 the 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

NGV Australia welcomes the return of the widely 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

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.

Here, visitors can revel at art across all levels as the entire venue will be open with free access to all exhibitions.

Arts Centre Melbourne

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.

Rounding out the entertainment here, 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

Melbourne Museum will present an immersive and unforgettable nighttime experience with projections, food trucks, pop-up bars, DJs and more for Museum Universe. Programming includes late-night exhibition access to the famed 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

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.

“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,” says Belinda Collins, The Social Crew creative director.

“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.”

Melbourne, you know what to do.

Art After Dark will run Friday 13 – Saturday 14 May from 6pm until 1am both nights across various locations in the city.

Find out more at

Made in partnership with Art After Dark