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Introducing QVB After Dark

31 Jul 2019

The beating heart of the city – Introducing QVB After Dark.


The Queen Victoria Building is set to breathe new life into the Sydney CBD when it kicks off QVB After Dark with a series of rich artistic installations, tours and events running from 1 August – early September.


QVB After Dark represents an evolution for the QVB, towards a more inclusive, connected and creative future – using dramatic arts to welcome new audiences and to humanise the treasured 121-year-old space. Through this activation series QVB will contribute a daringly beautiful, emotive and culturally considered offering to the CBD precinct. 

Program Highlights

The QVB After Dark arts and culture program encompasses:

Heart of the QVB immersive installation | Launches Thurs 1 Aug, 5 - 7pm; runs 1 - 21 Aug

After Dark tour series | Launches Thurs 1 Aug, 8pm; runs 1 - 25 Aug

QVB After Dark LIVE event | 22 August, 6 - 9pm


Arts at the QVB : Creative Response to Place

As part of this major foray into artistic initiatives; Visual Artist and prominent Sydney performer ØFFERINGS will activate the QVB as a stage. 


ØFFERINGS (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. 


“I envisaged the QVB almost as a physical body; the exterior of the building is the flesh, while the internal parts – the walls, columns, and stairs – are the bones. 


“We wanted to bring this concept to life in an immersive and participatory way, giving both visitors and retailers the opportunity to create connections and contribute to the overall experience of the QVB as a living, breathing entity.” 


Program Details

Heart of the QVB immersive installation

Central to the event series will be the Heart of the QVB, an interactive heart installation running for the month of August. For the first three Thursdays of the month, from 5 – 7pm, 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. In between the performance dates, the QVB concierge team will support visitors to contribute to the project. On 21 August, the heart will be raised up to sit beneath the central dome becoming the beating heart of the QVB and serving as a shrine to the community’s hopes and dreams for the future. Read more about the immersive installation here.

After Dark tour series

The QVB will also run After Dark tours every Thursday evening for the month of August, giving visitors the opportunity 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 into the rooftop courtyard in the cool night air. Book your tickets to the tour series here.

QVB After Dark LIVE

On the evening of Thursday 22 August multiple levels of the building will come to life with QVB After Dark LIVE - featuring performance art, live music and storytelling that will take you on a journey to the heart and soul of this wondrous place. There will be immersive experiences by ØFFERINGS, live music by Ginger & the Ghost and interactive performances by Twisted Elements. Unexpected storytelling sessions will activate in retailer spaces, along with exclusive one-night-only offers. Enjoy cocktails from the Archie Rose Distillery Co. Spirits Bars. RSVP to QVB After Dark LIVE here.


Project Team

The team leading this initiative boast a substantial background of cultural and arts experience, from working with Opera Australia to Dark MOFO. QVB’s Marketing Managers Robyn Wilson and Clare-Marie Martinez hope that the After Dark event will be a welcome addition to Sydney’s night-life this winter. 


“Historically, QVB has been very much a daytime destination. Through QVB After Dark, we’re moving away from that perception, while also forging a deeper, more humane connection between the building and all Sydney-siders. Our ideal is to curate a unique offering that this city has never seen before – to make the QVB more relevant in this progressive, modern day.”

Project Directors: Robyn Wilson & Clare-Marie Martinez


Heart of the QVB & QVB After Dark LIVE

Creative Director & Installation Artist: ØFFERINGS 

Performers: Ginger & the Ghost, Twisted Elements


After Dark Tours

Tour Lead: John Bourdon


After Dark Campaign

Photography: Georges Antoni

Talent & Costuming: ØFFERINGS 

Stylist & Costuming: Kirsty Barros

Fashion - QVB Retailers: Alistair Trung, Et Al, Pushmataaha, Alquema, Baroque Jewellery, Anne Fontaine, Kalmar Antiques

Design Agency: Plump + Spry


Image: Captured by Georges Antoni, starring ØFFERINGS and styled by Kirsty Barros