Underground HOTA
HOTA Underground
HOTA Underground
HOTA Underground

Explore big ideas with homegrown artists at HOTA’s intimate UNDERGROUND Festival

In a world viewed through the lens of social media and filters, many of us are often left contemplating the human experience. HOTA’s new UNDERGROUND Festival is giving artists, creatives and audiences the chance to take risks, explore ideas and consider what makes us human. Over three days in July, audiences will have the opportunity to occupy HOTA’s intimate spaces and explore the obscurity of life and raw emotion, seeking to understand what enrages and liberates us. Fuelled by big ideas and homegrown contemporary artists, here is a peek at what you can expect at UNDERGROUND from Thursday July 14 until Saturday July 16.

Kicking UNDERGROUND Festival off on Thursday evening is You Can’t Say That!, a stand-up comedy show that explores otherwise taboo topics in the most hilarious way possible. Your hosts, Alexandra, Peter and Anisa will pair stories of race, disability, sex and relationships with hard-hitting punchlines that will have audiences thinking, “you can’t say that!”. Head along to see Fully Automated Human Touch, a video installation and sci-fi dance performance by Merinda Davis and [email protected] Cornell that explores the lack of human touch in the automated food manufacturing industry. This performance art asks the all-important question – can you taste the human touch? The Farm’s Youth Ensemble Greenhouse also provides a unique take on our modern world with PRICELE$$, a dance and theatre show created by teens for the attention of adults. During the unique performance, the ensemble will reflect on the gods we all pray to – consumerism, nature, power and that idiosyncratic bearded guy in the sky. Bryce Mills (triple J Breakfast) and Campbell Walker also explore humanity’s relationship with God. Rather, they seek to prove that he has abandoned us as they unpack some of the worst, most cringe-worthy content that exists in the deep, dark depths of the internet. Their show God is Dead is based on the comedy podcast of the same name and is bound to leave you simultaneously laughing and cringing.

Music fans are invited to the Basement on Friday July 15 for House of Soul, a night filled with the sounds of sultry new-age soul, hip-hop, jazz, blues, local talent and free-flowing music. Keep the good vibes going on Saturday night with Gold Mine hosted by legendary local street-dance collective Golden Coastline. The crew is taking over HOTA’s Studio 2 for a late-night underground jam, offering a montage of personal pieces combining freestyle, choreography and original sounds. You can immerse yourself in Disco Instamatic, a large-scale hyper-colour projection work featuring 20 stars of Melbourne’s vibrant queer arts scene. The piece, which was created in collaboration with queer screen magazine Sissy Screens, combines drag, dance and visual art, set to an original disco soundtrack by Tanzer and remixed by Butch Le Butch.

If you love the LEGO® life but care not for little fingers stealing the bricks you need, head to HOTA Gallery and its The Exhibition Bar for the adults-only LEGO® Up Late. You’ll have exclusive (kid-free) entry to Bricktionary: The Interactive LEGO® brick Exhibition, plus the rooftop bar will be home to an awe-inspiring brick pit for you to free play and build to your heart’s content while you sip cocktails and sway to a lush synth soundtrack. Also staying up late is Besties, the sleepover of the year hosted by IRL besties Lucinda Price (aka Froomes) and Louis Hanson. The pair plan to spill some secrets, shake their booties and surf the internet during this interactive hour-long slumber-based extravaganza. Speaking of dynamic duos, keep an eye out for comedic disruptors in residence Poncho & Penelope. Throughout the festival, the pair will pop up in HOTA’s public spaces with their fiery energy, salsa dancing and samba spinning chaos.

As you can imagine, tickets to UNDERGROUND Festival’s intimate affairs are limited, so head online and grab yours, ready to enjoy three nights of art, performance, music and comedy – but not as you know it.

To find out more about what’s on in the Gold Coast, head to our Event Guide.


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