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Spend a night in Australia’s smartest, travelling pop-up hotel

Sometimes we get a little bit caught up in our Gold Coast bubble and forget that elsewhere in the big, wide world things are moving at a rapid pace.

We’re talking technology-wise and in particular the vast array of gadgets now available for our homes and our cars and our ears and like, microchips inserted into our skin for some reason. That may or may not be a thing.

The point is if you can think of a way to make your life simpler via some sort of technological advancement, somebody else has already created it.

Which brings us to the point of this long-winded tale; a shipping container turned futuristic hotel has landed on the Gold Coast, packed with all the latest technology and innovations, so you can pretend you’re a New York billionaire living it up in absolute luxury for a little while.

And guys, it’s on a 5G network – did anyone even know that was a thing or what that is?

Let’s discuss the mind-blowing technology you can expect from the 40ft OPPO Hotel now living at HOTA for the month of August.

First (and most importantly for some of us) there is a smart mirror, which no, unfortunately does not make you look 35 years younger but does connect to your smart device, so you can watch the latest news, get updates on stocks, read the morning newspaper, watch movies or get the ideal light for the perfect mirror selfie.

The hotel’s 5G device is of course, connected to a Google Home Hub along with an array of smart home features so you can use your voice to control the lighting, play your fave tunes AND ask questions and get visual, immersive answers from Google.

Endless hours of entertainment right there.

Next up, and this is our favourite part, there are a number of immersive augmented reality apps on show including an AR wardrobe that allows guests to preview different outfits on a virtual runway. Um, how good!

Of course, you may also download, stream and watch things to your little Netflix and chill-loving hearts content on a wide screen TV no less.

So how’s that for some fancy, futuristic biz right here on the Gold Coast hey?

The OPPO 5G Hotel can be found on-ground at HOTA (Home of the Arts) in Bundall and is available to book on its tour around Australia.

Which means you get to do all those epic things, plus kick back inside the beautifully decked out container with views out over the city skyline and while you’re at it, attend any of the epic array of shows currently on offer at HOTA.

It’s the best staycation money can buy.

Did you book yet?


LOCATION: Home of the Arts, 135 Bundall Rd, Bundall

Words by Kirra Smith

A stunning festival of light to set the Gold Coast sky a-GLOW

As if our little stretch of coast wasn’t shiny enough, GLOW, the light festival is back to light up the skies and our lives once again.

Inspired by all things shimmering and move-in-the-dark, Home of the Arts (HOTA) will be transformed from August 1st to 3rd with stunning installations, interactive projections, mind-blowing performances, live music and art spaces for the kids.

So everything you need for a sparkly weekend under the Gold Coast, mid-winter stars.

Featuring artists that have travelled across the globe to be at this festival, GLOW will stimulate all five of your senses with creatures emerging from the dark and the magic of colour seen in a whole new light.

Whilst EVERY single event is worth treating your eyeballs to, there are a few that come very highly recommended.

A major drawcard of the festival will be majestic, luminous, inflatable horses, brought to life in grand-scale by puppeteers from renowned French spectacle company Cie Des Quidams in an enchanting parade of the imagination. So that’s special.

Borealis is the work of Swiss artist Dan Acher and it’s an absolutely spectacular Northern Lights experience right here on the Gold Coast (much cheaper and guaranteed unlike the real thing). The sky will be blanketed in colour and accompanied by an ethereal soundtrack with guest appearances by the HOTA Choir. It’s going to be absolutely incredible, DO NOT MISS THIS ONE.

Parallelism by Meagan Streader is an immersive light installation where you’ll walk through a maze of towering structures created with hundreds of lines of electroluminescent (big word) wires. If you’ve never experienced anything like this before (probs not), prepare to have your mind blown.

Next up, on the list of must-views is Mountain, a theatrical performance melding acrobatics, dance and aerials to create a captivating spectacle on a giant performance wall brought to life with projections and light (sounds like we can watch and they can do). Mountain will wow audiences as the performers leap, swing and dance with incredible acrobatic skill against stunning imagery of Australia’s natural habitats. Sounds pretty good to us.

The Glow Bubble Garden will be delighting kiddies the entire weekend and for the parents, the Lakeside and Lawn Bars will be pouring beverages into the night.

There’ll also be specialty food trucks on site, so you can plan to spend the entire weekend wandering around the light-filled space.

The Gold Coast is set to get lit in a whole new way.

Can’t wait for this one.

LOCATION: Home of the Arts, 135 Bundall Rd, Bundall
WHEN: August 1st to 3rd, 2019

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Tim Minchin opens the Coast’s new outdoor stage

In news that’s sure to transform the Gold Coast’s art and culture scene, The Arts Centre Gold Coast shall, from this moment onwards, be known as Home of the Arts or HOTA (because we Aussies love a good nickname).

With the new name comes a spectacular new outdoor stage and kicking off the 2018 program is none other than internationally acclaimed showman and provocateur Tim Minchin. His FREE concert, to officially launch the program, will be held on March 17th and will be his first in Australia for quite some time.

The $37.5 million outdoor stage is unlike anything the city has seen before and brings with it the capacity for a caliber of cultural performances that will knock your (extremely unnecessary in summer) socks off.

From opera to community events, music and contemporary art, this years program has already attracted the likes of music legend Neil Finn, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and New York musician and film director Laurie Anderson.

Also unveiled was an incredible new mural, adorning the walls of the HOTA tower, by New York based street artist MOMO. Best known for his huge, playful, complex and brightly coloured abstract murals, the internationally famed artist was chosen from over 120 submissions to create a spectacular piece to mark the introduction of HOTA.

It really is a cultural extravaganza and (of course) just in time for the Coast’s debut on the world stage at the (rapidly approaching) April Commonwealth Games.

Back to Tim Minchin for a minute. They say he’s a bad boy who uses his genius as a force for good and his March show is a rare opportunity to witness his brilliance in an evening of music and hilarity.

While the show (which is definitely going to be a must-see) is free, tickets are required and you can get yours here. It is definitely a good idea to get in quick as the first show in the brand new HOTA precinct is going to be popular with the people.

The next stage of construction, scheduled to begin in mid-2018, will see a new bridge stretching to Chevron Island followed in 2019 by a brand new art gallery. Once built, it will be the largest regional gallery in Australia and is set to become a cultural beacon showcasing the City of Gold Coast’s art collection while also hosting international exhibitions.

To reserve Tim Minchin pre-release tickets:
Sign up to the HOTA e-newsletter HERE before 2am Thursday 8 February (tick to receive emails from HOTA and tick to receive the fortnightly e-newsletter) then wait until 9am on Thursday 8th February when subscribers will be sent an email with a link to reserve tickets. Any remaining tickets will be available on general release Friday 9th February. 

So that’s huge, get on it gang, the show is sure to be a hoot.

LOCATION: 135 Bundall Rd, Bundall

Photo credit: John Gollings – HOTA stage images and Joan Marcus – Tim Minchin images

HOTA Gallery is now officially open

HOTA Gallery Exterior (image supplied)

It’s the moment the arts community, and indeed the public of the Gold Coast have been waiting a little while for (drum roll) the shiny new Home of the Arts (HOTA) Gallery is now open! And what a great complement to an already incredible arts precinct this is going to be!

While the tickets to access the gallery this weekend were already sold out, the opening weekend is set to make you excited. There will be artworks both indoors and out that celebrate the diversity, richness and ambition of the Gold Coast. Coinciding with live music across both the Saturday and Sunday daytimes, the experience — even for those without access to the gallery (for now) — is set to be a great one-off experience still.

On Saturday 8th May, the music program will serve as a vibrant soundtrack to the buzz of excitement and anticipation at the Gallery and its surroundings. Music will kick off from 11am to 3.30pm with a line up on the Outdoor Stage featuring the fiery instrumentation from Hussy Hicks, dreamy psych-pop from Echo Wave, the colourful sounds of Samba, Bossa Nova from Augusta Street, the hip hop and traditional rhythms from young First Nations band, Jarulah and Blackline Band and the funky, disco vibes from DJ Felix.

On Sunday 9th May, you’re encouraged to experience ‘Echoes of Gold’, featuring performances by: Eliza & The Delusionals, Donny Love, DENNIS. and DJ sets by VICES to name a few. All hosted by Kate Baggerson and Zac Fahey, with live on-stage interviews with artists, musos, and industry movers & shakers, the line-up will be nothing short of exciting.

HOTA Art Gallery entrance (image supplied)
HOTA Art Gallery entrance (image supplied)

And to amplify that local Gold Coast flavour, even more, The Design Collective Markets will be on-site showcasing a selection of Gold Coast and Queensland artisan makers and retailers for a pop-up market of boutique wares and gifts! Not forgetting the mix of food trucks/outlets, local beers, it’s lining up to be solid Sunday in our eyes. On a picnic blanket or standing with a cold one in hand — either way, it’s an unmissable Gold Coast event.

If you did secure tickets to the opening, in the opening exhibition, titled Solid Gold: Artists from Paradise, be sure to keep an eye out for local artist Aaron Chapman’s inclusion — we have it on good authority it will be big and bright! You simply can’t miss it.

Internationally, the Contemporary Masters from New York: Art from the Mugrabi Collection exhibition (13 November 2021 – 27 February 2022) will be showcased in the new 1000m2 main exhibition gallery a stunning space featuring approximately 70 works from some of the world’s most influential contemporary artists including Andy Warhol.

And if you decide to hold off on visiting the Gallery until after Friday 14th May, you can then check out the incredible new Palette Restaurant and Exhibitionist Bar. Both of which where you will find deftly put-together food and tantalising cocktails await with enigmatic views of our skyline and hinterland.

The Gold Coast art scene is set to flourish, folks!

Where: HOTA, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
When: Opening weekend – Saturday 8 May & Sunday 9 May 2021

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

The Rainforest by Australian painter William Robinson, the first piece of art hung in Gallery at HOTA (image supplied)
The Rainforest by Australian painter William Robinson, the first piece of art hung in Gallery at HOTA (image supplied)
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