Melbourne Festival director Brett Sheehy had a vision for a festival hub that would be a universal gathering place for food, chat and entertainment – a go-to venue in its own right.
And with the realisation of the Foxtel Festival Hub, he may have just achieved his vision. Created with the help of talented festival producers Strut & Fret, this audacious temporary construction will be three storeys tall and feature a rooftop terrace, an intimate theatre space, an under-tunnel bar leading from Hamer Hall and an outdoor woodfire kitchen.
Located on the banks of the Yarra under Princes Bridge, the Hub will be well positioned to naturally draw festival-goers from all the main venues, which is the intention.
“We thought of the origin of the word ‘hub’,” says Strut & Fret creative director Scott Maidment. “How the hub on a bicycle wheel is the meeting point for all the spokes, and how that’s the function we wanted the space to have. All spokes lead to the hub.”
Those using the Hub as a pre or post show meeting place will be well advised to make time for food, as the Hub’s Epulo cafe and restaurant is to be helmed by Mamasita’s chef Jason Jones, who will be having all kinds of fun with the woodfire oven.
‘But what of Boy George?’ we hear you ask. Yes, the Culture Club frontman will be laying down a blistering DJ set with his collaborator Marc Vedo and will also be participating in a forum discussion on the life and works of performance artist Leigh Bowery, with both events playing out exclusively at the Hub.
A high calibre of artists including Paul Capsis, The Renovators and Lanie Lane will also be gracing the Hub’s stage. And that’s not even getting into the Hub’s free events, starting with the Hubbaballo! Opening Night Party, featuring DJ Rashida. You’ll also be able to see the likes of Bombay Royale, Flap!, Wolfwolf, Uncle Barnie, robot band The Trons and many more performers, all without having to touch your wallet.
The Hub will be open from 7am until late for the duration of the festival. Even when there are ticketed events happening in the theatre space, the rest of the Hub will be open to the public. Sounds like a damn good set up to us.
The Melbourne Festival runs from October 11 to 27. Ticketed events at the Foxtel Festival Hub go on sale Monday September 10.