Night Trade

Made easy by Up

  • Music
  • Exhibition
  • RISING exclusive
  • Performance
  • Free
  • Participate
Wheelchair AccessibleWheelchair Access

Night Trade returns. Micro-bars, music and art—live in the Capitol Arcade.

Your pop-up haunt for festival buzz and good times.

This year, Night Trade made easy by Up decamps in Melbourne’s historically camp arcade, and spreads its neon haze up back alleys and frontal lobes. Situated under the Capitol Theatre and connecting to Howey Place—the original home of Melbourne's most eccentric book shop and the city’s first queer club—it will honour the bohemian spirit that lives under the theatre’s crystalline cave.

UK artist Jeremy Deller is converting a laneway shop into an exhibition, of sorts, for goths and ravers. He’s calling it 'In the future, everyone will be cancelled for 15 minutes'. Expect a video grotto, spinning druids and other visual art, with help from typography and graphic design experimenter Fraser Muggeridge (who'll also be designing posters on sale in the merch shop).

Next door, release your inner art goblin at RISING’s Sip and Paint where, each night, one eccentric art darling will help you sculpt, paint, create and drink. On the slate is Magic Steven, Sammaneh Poursh, Geoffrey Watson, Xanthe Dobbie, Ned Middleton & Tobias Richardson. (Register your interest.)

Elsewhere at Night Trade, sit down for a psychic reading with Melbourne’s pre-eminent party-loving healer, Sue Thompson. Or pop in to see LA artist John Kilduff create a live version of cult public access TV show Let’s Paint TVa physical and mental breakdown of painting, cooking, singing and treadmill-based synth workouts.

Up’s new Financially Sound System is hooking wild visuals and some of the city’s best DJs, including Soju Gang, into Howey Place. Mummy’s Plastic will spark the mic and open a Private Room with a view, where karaoke friends you haven’t met yet are waiting for you.

If you’re keen to keep dancing, get down to Presgrave Place and through the Stage Door for a 6HR Grumble Boogie, or reach for the lasers and trance drama with Evian Christ. And for those who want to do the opposite of dance, the Night Trade bar offers '80s underwater ambience, perfect for lounging about in.

On the menu is Momo Station’s Nepalese dumplings; Kim Sing’s dim sum, noodles and more; Union Kiosk’s jaffles; plus Alley Edition hot chips and snacks.

Night Trade made easy by Up is free to enter and within walking distance to most of RISING’s venues. Night Trade Stage Door is ticketed at $20 on the door.

Stop in before exploring the program. Or stay with friends and missed connections to see where it all goes.

More to be announced.


Night Trade made easy by Up.

Image Credits

Michael Pham, Carmen Zammit, Ian Laidlaw and Shannyn Higgins

Night Trade 2023. PHOTO: Ash Caygill

Up Bar at Night Trade. PHOTO: Ash Caygill

John Kilduff, Let's Paint TV. Courtesy of the artist

Installation view of exhibition Art is Magic by Jeremy Deller, La Criée centre d'art contemporain, 2023. Courtesy of the artist

Psychic Reader neon. PHOTO: Scott Rodgerson

Mummy's Plastic. PHOTO: Jack Caddy

DJs Night Trade 2023. PHOTO: Carmen Zammit

Up Bar at Night Trade 2023. PHOTO: Shannyn Higgins

A couple at Night Trade 2023. PHOTO: Shannyn Higgins