A new live storytelling event and Gold Coast first

On October 18, local wordsmiths will weave their tales in amongst a soundscape of live sound designed by songwriter and musician, Fletcher Babb, in Stories in the Key of GC at HOTA, Home of the Arts.

As a strong participant in HOTA’s Creative Development Program, Fletcher will launch his new event, Stories in the Key of GC, which features great live storytelling, music and even better vibes.

In the vein of Yarn Storytelling in Brisbane or Moth in New York, Stories in the Key of GC is a celebration of local culture, and the joy of stories.

As an accomplished guitarist and jazz-trained flautist, Fletcher works under the moniker, Cold Ghost, a spoonerism inspired by the city he now calls home.

‘Bachelor Tapes’ by Cold Ghost was this year nominated for Album of the Year at the Gold Coast Music Awards and was the culmination of Fletcher’s Bachelor of Popular Music degree at Griffith University.

“Since moving to the Gold Coast in 2011, I have worked extremely hard to get where I am today and am currently busy writing, recording and producing a new album that I hope to release later this year,” said Fletcher.

“I absolutely love what I do and having been selected as a recipient in HOTA’s Creative Development Program has allowed me to grow as an artist and really progress with my work.”

Completely deaf in one ear due to childhood mumps, Fletcher has created a feast for the senses in stereo by manually manipulating his own mono experience.

“The idea of this event is that everyone can come together and listen to local wordsmiths tell their stories amongst a dreamlike soundscape in the key of the Gold Coast.”

ABC Gold Coast’s Breakfast Show host – who also happens to be Fletcher’s partner – Bern Young, will MC Stories in the Key of GC and use her intellect and warmth to connect and engage audiences attending this unique event.

Joining the couple on stage to tell tales of their own and sharing those from others, will be reporter and serial eavesdropper, Amy Mac; award-winning writer, Lystra Bisschop; best selling author, Tim Baker; and hilarious co-host of Hot Tomato’s Breakfast Show, Sean Flanagan.

As the leading arts and culture hub of the Gold Coast, HOTA’s commitment to work with local artists and help transform ideas into outcomes will continue to grow through programs like this to encourage participants to explore new ideas, experiment and collaborate.

Stories in the Key of GC will take place at Home of the Arts on Friday 18th October at 7.30pm.



HAIR the Musical brings the house down

HAIR – The Original Tribal Rock Musical, starring Hugh Sheridan, Paulini and Prinnie Stevens, has hit Australian shores, opening in Perth last month to standing ovations and rave reviews.

The creation and tour of a brand-new Australian production of this seminal work was co-commissioned by HOTA as part of our support for Australian creatives and our desire to bring great work to the Gold Coast.

Normally you’d have to travel to Brisbane to enjoy a major large-scale theatrical production such as this, but for the first time you can see a show of this scale right here on the Gold Coast. And we’re the only venue on the Australian tour where you can enjoy this amazing piece of ground-breaking theatre in the glorious outdoors.

In a true Gold Coast experience, it’s sure to be a great night out as you kick back on a picnic blanket under the stars and watch this uplifting, iconic musical on our Outdoor Stage. We’re the final venue on the national tour (and it’s a Queensland exclusive) so don’t miss your chance to see this show in a venue unlike any other.

The reviews are in:
Written by two unemployed actors, HAIR captured the zeitgeist of the 60s and truly rocked a conservative society.

‘Director Cameron Menzies has embraced the original intent of Hair writers Gerome Ragni and James Rado, enveloping the audience in the sweaty, hairy embrace of hippy culture, in all its glorious freedom and messy failure.’ Seesawmag.com

After premiering off-Broadway in 1967, the musical was first performed in Australia in 1969 and the reviews of the first performances in Perth are confirming that this new production captures the spirit and joy of the original production that made such an impression on people.

‘Half a century after its debut, Hair packs a mighty emotional punch, a theatrical knockout.’ Outinperth.com

And praise for the actors:
‘As a four-time winner of the Most Popular Actor Logie, Sheridan took the gong in this performance. From the minute he leapt onto the stage announcing that he and his ‘tribe’ wore no underwear or watches, he had the audience spellbound.’ ArtsHub

‘Australian Idol star Paulini is relatively new to music theatre (she made her debut in Bodyguard in 2017), but commanded the stage as Dionne, singing with agility and power; White Boy was a show highlight.’ Seesawmag.com

‘The final scene left me with tears flowing down my cheeks, the final refrain of the chorus echoing in my ears, and surrounded by an audience giving a standing ovation.’ Outinperth.com

Don’t miss HAIR on our Outdoor Stage for two nights only on 11 and 12 Oct.



HOTA Kids Take Over

Kids go wild at HOTA September school holidays

This October 3 to 5, HOTA will host their bi-annual Kids Take Over school holiday program, featuring a range of adventure-filled activities where kids can create, explore and let their imaginations go wild.

This year’s theme of ‘Into the Wild’, sponsored by The Paradise Point Community Bank® Branch of Bendigo Bank, will encourage kids to don their explorers hats and be inspired during a fierce and fun mini-fest daily from 10am to 2pm.

HOTA will play host to a full program of activities for all mini-explorers and lovers of the wild, as the precinct comes alive with live performances, interactive experiences, arts and crafts and more.

HOTA CEO, Criena Gehrke, said childen will have a blast with all the activities planned at this year’s Kids Take Over event.

“Parents can raise their expectations this school holidays. We’ve got some of the best theatre companies at Kids Take Over – I’m talking Circa and Shock Therapy amongst others – with some fantastic, imaginative experiences, just for kids,” she said.

“There’s a jam-packed program of art activities and creative experiences for kids and families to get amongst – including great coffee and cinema options running during workshops to keep the adults entertained too.”

Headlining the festivities on October 5 is Dan Sultan, who will take to the stage with his very first album for kids Nali & Friends; written alongside long-time friend, collaborator and filmmaker Rhys Graham. Inspired by their journey through Uganda and Kenya, Nali & Friends is a tale about unconventional, oddball animals from different parts of the world.

Dan Sultan | PHOTO: Supplied by HOTA, Home of the Arts

Kids are invited to take a leap of faith in Danger Club By Circa, a series of circus workshops across the entire week, hosted by one of the best circus companies in the world. With only seventeen spots available, kids between the ages of 8 to 13 will learn a range of circus skills that will culminate in a special performance, which the kids will put on for a live audience at the end of the Kids Take Over program.

For those younger ones wanting to experience some circus fun during the three days, there will be Circus Antics Workshops with Spaghetti Circus, where kids can drop in and learn about takings risks, showing off and having fun with circus props.

HOTA Spaghetti Circus

Spaghetti Circus | PHOTO: Supplied by HOTA, Home of the Arts

Another workshop on offer from October 1 to 3 is Toonworld! Stop Motion Animation Workshop – teaching kids how to develop a storyline and create a unique clay character that will feature in their very own movie. Spiced up with some cool voice and sound effects, the short films will  play on the big screen before Dan Sultan’s concert on October 5.

Delving into the power of imagination, Gold Coast company Shock Therapy has created a colourful and iconic interactive experience that invites kids to take a walk with bush adventurer and mythical creature researcher, Pat Malone, through The Magic Garden – a fun-fuelled interactive journey of exploration and creativity for families.

Magic Garden

African Beat | PHOTO: Supplied by HOTA, Home of the Arts

The wild theme of this year’s program is complemented with African Beat, an African drumming workshop that shows kids how to move their hands and feet to the rhythm of the jungle beats.

Kids will also receive their very own passport on arrival at HOTA, which encourages them to collect stickers that they earn from each activity; travelling on to experience their next adventure throughout the school holiday program.

Kids Take Over is an incredible part of the culture and community spirit of the Gold Coast, which is why Bendigo Bank are proud sponsors of the program. Bendigo Bank’s ‘profit-with-purpose’ community banking model means profits are returned directly to the community that generates them, enabling branches to sponsor local organisations like HOTA.

With plenty to see and do, HOTA’s adventurous Kids Take Over program will be one for the whole family to explore from October 3 to 5.


Kids Take Over: in the Wild is presented by HOTA, Home of the Arts, Paradise Point Community Bank® Branch of Bendigo Bank.

Filtering through the noise with SILENCE

Thomas E.S. Kelly is an emerging Indigenous dancer/choreographer who has just returned to the Gold Coast to establish Karul Projects; an Indigenous Performing Arts Company.

“I started dancing from a young age. My first job was actually with the traditional dance group at Currumbin Sanctuary. I followed through with it whilst at high school and then successfully auditioned for NAISDA Dance College, haven’t looked back ever since. Dance for me has always been a way to connect to my culture, whether contemporary, hip hop, cultural or any other genre, every time I plant my foot I can connect to my ancestry,” said Thomas.

Thomas is one of the 12 local artists that are receiving funding and support from HOTA’s Creative Development Program. He applied for funding towards the second stage of development of his project SILENCE, a contemporary dance and percussion work which is also supported by Blakdance, the peak body for Indigenous dance in Australia.

“SILENCE is about filtering through all the noise that pollutes everyone’s lives on a daily basis. That noise can be so overwhelming that you miss some of the important issues. Issues that need to be heard, read and discussed, issues for change. SILENCE is exploring an important topic that has constantly been put on the table to only be removed. An important issue for the indigenous community that is constantly trying to be hidden. Karul Projects is bringing this issue and placing it back on the table through our art form and making it a topic for discussion.”

Thomas is tight-lipped about the issue they’ll be exploring in SILENCE – he wants people to arrive with no expectation and see if they connect with the work and the issue he’s exploring.

“The creative development program allowed us to continue exploring and developing this work. It had allowed us to spend time with a special group of collaborating and contributing artists all based in Queensland. That’s the important thing when making a work, have time and support and that’s what this program offered,” he said.

Thomas is preparing this work for an Industry showing in November.

“SILENCE will be Karul Projects first work made since relocating to the Gold Coast earlier this year. We hope to premiere this work sometime next year and use this platform for us to bring these issues to the table, to begin a relationship with the Queensland Community and to represent in the performing arts sector as a First Nations lead company based in South East Queensland.”

You can read more about Thomas and his work on his website.

HOTA’s inaugural Creative Development Program is supported by City of Gold Coast.

Glow Borealis

Swiss artist brings the Northern Lights to the Gold Coast

The Northern Lights experience. On demand. Anywhere and anytime.

Borealis, the new work from Dan Acher brings the experience of the Northern Lights to cities around the world and this August you’ll be able to experience it for yourself at GLOW from 1-3 Aug.

Dan Acher’s creation is as much a work of art as it is a technological performance. High power laser beams travel through particle clouds to create the illusion. Variations in movement, colour, and density, together with changing weather conditions, give infinite variations. A unique aurora is created each time.

‘Throughout the ages man has attributed countless legends to the phenomenon. BOREALIS is about our ancestral communion with nature and about our recent compulsion to control it,’ said Dan.
Dan Acher is the founder and Creative Director of Happy City Lab.

Happy City Lab explores collective spaces, creating situations and events that generate participative experiences. From targeted interventions to events designed for audiences of over 90,000, Happy City Lab places social interaction at the heart of its projects. They transform shared spaces to bring new perspectives to our surroundings.

Dan describes himself as an ‘artivist’ and social entrepreneur who designs socially innovative city-wide installations which disrupt routines and bring the extra-ordinary into people’s lives.

Central to his work is the use of art to create change; from immersive streetlight orchestras to pop-up dancefloors, lost pianos, participative cinema or neighbourhood exchange boxes, his installations challenge mind-sets and transform the way we live together. Dan designs for music, lights and other multi-disciplinary arts festivals as well as for city councils and private companies.

In Switzerland and abroad, his artistic projects are accessible to all and bearers of joy and emotion. Simple and innovative, they generate extraordinary collective experiences and encourage personal investment in communal spaces.

Borealis is sure to be a stunning centrepiece for the GLOW festival. Accompanied by an ethereal soundtrack composed by OXSA, with guest appearances by the HOTA Choir, we invite you to lay back on the grass and take it all in.

GLOW is a free festival of light that takes place at HOTA from 1-3 Aug, check out the full line up here.