Under the branches of a 250-year-old Moreton fig tree, on an empty two-hectare site in Carrara, the largest night market in Australia is set to open in 2018.
NightQuarter Helensvale entrepreneurs Michelle Christoe and Ian Van der Woude have joined forces with Terry Morris to transform another unused urban space on the Gold Coast into a buzzing night market called The FareGround.
“We have been inspired by old world fairgrounds, with their carousel rides, pastel Ferris wheels and vibrant sideshow alleys. Into that world, we are bringing chef-driven street kitchens, eclectic bars, circus performers, live music and a dynamic array of vendors,” said entrepreneur Michelle Christoe.
The FareGround will be a foodie mecca with over 70 semi-permanent vendors, including 40 street food kitchens, set to dish up a dynamic array global flavours. Competition amongst food sellers to secure one of the coveted kitchens is expected to be high and result in only the best of the best being selected. There will also be 30 spaces for local arts and crafts stalls.
“With NightQuarter, we have seen that there is a demand for vibrant community spaces with high quality street food, drink and entertainment offerings. The street food trend has had a huge impact on the Australian market. Where once the desire for casual dining in our fast paced lifestyles was only satisfied by fast food and takeaway, we now are seeking authentic, meaningful dining experiences in a casual environment. The FareGround will create these experiences, much in the same way as the hawker markets of Asia have been doing for centuries.” said Christoe.
Interactive and imaginative entertainment will take centre stage. There will be a purpose-built entertainment area as a central feature of the night market catering to audiences of up to 750. The stage will feature local original artists from the burgeoning Gold Coast music scene, as well as national and international touring acts. There will be dedicated stations for street performers, buskers, circus acts and theatre performers. There will also be an amusement area for families with rides and fairground games appealing to kids both young and old.
The FareGround will be a playground not just for the young, but also for the young at heart. With the whole site licensed, there will be several eclectic bars to delight adults with fine wines, craft beers and cocktails including Terry Morris renown Sirromet wines.
Striking a balance between nostalgia and innovation, the architectural design of the site will draw from whimsical images of fairgrounds and carnivals of days past, while innovating with upcycled materials to create something completely new.
“The space is being built around, and inspired by, a magnificent Moreton Bay fig tree. At 250 years old, the tree pre-dates Captain Cook. The branch span is 40 metres, and is believed to be the largest Moreton Bay fig in the world. With string lights and seating under the branches, people will be able to sit and experience the beauty of this tree from a bygone era, ” said Christoe.
With seating for over 4,000, finding a spot to sit will never be a problem, in the same way that over 2,000 car parking spaces will erase the normal frustration of parking at popular venues.
The FareGround will operate Friday night 3pm to 10pm, Saturday night 3pm to 10pm and Sundays 1pm to 8pm. The FareGround will additionally operate Wednesday and Thursday nights during school holiday periods. For more information on The Fareground, visit: thefareground.com.au