Lonely Planet Writer

Australia gets new Home of the Arts in time for the Commonwealth Games

In March the new Home of the Arts (HOTA) complex opens in Australia’s Gold Coast just in time for the thousands of travellers arriving for the Commonwealth Games. The new precinct includes a A$37.5 million outdoor stage, two cinemas a gallery and two smaller performance spaces.

HOTA centre
HOTA outdoor centre. Image by: HOTA

According to HOTA chair Robyn Archer AO, the precinct will put the Gold Coast on the arts map. “At last, the sixth largest city in Australia has created a brilliant state-of-the-art platform for the commissioning, producing and presenting of the most exciting artists from the region, the nation and the world,’ she said.

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Opening with a free concert from Tim Minchin the outdoor programme this summer is eclectic including the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Crowded House frontman Tim Finn and a special residency by New York-based artist, Laurie Anderson. Another US-connection is the spectacular mural by New York street artists MOMO. But the precinct aims to keep true to its local roots stating each month with a corroboree, an Indigenous workshop of dance and storytelling.

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With more planned over the coming year, HOTA aims to rival Tasmania’s MONA as the nation’s premier art venue. But unlike the Hobart-based gallery, HOTA entices with Queensland’s warm weather and stunning beaches.  HOTA CEO Criena Gehrke invited travellers to enjoy the rare mix of arts and surf, “‘We call out to all fans and followers of arts, entertainment, creativity, music, storytelling and more – come and visit, go for a swim, dry off your sandy feet and wander over to the outdoor stage to experience world-class artists. Welcome home!”

By George Dunford