Manage Booking Manage Booking

    Eat and dance your way through 1980s New York with Friday Nights at the NGV

    While Melbourne’s packed sporting schedule, laidback lifestyle and accessibility to nearby natural wonders are all part of its touristic appeal, nothing defines the city quite like its vibrant arts, culture and culinary scenes. Internationally renowned exhibitions fill its most prominent galleries, intimate inner city studios showcase up-and-comers, bars on every corner book out live shows and trendy eateries fill the streets with the scents of everything from steaming bowls of pho to richly spiced falafel to freshly brewed espresso. Exploration, diversity and celebration are in Melbourne’s blood, and there is nowhere better to soak it all up than at the National Gallery of Victoria’s Friday Nights series.

    What are the NGV’s Friday Nights?

    After successful runs in previous years, the NGV’s Friday Nights series returns to give you a healthy dose of throwback tunes, delicious fare and live entertainment as the perfect welcome to the weekend. Running through summer and into March and April, the 2020 edition of this recurring event pays homage to downtown New York and the 1980s with a string of gigs featuring DJ sets, New York street food, drag shows, classic cocktails and a pulsating 80s dance floor in the lush NGV Garden. You won’t be able to control your feet as DJs focus on a specific genre each week, from new wave, boogie and disco to garage, hip hop and post-punk. Check the Friday Nights program online before you leave to see what you’ll be listening to as you groove the night away. The series is running alongside the Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines exhibition which highlights the work of two of the most influential artists of the late twentieth century.

    Don’t just feel the nostalgia – taste it

    Dancing your way through the 1980s is enough to have you craving a drink or two and a bite to eat, and the good news is there’ll be plenty to sample.

    CLOSET Disco Bar:

    A range of fine wines by Yering Station with 80s inspired grazing plates to keep the hunger at bay. [Menu]

    Asahi Super Dry Bar: 

    Asahi beer from Japan alongside standard bar offerings and some tantalising NYC eats. Think Caribbean rice and beans, hot dogs with sauerkraut, toasted Rueben sandwiches with pastrami and fried buffalo chicken. [Menu]

    Bombay Sapphire Gin Bar

    Fancy a specialty gin and tonic? Spritz? Negroni? This is the bar to head to if gin is your poison. Classic NYC food is available here, too. [Menu]

    Bombay Sapphire Garden Bar

    Because who ever said one gin bar is enough? Pick up more signature cocktails from this drinks-only bar in the garden. [Menu]

    American Express Garden Lounge

    Are you an American Express Card Members? Take a seat in the American Express Garden Lounge and enjoy a drink on the house. Go on, you deserve it.

    Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines

    The major exhibition supported by the Friday Nights series is the world premiere of Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines, a captivating journey through the minds of how Haring and Basquiat left a permanent mark on the art world with boundary-pushing ideas, socio-political commentary, unique visual language and complex messaging and symbology. The exhibition features paintings, sculpture, photography, objects, paper works and more, providing a three-dimensional insight into the artists’ work through the 1980s and beyond. 

    About the National Gallery of Victoria

    As Australia’s oldest and most popular gallery, the NGV is far more than a place to look at nice paintings. The venue showcases everything from classic and contemporary art, historic exhibitions and architecture to pop culture, design, fashion and music. The works housed inside the NGC number over 70,000 and highlight a diverse array of ideas, styles, stories and formats. Access is free, so even if you’re not heading to Friday Nights, pop down on another day and explore the treasure trove of wonderful things to discover. 

    You can get to the NGV from Fraser Place Melbourne on foot or by public transport. If you’re walking, head down Russell St and turn right onto Flinders St before taking a left down St Kilda road, heading past Federation Square and over the bridge until you see the gallery on your right. By public transport, head over to Swanston St and hop on any tram heading south. Ride the tram over the Princes Bridge and get off right out the front of the NGV, one stop after the Arts Centre.