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It's been one year

6 Feb 2019

It’s been one year

It’s been quite a year, in the last 12 months we’ve had BIG news, opened a BIG new Outdoor Stage, had BIG name artists and a BIG program of events, made a BIG impact on the Gold Coast arts and culture scene and have BIG plans for the future.



This time last year we became HOTA, Home of the Arts as we unveiled our new name and brand to the world. After more than 30 years as the Arts Centre it was time for a new vibe to let the world know that things were changing around here.

‘New name, new look – I Like it!’

As the centrepiece of the City of Gold Coasts 10-15 year cultural masterplan, HOTA is firmly positioned at the heart of the Gold Coast’s vibrant creative scene. And we have big plans.



We also opened our brand-new Outdoor Stage in early 2018, an open-air venue like no other on the Gold Coast. Set within beautiful parklands it’s a great place to sit on the sloping grass and watch some world class entertainment.

‘The Home of the Arts…which recently unveiled a $40 million outdoor theatre precinct, is now a serious presence on the cultural scene. HOTA might be the new kid on the block, but it is making its mark.‘ Tim Douglas, Australian Review



In our first year as HOTA we presented sell out concerts outdoors by superstar Tim Minchin and music icon Neil Finn, a residency by legendary avant-garde artist Laurie Anderson, an incredible night with Queensland Symphony Orchestra, pop opera superstars Il Divo and an unforgettable dance party with Ministry of Sound: Orchestrated.

What a wonderful show by Tim Minchin! Venue was awesome. Whole place is really well set up! I look forward to the next show there!  

‘Superb Neil Finn! Loved the orchestra and the amazing choir. HOTA thank you, you delivered again!’

‘Thank you for bringing this incredible artist to us! It’s been more that what I could ever have hoped for. Thanks Laurie.’



The outdoor stage has also been the centre point of some fantastic community events including Concert for the Planet, where the whole precinct was brought alive with music and roaming performers, and the orchestra on the stage were live streamed around the world.

And not forgetting GLOW, a three-night family festival of light which was attended by more than 15,000 people. During GLOW, the stage hosted an amazing AV experience by Australian artist Robin Fox that was seen by more than 7,000 people.

The outdoor stage is used also regularly throughout the year for community events such as Tai Chi and Dancing on the Green, our free monthly social dance events.



In 2018 we sold more than 275,000 tickets and there were more than146,000 visitors to our cinema.

In our first year as HOTA we hosted performances by Circa, Sydney Dance, Ross Noble, Opera Queensland, Monkey Baa, Shake & Stir, Arj Barker and Anh Do and many others. We also brought you the legend that is Nick Cave:

‘It was a truly mesmerising insightful entertaining beautiful night indeed @hotagc I’m still swooning singing pondering and smiling the worlds biggest smile! A million thanks.‘

And a residency by Strut & Fret, the amazing team behind Blanc de Blanc, with their brand-new show Deluxe Deluxe:

‘One of the quirkiest and weirdest shows I’ve ever seen, but thoroughly enjoyed it. Well worth a watch.’

We also welcomed acclaimed Canadian company Mammalian Diving Reflex who presented their ground breaking interactive Haircuts by Children and the thought provoking, provocative All the Sex I Ever Had.

And our popular Kids Take Over mini-fests go from strength to strength.

The Gallery was busy too. More than 38,600 people visited the gallery, there were 12 exhibitions and we exhibited work by more than 534 artists. We also showcased some unexpected art in the parklands. Helter Skelter by Callum Morton, whose playful work depicting Trump’s head, inspired plenty of comment.


‘This is legendary’

‘Love it, very clever’



We love art and artists and they’re at the heart of everything we do. From employing artists to run workshops, commissioning work, professional development opportunities and our new Creative Development Program we are constantly looking for ways to collaborate and create opportunities.

In 2018 we worked with more than 400 local artist and creatives. And we’ve joined forces with several arts companies such as Bleach, the Gold Coast Film Festival, The Farm and Storyfest to share resources and ideas to make some really great stuff happen.

Last year we also commissioned local artists Libby Harward and Fiona Watson to paint murals in our building. These joined the artwork on the tower by celebrated international artist MOMO and the street artwork on our sheds.

And we established HOTA Choir, where more than 80 community members come together weekly to rehearse and perform.



Next up at HOTA will be the opening of the green bridge later this year which will connect us to Chevron Island. And then in early 2021 the world class, international standard HOTA Gallery will open its doors. We’re busy behind the scenes planning the first exhibitions – they’ll blow you away.

And we’re collaborating and exchanging ideas with other cultural precincts around the world as part of our membership of the Global Cultural Districts Network.

In 2019 we plan to keep surprising you with unexpected art in the parklands and more amazing events. You can expect big things from us.

 ‘Fantastic venue and hub for the city. Getting better every year. Keep pushing and keep innovating. Congratulations to everyone involved at HOTA.’


*All quotes from Facebook and Instagram unless referenced.