Hotelling returns, and it’s a penthouse party

Verb: HOTELLING (Ho·tell·ing)

To hotel, to play, to lose oneself 

It was the event that had everyone talking. In its premiere year, travellers, thrill seekers and local culture vultures relished the opportunity to immerse themselves in Hotelling: 48-hours of unpredictable art and performance, crisscrossing the corridors, cocktail bars and clandestine corners of QT Gold Coast. Like nothing we’d ever seen, Hotelling delighted, excited and pushed the boundaries. And now we are incredibly excited to announce that it’s time to party in the penthouse once more! Because from 1 – 5 November 2017, we’ll be taking the elevator 64-storeys sky-high to the decadent Peppers Soul Penthouse and diving head-first once more into the seductive cultural phenomenon.

The brainchild of celebrated Australian interactive artist David Pledger and Bleached Arts’ genre-pushing Artistic Director Louise Bezzina, Hotelling sees the five-star hotel transform into the grandest of stages for a contemporary cultural experience like no other.

Co-curator Louise Bezzina said the immersive cultural event, now in its second year, added a new dimension to the Gold Coast’s iconic holiday landscape.

“Since originating the Gold Coast’s Bleach* Festival in 2012, both locals and visitors to our city have demonstrated an insatiable appetite for unique cultural experiences such as this,” Bezzina said.

“Led by the fearless Todd MacDonald as our beguiling host, this year the only way is up, and we’ve assembled an eclectic ensemble of truly adventurous Australian artists to throw a salacious, over-the-top penthouse party unlike anything the Gold Coast has ever seen.”

Summoned to Peppers’ breathtaking Penthouse apartment, with uninterrupted views of the Pacific Ocean, audience members are invited into the intoxicating world of ‘Richard Hightower’ (MacDonald); one of the world’s richest businessmen who will conduct his most extravagant connivance in honour of his 118th birthday.



Hightower’s duration owes nothing to ‘good living lifestyle’ and everything to high-quality cosmetic surgery and black market organ transplants. Truth is, he looks 40. Problem is, all the connective tissue that holds together the bits and pieces stolen from other people’s bodies is giving out. Dicky is dying.

Personalised parties have never been Dicky’s forte. He always invites people he doesn’t know. And this time he has invited them into his own apartment where the ghosts of his life are a vivid presence for all to encounter. His most intimate relationships, his greatest fear, his most tragic loss, the memory that itches but never materialises, his occasional quietude, the momentum that’s dragged his soul through three centuries, these all sit down to dinner with him and his stranger-guests, uninvited but inevitable, always available but never quite tangible.

Described as “the mother of all Last Suppers”, Hightower Hotelling injects audience members into the heart of the story, where they feast not only on Hightowers’ intriguing tale, but also on sumptuous bites and sommelier-curated wines from Peppers’ hatted restaurant, Seaduction.

Guests will be oriented at a soiree in The Secret Garden where you can play croquet and drink Pimm’s as Hightower staff attend to your needs.

Post-party, you will be invited to a purging in The Cellar where The High Priestess of the 21st C will exorcise the sins you have committed in The Party and de-toxify you of any trace elements of amorality. This will prepare you for the transition into the real world with an impenetrable mind-set for leading your friends and citizens away from Hightower’s future.

Co-curator David Pledger described the Hotelling experience as “an alchemy of contemporary art and cultural hospitality”.

“Part wake, part grande-bouffe, part end-of-days cataclysm, Hightower Hotelling is all party,” Pledger said.

“If you took a twist of Jay Gatsby, an inch of JG Ballard and a shot of Margaret Attwood and mixed it in a cocktail of cold hard cash, that’s the kind of sensory swallow you experience at a Hightower happening.”

 This limited and exclusive season runs from 1 to 5 November, with two sittings nightly. Guests must be 18+ to play. Tickets are $150 and include exemplary food and drink by Peppers’ hatted fine dining restaurant, Seaduction. Follow Hightowers’ journey on Facebook and Instagram

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