Text and Images by Isobel Bond
Isobel Bond is a Study Melbourne Student Ambassador.

Linking art and music, the NGV Friday Nights programme has become a highlight of the Melbourne winter calendar over the past few years. Isobel Bond shares her experiences of the NGV Friday Nights event, which she recently attended alongside other Study Melbourne Ambassadors.

Friday nights at the National Gallery of Victoria are the perfect way to unwind at the end of a long week with a little bit of culture in the CBD. The NGV Friday Nights showcase the three things deep within the hearts of any Melbournian; art, food and music.


Every ticket for NGV Friday Nights, includes entrance to the Gallery’s latest exhibition. The amazing exhibition featured this time focused on China, past and present. The Terracotta Warriors, which date back to 210 BCE, were buried undisturbed until farmers outside of Xi’an in Lintong County dug a water well in 1974 and uncovered what would amount to 8,000 life-sized terracotta soldiers. Presented in tandem with a modern art exhibition by Cai Guo-Qiang, this NGV exhibition presented a great opportunity to learn about China as it existed during the time of its first Emperor, Qin Shi Huang and witness the incredible artefacts that have been preserved for all this time. The benefit of visiting as part of NGV Friday Nights are the educational talks by academics and gallerists that accompany the work and aid in your understanding throughout the visit.


Another great feature of the NGV Friday Nights programme is the inclusion of a live music performance by some of the best up-and-coming bands from Australia and the world. Previous featured performers have included The Audrey’s, Yumi Zouma and Young Franco. If you want to know what type of music your local barista probably listens to – then this is it! The concert takes place in NGV’s Great Hall – which is a stunning venue to listen to great music and it features a DJ and dance floor as well, perfect for when the Friday Night Fever takes over.


At this year’s NGV Friday Nights, Hutong Dumpling Bar supported the theme of ‘China’ by providing delicious food. Art and musical appreciation makes you hungry! There are also two bars providing huge varieties of local beer and wine, so you really can spend all your Friday evening at this one, very well-catered event.

The NGV is an incredible gallery that everyone should visit whilst in Melbourne. Being able to explore after hours with great food, drink and a killer soundtrack makes for one unbeatable Friday night.

Meet NGV Uni Student Afternoons

The NGV Friday Nights programme has now completed for 2019, but there are still plenty of opportunities to get down and experience the incredible art and exhibitions at the NGV. With support from Study Melbourne, NGV is offering free and exclusive access international students to experience a range of NGV events and exhibitions.

The MEET NGV Uni Student Afternoons happen every second Friday up until 7 December.