4 October 2021

One of Melbourne’s most unique arts spaces is relocating and expanding as part of the recovery and revitalisation of the city, providing a boost for local creatives.

illustration of undercover seating with trees and skyscraper in the backgroud

Experimental arts space, Testing Grounds, will move from Southbank to the Queen Victoria Market precinct where it will become a key feature of the new Market Square pop-up park.

At its new home, Testing Grounds will run a creative hub with local artists, and work with the City of Melbourne and the Queen Victoria Market on installations and events to drive creative opportunities and visitation.

Testing Grounds Practice Program Director Arie Glorie is excited for this next step. “Testing Grounds is one of Victoria’s most important and innovative arts incubators, providing creatives with the space to test, develop and share their work with the community.”

“Since 2013, we’ve delivered over 1000 projects, providing thousands of artists the opportunity to find their voice through exhibitions, performances, events and residency programs.”

The expanded experimental arts space will be funded for the next two years through the $100 million Melbourne City Recovery Fund – a collaboration between the Victorian Government and the p;City of Melbourne.

The Market Square pop-up park is part of the first stage of works to transform the Market’s asphalt car park into 1.75 hectares of public space.

An initiative of Creative Victoria and conceived as a temporary activation in 2013, the original Testing Grounds turned a long-vacant, over-grown parcel of land in Southbank into a vibrant creative space.

Since those early days, Testing Grounds has been expanded and upgraded with improved infrastructure that was designed to be adapted for different sites. Creative Victoria is now providing this infrastructure to the City of Melbourne for Testing Grounds’ next incarnation in the Queen Victoria Market Precinct.

Testing Grounds is expected to reopen as part of the Market Square pop-up park at QVM by the end of the year.