Like dinosaurs and Madonna before it, Jurassic Lounge is slowly going extinct. The regular Tuesday night after-hours parties at Sydney’s Australian Museum will draw to a close in less than four weeks, after six wildly successful seasons.
“It’s a bit emotional, but making it count. We didn’t want to see it lose steam or lose originality, and we wanted to end it on a high,” Jurassic Lounge director Matt Ravier told the Star Observer.
“I think that some of what informs Jurassic will live on in other events, so it’s not the end, it’s just the end of its current form.”
Before it does finish, though, Jurassic Lounge will offer one final treat for queer Sydneysiders, with the LGBTI-focused ‘Tutti Frutti’ evening taking over the Museum on Tuesday October 22. Ravier, himself gay, admitted it was a personal highlight of the season.
“Jurassic Lounge has always been very queer-friendly, but once a season we like to make it official! It’s always one of the most fun nights of the season – a night to lose your inhibitions a bit,” he said.
“A lot of the staples of Jurassic are back…even the scientists are getting into it, doing workshops and specimen displays looking at gender-bending animals. The bar is even making rainbow vodka jelly shots.”
Activities on offer at Tutti Frutti include a wrestling demonstration from the Harbour City Wrestling Club (“pretty enlightening, but also pretty sexy,” Ravier promised), a giant fruit pit photo shoot thanks to Sydney Mardi Gras, music from pop-indie band Pear Shape, an interactive puppet show from Umbrella Theatre Company (pictured) and Carmen Miranda Fruit Hat craft workshops – with a hat parade to follow.
“There’s also Nick and Tom’s 9 Hard Holes, which sounds really dirty, but it’s actually performance art mini-golf. You can play putt-putt golf throughout the museum, and at every hole you’ll be greeted by a different drag or performance artist.”
Single Sydneysiders will be pleased to hear that Jurassic Lounge mainstay Date Roulette is back in play – but they should be prepared for an audience.
“People are paired up and sent off for a 10-minute date to see a particular act or exhibition. It’s pretty low risk and low commitment, but what’s really fun about it is it’s very public – you usually get an audience of about 600 people watching and cheering you on!”
While Ravier said he felt mixed emotions about Jurassic Lounge’s departure from the Sydney scene, he was proud of the legacy the parties had left behind, and hoped they’d encourage others to think of exciting ways to use the city’s venues after dark.
“It was all an experiment – we had a feeling that people would enjoy the museum, even if they hadn’t been since their school days, and we also felt that people don’t mind coming out on a Tuesday night,” he said.
“I love how much people have been willing to get down and dirty, to take part in activities and make fools of themselves – to not just be passive, but to be a part of the programming.”
INFO: Jurassic Lounge, Tuesdays at the Australian Museum. Tutti Frutti night, October 22. www.jurassiclounge.com