Qtopia Sydney has transformed the Taylor Square substation


Qtopia Sydney has turned Taylor Square Substation into a cultural hub
Images: Qtopia Sydney

Sydney’s LGBTQIA+ museum Qtopia has given Taylor Square’s abandoned Substation a total makeover.

Located across the road from Qtopia’s main building on Forbes Street, the partially underground space hasn’t been utilised for 30 years.

But now, Qtopia has revitalised and reopened the Substation to the public as a new queer exhibition and live entertainment space.

It’s one of four venues that make up Qtopia Sydney. It joins 301 Forbes Street, The Bandstand in Green Park and The Toilet Block in Taylor Square.

The Substation’s 40-seat theatre offers a stage to music, drag, comedy, cabaret, poetry and everything in between.

Qtopia Sydney's The Substation stage

Qtopia Sydney CEO Greg Fisher said The Substation stage will host shows by artists from all over Australia.

“Revitalising old sites is about breathing new life into forgotten spaces and creating vibrant hubs for the community,” he explained.

“As someone who remembers the vibrant energy of Oxford Street in my younger gay days, seeing Taylor Square come alive again fills me with nostalgia.

“It’s a celebration of community, diversity and the enduring spirit of this iconic LGBTQIA+ precinct.”

Qtopia Sydney’s first exhibition in The Substation

Up first in the Substation’s exhibition space is 130BPM: Soundtrack to a Revolution. 130BPM is curated by Bertie Blackman, daughter of famed artist Charles Blackman.

The exhibition showcases fourteen potent songs making important moments in the ongoing journey of queer Australian music.

“Bertie’s exhibition is a testament to the ingenuity, joy, passion and immense talent of queer Australian musicians from the 1970s to the present day,” Greg Fisher said.

The Toilet Block will explore gay beat culture

After the opening of the Substation, Qtopia will next open The Toilet Block. The historic Underground Men’s Conveniences were built over a century ago at Taylor Square.

The public toilet was also a popular beat in the heart of gay Sydney for decades until its closure in 1988.

Now as part of Qtopia, The Toilet Block will host adults-only exhibitions exploring Sydney’s gay beat, sauna and cruising culture of the 1980s and 90s.

All four of Qtopia’s sites – 301 Forbes Street, The Bandstand, The Toilet Block and The Substation – have a combined footprint of 1,750 square metres, making Qtopia the world’s largest LGBTQIA+ cultural hub of its kind.

For more more at the Qtopia Sydney website.

Lots more on Qtopia Sydney:

Qtopia Sydney has big plans for the Taylor Square toilets

Qtopia announces The Loading Dock theatre season

Anthony Albanese joins Chris Minns to open Qtopia Sydney

For the latest LGBTIQA+ Sister Girl and Brother Boy news, entertainment, community stories in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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