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XE54: Melbourne’s new underground bunker club

Check out the latest project from the team behind Beyond The Valley

  • 13 July 2017

Melbourne is getting a new underground bunker-style club from the team behind Beyond The Valley.

Exposed concrete, pipes and pillars will combine with LED wall and ceiling strips, top quality sound and lighting to welcome clubbers to 'XE54' when they enter its doors beneath a bridge on the fringe of the city's CBD from next month.

An industrial meets sci-fi aesthetic will be complemented by no external signage at the South Melbourne venue. Instead, the light of a lone xenon gas lamp (which inspired the name) - and most likely a decent line - will mark the entrance to the European-inspired club.

Beyond The Valley and Coburg Velodrome director Michael Christidis told Mixmag a focus on providing quality music from across the electronic spectrum each week was the key to the group's latest project.

"There’s a real hunger for all different types of electronic music, particularly your house and techno realms, so even though the music offering won’t change much, being a quality staple from our resident DJS, who will know how to curate and progress the night as it goes on, the one thing that will change is the weekly national and international headliners, which are very diverse," he said.

"Some of them are techno headliners, some of them house pioneers, some of them are very old school artists from back way in the day, part of the iconic Chicago and Detroit house and techno explosion, but the best part is that a lot are very fresh artists that might not have the platform to do their own standalone show in Melbourne.

"But the great thing about doing a club night is we have the people who will come consistently for the club offering and you can present quality artists to them and it’s all about presenting good music in the end.

"So there’s a lot of acts that we’re really excited for that probably wouldn’t have had the chance to play in Melbourne for their own show, but we can then present them in front of a room of 700 people, helping build them as an artist and as long as it's all great music we see it all being received very well."

'XE54' will be dominated by one main room bathed in cobalt and a smaller disco-room offshoot painted red. Everything from bar staff outfits to drinking receptacles will fit the futuristic theme, and a strict door policy will ensure the vibe is real.

Design heavyweights International Worldwide are responsible for the interior fit out, after recently relaunching The Bottom End and previous work on iconic venues including Honkytonks, Sorry Grandma, Survivor and Third Class.

Meanwhile, Roar Projects, run by scene stalwarts Simon Digby, Tony Perna and Nick Vass, owns the space.

Artist line-ups are locked up in the bunker for the time being. So stay tuned to Mixmag and the 'XE54' Facebook page for updates.

The club launches on August 12.

Scott Carbines is Mixmag's Australian Digital Content Editor, follow him on Twitter

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