Northern Tasmania’s usual rich array of events don’t happen by accident – they’re the product of the region’s creative events management teams.
That’s where the KEVIN Collective was born, with about 20 people using their skills to come up with unique events for disused spaces in the Launceston CBD.
After months of work, the group is ready to launch their first pop-up speakeasy bar: The Pickle Shack.
Set in the old Regal Press print factory on Wellington Street, attendees can expect an immersive experience where the warehouse space has been transformed into a dense swamp, complete with pickle-themed cocktails.
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KEVIN Collective event organiser Stella Thomson said the group wanted to use their talents to create something entirely new for Launceston’s nightlife.
“You’ll walk in and everything will be themed – it’ll be like you’re walking into a swamp with green lights everywhere,” she said.
“It’ll be dark and moody.”
The group came up with the perfect person to help launch the swamp-themed bar this Thursday night: Tasmanian storyteller Bert Spinks, best known for his children’s television show Stories from Sticky Swamp.
He will entertain the audience with grown-up reminiscences about his life as a children’s entertainer.
The Pickle Shack isn’t the only pop-up bar in store, either. KEVIN Collective plans to launch more of them over the coming months and into summer to fill the void left by the loss of live events.
Organiser Carina Walton said the idea was to offer a space for those looking for a different way to spend the evening with mates young and old.
“We’re trying to offer something for a bit of a different crowd,” she said.
“We also plan to have a few others and space them out accordingly over the next few months.”
For a regional area, Launceston and Northern Tasmania usually had a wide range of events spanning from music festivals to intimate nightclubs and annual events like Mona Foma, pitched at both a local and mainland audience. Travel restrictions and the ban on dancing at events made them unviable.
Ms Thomson said that, as creative people, it was impossible to just sit and wait for things to go back to normal. “Being super creative, we can’t just do nothing,” she said.
The Pickle Shack will run from Thursday, September 24 to Sunday, September 27, and then Wednesday to Sunday the following week. Visit the KEVIN Collective Facebook page for more details.