The Luminato Festival kicked off this year’s festivities with another epic opening party featuring a venue unlike any other: a decommissioned, abandoned power generating station called “The Hearn” tucked away on a side road off of Cherry Rd south of the Gardiner. The wonderful and unique venue set the tone for a wonderful Berlin Underground theme.
It was tough to pull myself away from all the amazingness that was happening in the midst of the fantastic Power Ball 2014 at the Power Plant Gallery that same evening. I described to my cab driver the approximate location of this “power generating station” which he had never heard of – and rightly so since it’s not a typical destination. So off we drove into the end of the dark and unlight Unwin Avenue driving through what really did appear to be an abandoned facility.
It was interesting to see the contrast between black stretch limos and white glove valet against muddy roads and metal scaffolding. The Hearn has been used for big films such as Pacific Rim and Robocop.
So it was quite a treat to have a upscale gala there on the grand scale that I expect having been to last year’s inaugural Big Bang Bash 2013 held at the ROM.
“The moment I walked into the Hearn Generating Station I knew I wanted to do something in this space. It is full of possibilities. It reminded me of the days when I moved to Berlin, just a couple of years after the wall came down,” said Jorn Weisbrodt, Artistic Director of Luminato Festival. “Every week there was a different club opening in an amazing underground location and a few weeks later it disappeared or grew bigger and bigger. The Hearn space asks to be filled with ideas and I love the idea of juxtaposing the glamour of a big gala with the rawness but grandeur of the space. It reminds me of Piranesi’s Carceri etchings. I am so grateful to Paul Vaughan and everyone at Studios of America to let us play in the space.”
It was quite a party to remember and it certainly is one of this year’s best once again.
Guests in attendance included Jorn Weisbrodt, Rufus Wainwright, Cameron Bailey, Olivia Chow, David Dixon and Glenn Dixon, Lucian Matis, Jian Ghomeshi and much more.
The Luminato Festival runs until June 15, 2014 this year. For a full schedule of programming including free events visit www.luminatofestival.com
Photos by Nick Lee