‘Sleepless: The Music Centre After Hours’ Is an All-Night Rager You Can Pass Off as Art

Are you known to pull the odd all-nighter? Well, what if I told you (*cue Morpheus voice*) that your next bender could also be considered art? That’s what Sleepless: The Music Centre After Hours, an experimental, nocturnal event in Los Angeles is proposing — and it may just be the future of partying.

Sleepless will see downtown LA’s Music Centre — one of the largest performing arts centres in the US — get transformed into an immersive art venue, featuring exhibitions, live music, DJ sets, installations, and more. Taking place this Friday, July 27, from 11 pm to 3 am (be sure to catch some z’s beforehand), this edition of the event with celebrate the relationship of science and art, reimagining the role of artist as the scientist. Guests are invited to connect with art in a new and exciting way. “We invite people to come in, enjoy music, dance, look up at the chandeliers with wonderful projections,” says Ming Ng, the Music Centre’s vice president of community engagement.


Don’t sleep on the venue’s staggering architecture, either. This edition of Sleepless will take place at the Music Centre’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, which was home to the Academy Awards for several decades. So, you know, being in the building where The Godfather won Best Picture would be kind of a bonus.

Sleepless is jammed with interactive activities, whether it’s a night on the dancefloor or celebrating Cuba’s best talents. A previous edition gave the audience disco fever, featuring pulsating beats from Greg Belson, melding classic ’70s tracks with today’s music,  as well as roller skaters and a mirror-ball installation by artists Kyle McDonald and Jonas Jongejan.


“I think what inspired us is that, there’s a real difference in the way people experience art now,” says Ming Ng. She says the series’ aim is to give people an accessible and new way to observe multiple forms of art. She adds that the good folks at the Music Centre “don’t take themselves too seriously,” so you need not worry about getting stuck in conversations with art snobs brag-splaining the importance of post-modernism.

Since the first Sleepless in 2015, each incarnation has brought new themes and completely different elements to the fold. The crowds change, but as Ming Ng says, “We find people are just willing to come and be surprised and inspired and just go along for the ride.” This Friday’s edition looks like a sci-fi lover’s wet dream— performance artist Rafa Esparza will channel the Mayan sci-fi narrative of King Pakal, while a VR experience will offer a look into the effects of Christianity and video game culture. If that sounds like your bag, you can grab tickets here.