Mesmerising Frankston Generator lights up South Side Festival

Published on 27 April 2022

Frankston Generator

Journey underground at the Frankston Arts Centre into the core of a sprawling subterranean generator where a mesmerising display of lighting, audio and video installations create an immersive experience that is the first of its kind.

The Frankston Generator features over a thousand lighting fixtures, interactive video screens, a wind tunnel and a high-energy musical soundtrack, guiding patrons through the three level experience they can discover at their own pace.

It was conceived by Mandylights – the international design team responsible for some of the most successful touring light artworks in the world, international tours for 5 Seconds of Summer, the Backstreet Boys, Pnau and Ricky Martin and major lighting projects for Floriade NightFest, Vivid Sydney, the Moama Lights and even the City of Melbourne’s Federation Square Christmas Tree.

Mandylights has transformed the Frankston Arts Centre car park into something spectacular – through a series of ten new light-based installations, which explore themes of power generation and energy transfers – on a grand scale.

Enter the carpark lift and descend into the depths with a transformative lighting and audio experience. From the lift, be drawn into the turbine; a swirling, all-encompassing vortex of animated light.

Emerging into the field, participants become part of a humming, radiating electric field of energy that covers hundreds of square metres. Audience movements are generated in real time, as their kinetic movement is converted to light on floor-to-ceiling video screens.

The water-themed Hydro offers a series of hanging meshes covered with animated projections of rippling water in relaxing blue and cyan tones.

Moving forwards, wander through a subterranean, alien-like natural landscape called Geotherma that sees a thousand handmade flowers mimic flows of lava as red and yellow lights ripple down the walls and across the floor on both sides of the pathway.

The pulsing reactor pushes out flashes of intense neon colour, while you get to peer inside into a stunning infinity cube of light. Moving up the ramp, a blast of air as the solar winds see theatrical fog thunder down a sixty-metre expanse, with the walk flanked by 50 searchlights that create geometric patterns through the air.

At the end of the walk, the ventus sculptures turn gently in the wind; creating ever-changing shadows on the walls and beams through the air.

In the final installation, be immersed in a towering star field of rainbow neon colours, between a dozen tetra stars. These mammoth illuminated forms pass through a series of beautiful rainbow colour sequences.

The all-new immersive experience was created for the inaugural innovative, edgy and vibrant South Side Festival, which will transform and reimagine multiple venues and spaces across Frankston City.

Mayor Nathan Conroy said: “South Side Festival features a wide array of contemporary multi arts ranging from theatre, live music, visual arts exhibitions, immersive experiences, installations, workshops, markets and everything in between.”  

South Side Festival has partnered with many wonderful local venues, community groups, venues and artists from across the state and nationally to bring you an artistic program of sensory experiences unlike any you have found in Frankston before.

Festival Senior Producer Freyja Macfarlane urges patrons to check the program guide and book tickets, with some shows selling out quickly.

South Side Festival will be held from 6 – 15 May and tickets are now on sale. For regular updates, please follow the Facebook Page @SouthSideFestivalFrankston and more information including the full program, visit