Back in the early twenty-tens, James St set out to redefine how Brisbane thought about and engaged with retail and late night shopping. Previously an experience that more often involved a peak-hour drive to a large enclosed shopping centre for a car park battle and fluorescent lit shopping. James St resolved to do it differently – to bring to the front row the tremendous retail the local traders have to offer, but to also throw a party with the option of an after work aperitif, or perhaps a longer, more rambunctious dinner.
Ten years on (give or take an unplanned skipped year) that definition has firmly been set – one that combines an alchemy of elements to become James St Up Late. It’s a formula that’s grown with time as the street’s ecosystem has – the OG James St party people are joined by new traders, restaurants, experiences, offerings and more – the elements are the same, but the experience is ever evolving.
Read on for ten things to do, note, and undertake at the tenth instalment of James St Up Late on Thursday 31 March. Pure proof, that just like that friend who always wore SPF and good wine – James St Up Late only gets better with time.
1. After dark trading for one-night only
Because when else can you head to James St after work to leisurely shop boutiques from leading designers and stores helmed by true creatives featuring the latest threads, all in one place?
2. The offers
Oh, the offers! Why wait for Boxing Day or Black Friday sales when you’ve got gifts with purchase, promotions and incentives from the best local and national brands? We’d list them all here, but total brag, there are too many. That’s why we have created a dedicated Up Late site – get the skinny here and get planning.
3. Putting the party in the bag since 2011
This year’s James St branded totes come crammed with 22 party favours… It’s 2022 after all and something needs to feel/go right. You do have to join the party to get your hands on a Party Bag – the first 1,000 shoppers at James Street Up Late who make a purchase from 5PM at participating stores, will take one home (while stocks last). Take a look at what’s in the bag here.
4. Win big
Our Up Late 2022 competition isn’t your regular run of the mill comp. We’re talking the real deal here with three major Prize Packages including inner city getaways at The Calile Hotel and Sage, as well as a hiatus to Byron Bay care of St. Agni. All three are rounded out with extra gifts and vouchers from Lee Mathews, Dinosaur Designs, KAILO Wellness Medispa, Gorman, Trit House, FINEPRINTCO, endota spa and Priceline. Keen? Cool. Enter now.
5. Beat street
We love music (check out our Spotify account), we also love a live DJ set and this year The Calile Hotel will bring the vibe with local sound slinger Levi Birks setting the tempo for James Street Up Late. Tunes will be beamed throughout the precinct from The Calile Hotel x BMW VIP event in Ada Lane. The beat drops from 5PM and is a sign that the weekend has started early. Get down.
6. Fashion for the Floods
Label Pig – longtime local and re-seller of hard-to-find designer fashion – will host a charity pop up during Up Late. As the name implies it’s all for a good cause and to benefit those impacted by the floods. Label Pig is currently accepting flood-donated pieces, with 100% of proceeds made from sales going to GIVIT. If ever there were a time to clear out your never worn items, or purchase for one-off beauties, while giving back, this is it.
7. Eat Up Late
Cruising the stores after a full day of work can be hard and thirsty work. Hot tip, venues book out during Up Late, so make a reservation well before your assault on the shops, at any of James St’s celebrated restaurants. From the salty, sour, sweet, spicy smack down of South East Asia, to cool takes on the classics, options abound. Start looking, start booking.
8. Sleep on it (Up Late that is)
Opted for a late dinner reservation? Meeting a mate for a night cap? Let those good times roll and check-in for discounted stays at The Calile and Sage Hotel. Better yet, take Friday off, make a long weekend of it, and get that sleep in, in. Get the codes here.
9. Cue Kanye. All of the lights!
We turn up the lights in here baby, with Up Late lighting installations offering the most discerning photo opportunity enthusiast, something new to play with for their post… because if you didn’t post about being at James Street Up Late, were you even there?
10. Party games and favours
It’s not a party without a few fun games and activities. The retailers have activities galore so we recommend visiting them all to maximise jolly times, but there are a few extra-curricular activities to take in. Test your skill at the James St Skill Tester with multiple James St Gift Cards to be won (including a $500 major prize), find The Daily Edited pop-up for cheerful customisations or drop into our Up Late Tattoo Parlour to get inked (temporarily).
Words by Amanda James
March 22, 2022