Almost 600,000 people took to the streets of Melbourne overnight for the fifth instalment of White Night Melbourne.
The city was transformed into a creative wonderland that saw giant rabbits and jellyfish move in to the Alexandra Gardens, sea dragons swimming under the State Library dome and a flame-throwing musical instrument straight out of Mad Max take over the plaza at Melbourne Museum.
Visitors took part in more than 120 free events including live music marathons at Federation Square and the Bourke Street Mall, pop up cinema on Lonsdale St, ballroom dancing on Collins St and world music at Birrarung Marr celebrating the 140 cultures that call Melbourne home.
Projections enlivened city buildings and inside people burned the midnight oil while taking in exhibitions such as David Hockney and Victor&Rolf at the National Gallery of Victoria, the 40 years of Triple R at State Library Victoria, ACMI’s Screen Worlds and the new children’s gallery at Melbourne Museum.
The expanded northern precinct around Carlton Gardens, and southern precinct around Alexandra Gardens helped to keep crowds moving and Victoria Police reported no major incidents.
Melbourne hotels reported a surge and restaurants, cafes and bars and retailers also stayed open with attendees injecting millions of dollars into the economy. White Night Melbourne 2016, attended by 580,000 people, brought in $16 million.
The event was the first White Night to be delivered by Melbourne-born dancer, choreographer and producer, David Atkins, the mastermind behind spectacular international events such as the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Now that the sun has come up in Melbourne, preparations are in full swing for the first regional White Night event, White Night Ballarat, which will take place on 4-5 March and will include some artists and activities from Melbourne alongside spectacular new commissions.
For more information about White Night Ballarat 2017, visit www.whitenightballarat.com.au
Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley
“White Night Melbourne was an epic celebration that showcased our creative community and cityscape in a whole new light. It is an event that is not only great for audiences, it also boosts our economy and international profile.”
“Victoria is the creative state and we are proud to support White Night – which will be twice as nice in 2017 when we do it all again in Ballarat in two weeks’ time.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren
“White Night consumed every inch of our city, packing out our bars, hotels and restaurants and we can’t wait to watch it come alive in Ballarat.”