White Night Melbourne

In early 2013, ‘White Night’ transformed the Australian city of Melbourne into an enchanting wonderland of over 100 events, celebrating music, food, film, art and light. More than 350,000 people descended on the city from 7pm – 7am on Saturday 23 February 2013, to experience Australia’s first all-night event. City streets, parks, public spaces, iconic and cultural buildings, and the Yarra River, all transformed into a spectacle of light, colour, movement and music. It truly was a night like no other.

The city’s laneways and streets were filled with live music, roving performers and pop-up art. The river presented large scale works of art, sound and light. Melbourne's world-renowned cultural institutions – including Arts Centre Melbourne, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, the National Gallery of Victoria, the State Library of Victoria and Federation Square – experienced massive crowds as they stayed open all night, and Melbourne Museum and ArtPlay also extended their hours late into the night for sold out child-friendly programming.

White Night Melbourne, which will take place again in February 2014, is part of an internationally renowned phenomenon called Nuit Blanche. It was the first event of its kind in Australia, with Melbourne joining 22 other global cities including Paris, Buenos Aires, Tel-Aviv and Toronto.

White Night Melbourne’s creative director Andrew Walsh said Melburnians embraced the inaugural all-night event with huge crowds turning out from dusk till dawn. "What we saw was a city transformed, a crowd beyond our wildest imagination and experiences to match. No city in Australia has seen anything like White Night," Walsh said. “White Night Melbourne was unbelievably successful, and well exceeded our expectations.”

He added: “The crowd reflected all of Melbourne - from families with young children to elderly people to twenty-somethings – and showed how Melbourne really is a 24-hour city, and a capital of art and culture. One of the most pleasing aspects was how Melbourne’s public transport system proved so effective at getting people into and out of the city throughout the night. The all-night tram services and Night Rider bus services ran like clockwork.”

Victorian Major Events Company chief executive officer Brendan McClements said White Night Melbourne had cemented its place in the cultural calendar. "White Night Melbourne 2013 was a celebration of Melbourne's vibrancy, culture, and was a testament to this city's ability to stage and support major international events," he added.

The inaugural all-night event saw the city’s streets, parks, public spaces, iconic buildings and the Yarra River transformed into a spectacle of light, colour, movement and music.

The city’s laneways were filled with live music, roving performers and pop-up art. Melbourne's world-renowned cultural institutions – including Arts Centre Melbourne, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, the National Gallery of Victoria and the State Library of Victoria – saw huge crowds as they stayed open all night. Melbourne Museum was also open late for a family-friendly Night At The Museum.

The Yarra River hosted an electrifying all-night laser, water and light show, light projections transformed streets and iconic landmarks to remake the CBD into a 3D fantasy cityscape.

Flinders Street Station morphed into a live music stage featuring The Cat Empire, RocKwiz Orkestra, World's End Press and Eagle and the Worm, while Degraves Street became an all-night jazz stage.

Highlights of the night:

• The city’s busiest intersection overrun by music lovers, as Flinders Street Station became an amphitheatre for a gig starring The Cat Empire, RocKwiz Orkestra, World's Press End and Eagle and the Worm.

• The Yarra River hosted the largest laser water event ever seen in Melbourne. From the Deep used light and water fountains up to 40 metres high to create magical, mysterious creatures that glowed from the river.

• Birrarung Marr became an outdoor sculpture park featuring World Without Sun, a giant art installation of satellite dishes projected with visuals and sound by Christine Davis, and giant illuminated inflatable sculptures by some of Melbourne's leading artists.

• A cascading wall of foam Bouquet Final 2 by acclaimed French artist Michel Blazy, delighted thousands at NGV International’s Great Hall, while The Electric Canvas transformed the NGV International’s exterior with light installations of the famed artworks.

• Jazz, swing and soul lovers packed performances in Degraves Street and St Kilda Road featured bands and physical theatre performers. The State Library, Spiegeltent, Arts Centre Melbourne and NGV Australia also hosted live music.

• Flinders Street was set ablaze by light installations and projections from the Forum Theatre to St Paul’s Cathedral, thanks to The Electric Canvas.

• Flinders Lane became a catwalk, featuring LMFF runway show projections and light installations.

• Elsewhere in Federation Square professional dancers guided thousands through the moves of 10 different dance styles underneath hundreds of disco balls suspended in the night sky.

• For the first time the city’s cultural institutions – including the National Gallery of Victoria, Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Arts Centre Melbourne, State Library of Victoria and the Melbourne Museum – stayed open late simultaneously.

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