22 February 2016
Over half a million people flocked to the centre of Melbourne last Saturday night to experience the transformative spectacle of White Night 2016.
Melbourne turned on a crisp and clear evening for the 580,000 local, interstate and international visitors who navigated their way through the White Night Melbourne's five cultural precincts.
With more than 130 free events, from light projections and sculpture, to live music and exhibitions, there were endless delights for the streaming crowds.
Three of Victoria's Indigenous artists stole the show with breathtaking large-scale light projections on the Royal Exhibition Building (Pitcha Makin Fellaz), Federation Square (Reko Rennie) and NGV International (Josh Muir).
Other highlights from the night included the gravity-defying acrobatics and aerial work at the Circus Circus Big Top, Craig Walsh's aquatic breeding ground of luminescent life forms at the Melbourne City Baths and Lisa Roet's Golden Monkey, mounted on the Melbourne Town Hall. In the Queen Victoria Gardens, French artist Tae Gon Kim delighted onlookers with the beautifully luminescent The Dresses while Simon Burgin and Adam Singer led them into a dark netherworld with Black Mirror.
Live music was also a big hit, with revellers dancing through the early hours at Live on Lonsdale, tripping the light fantastic at Birrarung Marr, digging the Blues Speak Easy Stage in Alexandra Gardens and relaxing with the Jazz at Grooves on Bourke Street.
Australia's contribution to the major global phenomenon, White Night Melbourne is a State Government initiative created by Victorian Major Events Company and inspired by the international Nuit Blanche movement. With White Night running from 7pm until 7am on Sunday morning, city restaurants and hotels were full and public transport added extra services as Melbourne's night-time economy was also in full swing.
White Night has been confirmed to return to Melbourne in 2017. Work is also underway to identify a suitable host location for a regional White Night event.