From dusk to dawn on a single summer’s night, Melbourne’s city streets, laneways, landmarks and cultural institutions will again be transformed into a cultural playground for White Night Melbourne. In 2014, the major event will expand significantly to include 11 precincts, ranging from the National Gallery of Victoria on St Kilda Road, to the State Library of Victoria, Melbourne City Baths and the Melbourne Museum.
In a major expansion from the 2013 programme, 8 city blocks will be given over to White Night Melbourne, from Southbank Boulevard to Victoria Street, and from Elizabeth Street to Russell Street.
The first event of its kind in Australia, White Night Melbourne is a State Government of Victoria initiative created by the Victorian Major Events Company. It celebrates the city’s music, art, theatre, sport, fashion, film, design and performance.
Premier of Victoria Dr Denis Napthine said from the National Gallery of Victoria in the south to the City Baths in the north, White Night Melbourne will transform the heart of the city into a night of discovery, cultural exploration and urban adventure.
“Melbourne is renowned for its culture and creativity,” said Dr Napthine.
“White Night Melbourne gives our residents and visitors a chance to explore and engage with our city in a new and exciting way. We aim to challenge people’s perceptions and get them to notice what they see and know in a totally new light.”
Inspired by Nuit Blanche in Paris, Melbourne joins an international network of 23 major cities – from New York to Florence, Tel-Aviv to Toronto – in hosting similar all-night events.
Over 12 hours from 7pm to 7am, visitors can participate in exhibitions, street performances, fashion, lighting installations, film screenings, multimedia projections, concerts, dance and interactive events in venues, public spaces and cultural institutions throughout the city.
Held for the first time in February 2013, the inaugural event proved a spectacular success, transforming Melbourne’s streets into a hive of activity as people of all ages flocked to celebrate the city’s creative strengths.
Artistic Director Andrew Walsh AM said Melburnians had embraced the inaugural all-night event with huge crowds turning out from dusk till dawn.
“The inaugural White Night Melbourne was an extraordinary success,” said Mr Walsh. “Melbourne really is a 24-hour city, and a capital of art and culture.”
The 2014 programme will deliver more than 80 free events with activities and acts across dozens of sites.
“From live music and fashion to all-night synchronised swimming, film screenings and a continuation of the glorious projection programme, there really will be something for everyone,” Mr Walsh said.
Many of Melbourne’s world-renowned cultural institutions – including Arts Centre Melbourne, Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne Museum, National Gallery of Victoria and the State Library of Victoria – will again open their doors all night, boasting special programming and exhibitions.
Public spaces, including Federation Square, Melbourne City Baths, Flinders Street Station and Bourke Street Mall, will come to life with performances and activities.
Highlights of the 2014 White Night Melbourne programme include: Crepuscular Beam – visual beacon that will be seen from all parts of the city. Searchlight and sound will combine to create a work of mesmerising beauty; Moonlight Synchro – throughout the night teams of synchronised swimmers will showcase this exquisite sport in the Melbourne City Baths; and Tattooed City – commissioned exhibition celebrating Melbourne’s skin art through digital projections on the external walls of the NGV International.
Following the success in 2013, Wonderland returns in 2014 to transform Melbourne landmarks along Flinders Street with illuminated projections, I Could Have Danced All Nigh also returns for another fun-filled dance extravaganza featuring 12 different dance styles to get everybody moving, and Arcadian Reverie features an ensemble of international and Australian artists transform a familiar urban park with light, performance, film and sculpture.
Tim Winton’s The Turning – created by award winning Melbourne based director-producer Robert Connolly, eighteen directors from diverse artistic backgrounds each interpret one chapter of Tim Winton’s novel The Turning. The film’s exhibition will be reimagined for White Night Melbourne in an extraordinary way. Each chapter will be staged in a different environment and location guided by the core themes, ideas and experiences in each story.
For more information and programme details, visit: www.whitenightmelbourne.com.au
Image: White Night Melbourne 2013 by John Gollings