Lighting up Melbourne streets after dark

Disco laneways, late-night salsa parties and a moon lantern festival are set to take over city streets this year, thanks to the City of Melbourne and Victorian Government’s Dusk till Dawn Activation Grants program.

The first tranche of the program will support ten activations with up to $100,000 each – enticing more visitors to support the city’s twilight and night-time traders. Highlights of the first tranche of recipients include:

  • Mambomania – a weekly night-time salsa party where dancers weave through a digital art installation by The MBassy Dance
  • Melbourne Shimmer Lane – an immersive disco lane experience in Meyers Place by Vee Agency
  • Moon Lantern Festival – a rich and colourful traditional night-time celebration of Asian culture, dining and entertainment by Museum of Chinese Australian History
  • Glow Comic Trails – a series of walking tours and workshops championing comic art by Melbourne artists by Laneway Learning
  • Maho Magic Bar – an immersive magic show transporting audiences to neon-lit Tokyo, filled with mischief, laughter and cocktails in Chinatown by Broad Encounters Productions
  • Community Capsule – a visual storytelling experience showcasing what it means to be Melburnian by Committee for Melbourne

The Dusk till Dawn activations will invite residents and visitors to explore the city streets after dark, building on the city’s momentum.

“The Dusk till Dawn program will back our twilight traders, support local jobs and help cement Melbourne’s status as Australia’s cultural and night-time capital,” said Lord Mayor Sally Capp.

“Whether it’s a dance down a disco alley, a stroll through a light-filled laneway, or a groove at a late-night salsa party – there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the city after dark.”

“We’re grateful to the Night-time Economy Advisory Committee for its guidance in helping form this exciting new initiative, and we can’t wait to see these activations come to life.,” said the Lord Mayor.

Throughout March, general night-time activity was 107 per cent of pre-pandemic levels – up almost 20 per cent during the same period last year.

“The Dusk till Dawn grants will boost Melbourne’s strength in the night-time economy and support our late-night traders,” said City Activation portfolio lead Councillor Roshena Campbell.

“We want to provide new reasons to visit our vibrant city and to link out late-night traders with the culture and creativity Melbourne is renowned for.”

The City of Melbourne has hosted the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Moomba, the Melbourne Fashion Festival and the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival – bringing an influx of visitors from near and far, while injecting millions of dollars into the local economy.

“The city is moving differently – night-time is the time to be in Melbourne,” said Night-time Economy Advisory Committee chair Penny Miles.

“The uplift of these activations will create a positive ripple right across the night-time economy – creating more reasons for visitors to venture in or stay longer in the city after dark.”

The Dusk till Dawn Activation Grants program is a part of the $200 million Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund – a partnership between the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government.

For more information on the Dusk till Dawn Activation Grants program, visit: for details.

Image: Maho Magic Bar – courtesy of Broad Encounters Productions