Over 93,000 people took to the streets of Geelong on Saturday night, in a celebration of music, art, culture and community as the world-renowned White Night returned to the region for the first time in four years.
“What a night! It was fantastic to see so many people out on the streets, coming together as a community to eat, drink, dance and celebrate,” said Creative Director of White Night, Joseph O’Farrell (JOF).
“Geelong really put on a show and watching audiences of all ages mesmerised by giant creatures, spectacular projections and local music was truly special.”
More than 100 artists presented unique and diverse exhibitions, installations and projections bringing the city’s streets, parks and buildings to life with signature building projections, magical marine animals, giant inflatables and all-night music.
From the heart of the city in Johnstone Park to the famed foreshore, the city was buzzing with locals and visitors of all ages.
As the evening commenced, crowds gathered to acknowledge and pay respects, watching the ceremonial passing of the message stick from DJAARA (Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation) of Central Victoria, followed by a Wadawurrung Welcome to Country ceremony in Steampacket Gardens.
Highlights of the one-night-only event included:
Reflected in the Sky, which saw buildings showcasing the exciting, contemporary and dynamic work of First Nations artists Billy-Jay O’Toole, Kait James and Jenna Oldaker who took on the theme “Everything on the land is reflected in the sky” which had onlookers transfixed.
The high-octane thrilling performance in Heavy Metal saw audiences head-banging to the riffs of two rip-roaring guitarists, whilst gasping in awe as cars were flattened in front of their very eyes.
Joseph O’Farrell’s almost spiritual celebration of Geelong’s automotive and musical history took over Grace Church Carpark for a spectacular display that had everyone’s attention.
Making a racket of a different kind, Drag City turned Gheringhap Street into an unforgettable party as drag queens and audiences alike danced the night away. The fabulous medley of entertainment was fun for all, delighting audiences with glitter and gags throughout the night.
Colouring in Competition brought together the work of over 200 local students and artists from the James Street Gallery in a huge community-led display of creative energy that scaled their biggest canvas yet.
The culmination of a series of free school workshops run by Video Architecture saw children, families and friends captivated by the vibrant display of digital colour.
Throughout the night The Guardian roved Western Beach Road and the foreshore. The beautiful creature from A Blanck Canvas mesmerised the old and young in equal measure, as its shimmering scales and massive stature captured imaginations everywhere it went.
“We’re backing events across the state to deliver more visitors to Victoria’s regions, while providing a boost to local jobs and businesses – and White Night in Geelong did just that,” said Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos
“White Night Geelong was a wonderful event that attracted thousands of visitors to the region, offering a family-friendly spectacular that delighted local crowds and visitors alike.”
A Victorian Government initiative, this year’s White Night events were conceived and curated to shine a light on the many and varied cultural gems burgeoning beyond Melbourne.
A night-time event like no other, they inspired friends and families from near and far to embrace the wonders of regional Victoria like never before.
For more information about White Night Geelong, visit: www.whitenight.com.au for details.
Image: Imaginary Botanicals – by the indirect Object