An estimated crowd of between 550,000 and 600,000 visited Melbourne on Saturday night to experience the fifth iteration of White Night Melbourne, Australia’s most celebrated cultural and creative event. Melbourne turned on a cool and clear evening for the local, interstate and international visitors who navigated their way through White Night Melbourne.
In his first year White Night Melbourne Artistic Director and Executive Producer, David Atkins along with hundreds of artists, musicians and performers transformed the city from dusk until dawn. This year saw White Night Melbourne with an expanded footprint and larger program to cater to the audiences who participated.
“Last night hundreds of artists, musicians and performers all came together to deliver a spectacular night of art and culture,” said Atkins. “We are thrilled the event was so well received and would like to thank all the artists who participated and the hundreds of thousands of visitors who attended.”
Crowds gathered in the Museum Plaza and were mesmerized by the monstrous fire-erupting Pyrophone Juggernaut (pictured), the kinetic sculpture Nebulous and the façade of the Exhibition Buildings stunned with the Rhythms of the Night projection highlighting the four stages of sleep. Moving to the Carlton Gardens, children and adults alike could be seen searching for the brightly lit possum eyes in Point to the Possum and interacting with the giant Sonic Light Bubble.
Back by popular demand the sensory experience of Purple Rain on Little Lonsdale St. was a major highlight and the awe-inspiring 5.5 metre puppet The White Knight Messenger was a hit. Each year the State Library’s domed Latrobe Reading Room thrills visitors and the 360 underwater adventure of Seadragons Lair did not disappoint revealing the spectacular seascapes of Port Phillip Bay.
Thousands of White Night Melbourne visitors will be nursing sore feet after the all-night dance marathon Swing City in Collins St. which was a major hit with the crowds and this year the lights were back on in Flinders Street with the beautiful projection works Fractured Fairytales and More Than 1 Nation.
Further south Axiom sculpted from 700,000 LEDs, Intrude the large illuminated white rabbits and The Medusa, a majestic jellyfish delighted crowds in the Alexandra Gardens. The colourful spectacle of The World – Live stage in Birrarung Marr which featured Bollywood, African, Mambo, Colombian and Mexican music was a hot-spot and across the road, the National Gallery of Victoria façade featured a special projection installation Viktor&Rolf – Inside Out.
In less than 2 weeks it all happens again with the first regional White Night event, White Night Ballarat taking place for 12 hours from 7.00pm on Saturday 4 March 2017.
Image: Pyrophone Juggernaut – photo by Rohan Shearn