Melbourne’s most iconic park and garden precincts have been transformed into artistic wonderlands for White Night Reimagined, as all things creative captured the imagination of a record 713,000 attendees.
Celebrating its seventh year in 2019, with arguably the most ambitious program to date, White Night Reimagined was an extravaganza of engaging experiences showcasing a mix of local and international artists.
Once again under the stewardship of Artistic Director, David Atkins OAM, White Night Reimagined featured more than fifty program items across artistic installation, projection, puppetry, acrobatics and live performance. “The reimagined format of White Night in 2019 was the greatest challenge I have taken on in my role as the festival’s Artistic Director,” he said. “The program was taken to new heights in 2019.”
The highlights included the world premiere of Mad Max Fury Road – a three-dimensional interpretation of George Miller’s iconic movie, featuring some of the most impressive vehicles from the film, projection mapping on to the façade of the Royal Exhibition Building, a bespoke soundtrack and pyrotechnics.
At Birrarung Marr, internationally renowned performance company Close Act brought the visually spectacular work Globe. Crowds were left breathless by the 41 acrobatic performers in, on, around and above the mesmerising 16-metre structure, dominating the banks of the Yarra River.
White Night Reimagined was complemented by collaboration with Food and Wine Victoria to deliver a suite of unique culinary adventures, including the White Night Feast and a ‘toastie’ tasting menu across CBD restaurants and bars, while a bespoke music program saw crowds dancing in some of Melbourne’s most loved venues.
The action continued indoors, too, with Melbourne’s cultural institutions curating a range of special programming to amplify the artistic program of the three-day festival. Among the most visited were the National Gallery of Victoria, the Melbourne Museum and Supersense at Arts Centre Melbourne.
At the State Library of Victoria, its Where Do Books Come From? projection opened to a line each evening and impressively welcomed more than double the visitors it did in 2018.
The move to winter has been warmly embraced by Melburnians, never deterred by the need for a coat. A crowd of 100,000 flocked to the city on Thursday, increasing to 275,000 on Friday and 338,000 to close proceedings last night.
“Melbourne has come alive after dark for the last three nights with more than 700,000 people descending on three iconic garden precincts and our cultural institutions for a celebration of art, live performance, music and light projections,” said Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula.
Melbourne will welcome a brand-new winter festival in 2020 – with the legacy of White Night set to continue in Victoria’s regions as Ballarat prepares to play host on 21 September 2019. For more information, visit: www.whitenight.com.au for details.
Image: Globe by Close Act Theatre (supplied)