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A Night Like No Other: White Night Melbourne 2013

Luke Henriques-Gomes

Thu Feb 21 2013

White Night Melbourne

THIS Saturday, Melbourne will be transformed into a 24-hour cultural mecca as the city goes nocturnal for the White Night festival. Luke Henriques-Gomes has more.

More than 100 acts will grace venues across Melbourne for White Night, a dusk-till-dawn festival that showcases Melbourne’s cultural pedigree – from music and art, dining to theatre and a whole lot more.

Creative Director Andrew Walsh says White Night will be a celebration of all things uniquely Melbourne.

“White Night Melbourne will offer people of all ages the chance to experience our famed institutions in a whole new light, with everything from ghost tours of the Arts Centre to torchlight tours of Melbourne Museum to free screenings at ACMI,” Mr Walsh says.

“The Yarra River will be a central stage for the event – it represents the lifeblood of this city.”

Dubbed “a night like no other” by organisers, Melbourne’s own White Night is modelled on Nuit Blanche, a Paris born event that was imagined as a way of bringing art and culture to the masses.

More than a decade on, Melbourne will be the first Australian city to hold its very own White Night.

Another 21 other cities will also be holding their own White Nights throughout 2013.

In another first, Melbourne’s cultural cornerstones – including the National Gallery of Victoria, Australian Centere for the Moving Image, Arts Centre, Melbourne Museum, the State Library and the Wheeler Centre – will all keep their doors open after dark in support of the event.

Music director Felix Riebl has curated a bill that includes dance four-piece World’s End Press, the soulful Hiatus Kiayote and his own band, hugely popular genre-benders, The Cat Empire.

A popular attraction for festival goers is likely to be From The Deep, which will be the largest laser, water and light show ever seen in Melbourne. Organisers say it will feature a 40-metre high water fountain, lasers tracing the lines of the Princes Bridge and surrounding buildings, all set to an evocative soundtrack.

The festival will also house works from international artists including French artist Michel Blazy and Canadian artist Christine Davis, following on from their appearances at the Nuit Blanche events in Paris and Toronto last year.

Premier Ted Ballieu, who promised to bring the festival to Melbourne before he was elected in 2010 has echoed Mr Walsh’s sentiments.

“White Night Melbourne will be a celebration of this city’s culture and creativity, art and design, live music, theatre, food, fashion, film, and sport,” the Premier says.

“There will be something to delight everyone.”

White Night Melbourne is modelled on Nuit Blanche, an arts festival which began in Paris in 2001. Image: Yann Caradec via Wikimedia Commons

White Night Melbourne is modelled on Nuit Blanche, an arts festival which began in Paris in 2001. Image: Yann Caradec via Wikimedia Commons

Highlights of the White Night program include:

  • An inflatable cinema screen on Birrarung Marr
  • A giant outdoor dance event at Federation Square featuring hundreds of mirror balls and 12 different dance styles
  • Musicians and performers will perform on stages set on rolling tram cars along St Kilda Road
  • A free concert at Flinders Street Station featuring some of Melbourne’s best loved bands including The Cat Empire
  • The Forum Theatre will be turned into a 3D spectaculur of art synced with DJs.

For the full program and more information visit the White Night Melbourne website, the White Night Facebook page or follow @whitenightmelb on Twitter.