Melbourne White Night Festival. A night of performances, protests and Prince.
When people ask me what Melbourne is like, there is one word that always springs to mind – random. There is always a festival bringing something new to your attention, you turn a corner and there’s an amazing mural on the side of a building or you go through a fridge in a sandwich shop and end up in a club. So when I heard about White Night I knew I was going to experience something different. White Night is a festival in which the city is transformed into a wonderland of art installations, lighting, interactive events and performances. The festival is for one night only in February and runs from 7pm in the evening to the following morning at 7am and has done since 2013. This year it fell on the 18th of Feb (very late blog post) which was a Saturday, these times were great for me as I finish work at about 10pm so I didn’t miss earning any money. Win! Win!
My boyfriend and I set off to the festival at about 12.30am, we got the tram which wasn’t overly crowded as we expected. As no trams were running through the city we started our journey at the Arts Centre Precinct. We walked up to Federation Square and got in the midst of the excitement.
I have never seen so many people in a city centre before, annually its an average of half a million that descend on the city for White Night! I can definitely understand that if you had small children or a big family it would be quite difficult to keep track of everyone but it wasn’t as hectic as expected.
On Flinders Street we saw ‘Fractured Fairytales’ which was a stunning light show which showcased children’s stories with a twist.
We then made our way to the opposite end of town, Carlton Gardens as this was the furthest point away from the city we thought we’d then head back on ourselves when the centre of the city had quietened down.
At Carlton Gardens it felt quite magical to be able to run through the grass like little kids at the park, there was a lot more room for everyone to spread out here and do your own thing. We didn’t have chance to see even half of the things possible but here are images of the mesmerising things we did see!
We made our way down Swanston Street and saw street performances, protests and a kissing booth! There was so much energy on the streets of Melbourne and here are just snippets that I managed to capture.
Projected onto Melbourne Library was the hashtag #NoHomelessBan, people also protested outside the building in the reaction to homeless people not being able to sleep in the CBD.
My favourite part of White Night was Pierre Ardouvin’s ‘Purple Rain’ a sensational and sensory tribute to Prince. We didn’t manage to get an umbrella and experience the installation in its entirety but simply watching other people was so pretty.
As the Viktor & Rolf exhibition was in its last week during White Night, their legendary collections lit up the building with a soundtrack of Madonna and Bowie, heaven. I must have stayed here for about an hour watching it on loop, I never wanted to leave!
Thank you White Night Melbourne!