White Night – Melbourne

When ever we go back to a festival which we have attended in the past. We tend to make a perception of the event in same way as we have seen in the past. What truly used to be magnificent festival! White Night Melbourne has always been organised and visually spectacular event. Huge crowds were well behaved and the streetscapes were alive with active lighting projections covering all the colours of the rainbow. We used to start at National Gallery Victoria, itself with amazing projections onto the famous front granite wall and thousands of floating candles in the iconic water fountain, was open to the public with fantastic displays and exhibitions on the inside. Displays on Melbourne Town Hall, at Federation Square and the State Library building to name just a few were excellent. The cast from Priscilla Queen of the Desert performed on the steps of the Regent Theatre to add to the electric atmosphere.

But this is year it was totally different and reimagined White Night which not everyone liked but we still made the most of it and had fun. We feel this event needed to be spread out over more than 3 days. It seemed like half of Melbourne was there. And why they should not be there. It’s a great event and it’s free, you don’t see much of that these days. The art gallery was great , so was Birrarung Marr, Treasury Gardens and Exhibition building. It was spectacular sounds and lights show. The interactions of the performers and art display with the crowd were exciting. 

We found ourselves eyeballed by a gigantic eye, we entered a Pollution Pods, a respiratory challenge that approximated pollution levels in cities from London to Beijing. The organisers got creative with Waterlight Graffiti, painting their own designs on a water-activated lightwall; Cluster transformed raw data into imposing pillars of light and sound. Outside Melbourne Museum, a popular live show based on Mad Max Fury Road combined projections, flame blowing and costumed performers on the top of monster trucks.

Carlton Gardens had more ethereal vibes, as giant roving puppetry delighted onlookers. A Giant spirit beast prowled the park, and previous crowd favourite eerie cosmonaut archangel The White Knight Messenger returned to earth flanked by winged swan-people. 

Melbourne become a huge art-project from the dusk till sunrise. We saw local, national and international artists and performers filing into parklands, laneways, public spaces and cultural institutions, we saw projections on buildings, trees and night sky, a lot of different performances and even statues, wearing dresses. It was again a beautiful night full of memories. Melbourne is a great cultural hub and we are lucky to be living here. 

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