White Night has been a highlight on the Melbourne arts calendar since 2013, but this year the annual all-night party is getting a major shake-up. In 2019 Melbourne will host White Night Reimagined, a pared-down but stretched-out version of the arts, music and light festival.
Unlike previous iterations, the 2019 White Night will be more of a white evening. The festival will no longer run from 7pm to 7am over a single night. Instead, it will take place over three finger-numbingly cold winter nights from Thursday, August 22 to Saturday, August 24. Events will start from 7pm every evening and finish at midnight on Thursday and Friday, and at 2am on Saturday. So if you're expecting the same surreal all-nighter of previous years where everyone from students to parents with prams and little old ladies with dogs could be seen gallivanting through the CBD at 4am, we're sorry to say that that particular version of White Night is dead.
This year White Night will primarily take part in only three festival precincts: Treasury Gardens, Carlton Gardens and Birrarung Marr. Each precinct has also been given a distinct theme.
Birrarung Marr will be home to the ‘physical realm’ and will be staying true to that theme by hosting the Australian premiere of Globe. The show is the latest production by Amsterdam-based street theatre troupe Close Act and features a cast of 42 acrobats, aerialists, singers and actors.
Those who find themselves at Carlton Gardens will experience the ‘spiritual realm’. Which in this case means a ten-metre long lion called ‘The Guardian’ will be prowling around the gardens and presumably not eating people. The garden’s plentiful trees will also be illuminated by stories about Indigenous Australia.
Over at Treasury Gardens visitors will be met with the ‘sensory realm’ and enjoy works that engage all of the five senses. There will light and sound installations, interactive artworks and projection art. White Night Reimagined has also there will be a to-be-announced culinary aspect to the festival this year, which might slot into the theme of this specific festival precinct.
The National Gallery of Victoria, State Library Victoria, Arts Centre Melbourne and Melbourne Museum will also be taking part in White Night Reimagined.
From 2020 you can expect even more changed to White Night as it is stitched onto Melbourne International Arts Festival. For more details visit the White Night Reimagined website.