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This year's White Night(s) won't be an all-night affair

Written by
Ben Neutze

Since 2013, White Night has been bringing hordes of Melburnians out to the streets for one night of light projections, music and art each year. Running from 7pm to 7am, it's the all-nighter to end all-nighters.

Or at least it was.

Now White Night is getting a facelift (we're not sure we trust the surgeon just yet), transforming from one all-night festival to a three-night event that won't take you through to the early hours. It's called "White Night Reimagined" and is moving from its regular February slot to the far chillier tail-end of winter, running 7pm to 2am on August 22 and 24, and 7pm to midnight on August 23. 

We don't have many details about what's involved in this year's White Night – or how big its footprint will be – but we do know that the three main precincts are Carlton Gardens, Birrarung Marr and the National Gallery of Victoria.

In a statement, Victorian minister for tourism, sport and major events Martin Pakula said: "White Night Reimagined will make Melbourne come alive during the quieter winter months, bringing us the best entertainment, art and culinary experiences from Victoria and across the world over three huge nights."

Because all the best arts festivals are the ones that are formed in response to a perceived "quiet period" by state governments (please note our sarcasm).

We understand that White Night has been reimagined to create a more family-friendly event, to draw more tourism to Melbourne in winter, and to compete with Sydney's Vivid Festival, which takes place across three weeks, and Hobart's Dark Mofo. But we're really going to miss stumbling into the State Library at 6am to marvel at a mesmerising art installation, or bumping into friends in the middle of Carlton Gardens.

Of course, we'll reserve our judgement until we've experienced White Night Reimagined, but colour us cynical for now.

Love a winter arts festival? Get thee to Tasmania

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