Melbourne only has a population of around 5 million people, but in February more than 600,000 of us rocked up to White Night, the city's 12-hour festival of lights, projections, art and music. White Night has been growing pretty much every year since it started in 2013, but it is getting a major rethink next year. The state government and producers of White Night are asking Melburnians to rug up and brave the winter chill, moving the festival from its regular February slot to August. They'll be announcing full details and dates in the coming months.
The government says the 12-hour White Night event will be part of a “massive new winter arts festival” running across three days. There have been plenty of complaints over the last five years about overcrowding at the event, particularly from those wanting to bring their kids in for the all-night festival. John Eren, Victoria's minister for tourism and major events, says the new event will be more family-friendly, with earlier start times.
White Night's artistic director David Atkins said: “This event will give Melbourne a bigger stage to entice audiences and demonstrate Victoria’s rich cultural offering – Melbourne has always been the cultural capital and this initiative will ensure it maintains that mantle.”
He says the reimagined White Night will “create unique and exciting opportunities for artists, performers, cultural practitioners and institutions with a broader program and more nights to experience it".