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The one-night-only arts street party returns

From the banks of the Yarra to the Eureka Skydeck, in trams, under clocks and through wonderlands, White Night Melbourne promises to transform the city from dusk till dawn for a one-night-only extravaganza of visual art, music, performance, dance, food, film, fashion and fun.

Explore more than 40 works over 12 crazy hours as White Night Melbourne takes over the CBD for the third year. The full program is released in February, but in the mean time, snack on these highlights…


Once again, the festival has expanded to take in more venues and ease congestion, this time with nine precincts, from Southbank Boulevard in the south to Victoria Street in the north, and a brand new area round Melbourne Museum. There will also be increased activity around the Yarra River and Alexandra Gardens. Venues throwing open their doors all night include ACMI, Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall, Melbourne Museum, National Gallery of Victoria and the State Library of Victoria.

Dance and theatre

The world premiere of Sita’s Garden will see giant lotus leaves and pontoons light up the Yarra River as the backdrop to some extravagant Bollywood performances.

I Could Have Danced All Night has proved to be a huge crowd favourite in 2013 and 2014, with pro dancers getting the public moving in Fed Square. This time it moves to Lonsdale Street, with 12 different dance styles.

Light shows and projections

The façade of the Royal Exhibition Building Centre will be the recipient of 4 Elements: a light installation from Portuguese company OCUBO. Four virtual dancers will be video-mapped onto the walls – two from the National Dance Company of Portugal, one aerial circus artist and one synchronised swimming dancer.

Arist Sohan Ariel Hayes presents Northern Lights: Vanishing and Becoming, which will be projected onto the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre in Lonsdale Street.

Alinta Krauth’s Colonise will transform Scots’ Church, as the artist paints it with light from the inside out.

From France comes Groupe LAPS, whose neon stick figures will run and dance outside the NGV.


Greek artist Stefanos Tsivopoulous from the Venice Biennale will present a film-based work, History Zero. Set in Athens, it follows a young immigrant from Africa wanders the streets collecting scrap metal; a foreign artist who seeks inspiration for a new artwork in the confusing landscape of the city; and an elderly art collector who suffers from dementia and lives alone in her museum-like house, surrounded by works of contemporary art.

Bourke Street Mall plays host to The Big Chill: short films shown throughout all the night, far-ish from the madding crowd.

Kung Fu Cinema Outdoors takes over Chinatown with an outdoor screen showing cult martial arts flicks.


Freya Pitt returns for the third year with The Pursuit of Wholeness – an interactive work of new media and performance that incorporates readings, dedications, discos and live Twitter feeds.

Expect also artists from France, Portugal, the UK, Morocco, Greece and around Australia. Closer to home, Victorian artists will present commissions in churches, laneways and public parks across the city.

Ghostly Machines will take over Arts Centre Melbourne – a combination of mechanical ballet, kinetic art and sound design that imagines the machines behind the scenes of many performaces spaces coming to life and starring in their own show.

Some Still Cry When it Rains is a collaboration between artist Robbie Rowlands and the regional Victorian town of Charlton, which was devastated in the 2011 floods. City Square will be transformed into a surreal rural nightscape.

Experimenta Recharge, at the RMIT Gallery, will be open all night.


Three all-night music stages spread across the city will appeal to indie, jazz and world music tastes. The World Music Stage is a new addition in the forecourt of the Melbourne Museum, set against the backdrop of the Royal Exhibition Building.

St Paul’s Cathedral will ring out with the melodies of Bach’s Toccata for 12 hours in one continuous live performance.


The Emerging Writers Festival team will be making a Magazine in a Night at the Wheeler Centre. You’ll see the design process projected live on screen, and throughout the night, a series of conversation sessions will be held with guests from the world of mag publishing. Meanwhile, at the Sticky Institute, there’s 12-hour zine reading with spoken word performances and self-publishing in all its sticky action.


Photos by Craig Silitoe   |  

White Night Melbourne 2015 details

Around Melbourne, Melbourne 3000

Date Sat 21 Feb

Open 7pm-7am

Around Melbourne map

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