Light up the night

White Night Melbourne returns this month and will transform the streets of the CBD from dusk ‘til dawn on Saturday, February 20.

The event is a celebration of culture and creativity and will see the city lit up with installations, exhibitions, film screenings, music, dance and interactive events taking place in the streets, laneways, parklands and cultural institutions for a twelve hour period from 7pm to 7am.

Now in its fourth year, White Night has established itself as a firm favourite on the annual cultural calendar and is an eagerly anticipated event for many Melbournians.

Inspired by the French Nuit Blanche festival that was first staged in Paris in 2002, White Night Melbourne is part of an international network of like-minded events held in more than 20 cities around the world. The event was first staged in 2013 and was embraced by the people of Melbourne as a platform for local, national and international creative talent to shine and connect with the community for one night only.

It was a success from the beginning, drawing 300,000 people into the Melbourne CBD in its first year. In 2014 and 2015 more than 500,000 people ventured into the city to experience the event and this year is set to be bigger than ever.

Spanning the entire CBD, in 2016 the festival will have five distinct precincts; The Big Top, Northern Lights, Monkey Business, Wonderland and Southern Lights. Each precinct will host a range of different events catering to a diverse audience. Almost all events are free however some venues may be hosting a ticketed event, in which case this will be noted on the festival program.

Organisers have suggested that peak times will most likely be between 9pm – 11:30pm and have advised to expect crowds.

However given the widespread scale of the festival, if you do encounter lengthy queues, best advice is to keep on the move and explore somewhere new.

The majority of the program content is suitable for all ages and it is an alcohol-free event. The full program and a series of White Night Melbourne ‘trails’ are available via the website for those who prefer to plan ahead; however patrons are encouraged to attend with an open-mind and experience the night as it comes. Be prepared to ‘expect the unexpected’.

Visit whitenightmelbourne.com.au to view the program and find out more.

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