White Night Melbourne WrapThe majority of Melburnians who came into the city last night for the inaugural White Night Melbourne (2013) had a blast!
Callers to radio on Sunday morning had almost all good things to say. Calls for more transport, better advertising and close off more streets were constructive criticisms of a fabulous night enjoyed by all.
We witnessed a huge crowd of 300,000+ people, in a good mood looking for a good time. There was clearly much to see and do. We walked from the NGV into the city and took in the atmosphere, no doubt aided by the good weather. It wasn't hot, it was excellent for a night of being out in Melbourne.
A lot of people have reported not knowing about White Night Melbourne although it had been heavily advertised in the press, advertised here and many other internet publications, so maybe its a case of.. new event with a name not meaning anything to people.
Bring on 2014..
White Night Melbourne
Saturday 23rd February 2013 | The city comes alive from dusk to dawn in a night celebration of music, theatre, dance, design, food, film, fashion, sport and art.
Melbourne captured by the charm of a White Night
White Night Melbourne a roaring success.
As the sun went down, crowds poured into the CBD for inaugural all night cultural party, White Night, with pedestrians taking over the city grid.
The numbers that teemed down the laneways and roads and across bridges made organisers' estimate of attracting more than 100,000 people seem realistic.
At NGV International, Michel Blazy's installation, Bouquet Final 2, entranced adults and children, as pieces fell and detached from the ephemeral piece, floating through the air in the Great Hall.
Outside in St Kilda Road, massive projections lit up the external walls of the gallery.
Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu - also the Arts Minister and the driving force behind the festival- made an appearance at the Victorian Opera gala, Opera On A White Night, at Hamer Hall. He told the audience he was so excited about the event he was '' almost giving in to the temptation to sing'' .
White Night kicked off at Federation Square with I Could Have Danced All Night. Hundreds of mirror balls were suspended over the site as instructors taught members of the public how to zumba.
Soon after, Melbourne's favourite session band, The RockWiz Orchestra, transformed the famous Flinders Street Station steps intoa grand openair stage. The clocks above them showed the next train times for Williamstown and Frankston as they opened with a rocking version of Show Me the Way to St Louis, the pedestrianised Flinders Street suddenly a huge, al fresco concert.
Families with prams and music fans filled the intersection as music replaced the usual static-filled muffles of the transport hub's announcements.
Swanston Street, meanwhile, was a curious mixture of the city's usual buskers, performance art and opportunistic balloon vendors - above ground, that is. Outside the Hi-Fi bar, a sheep's heart encased in an ice sculpture heralded the action in the subterranean club, asThe World Below, an art and music performance featuring aural and visual installations, created an eerie fun-house atmosphere.
White Night also featured a series of art exhibitions and concerts including the intriguingly titled Spheres of Love, Theatre of Dreams, World Above, From the Deep and The Beasts from Behind. Venues including ACMI, the NGV, the Arts Centre and Hamer Hall were open throughout the night.
The popularity of White Night did not surprise artistic director Andrew Walsh, who said Melburnians '' love to get out and get amongst it'' .
The event was intended as an ephemeral '' moment in time"that would light up the city to reveal an artfilled wonderland and then vanish soon after sunrise. That made Blazy's work the perfect piece. He set up an installation of scaffolding in the NGV's Great Hall, around which white detergent-style foam, powered by electric pumps, flowed with quiet unpredictability . Bouquet Final 2 combined structure and overflow, stillness and movement. Blazy thinks of himself as working in the realm of sculpture, although the works he makes don't display the sense of permanence or solidity often associated with it. As an artist, he establishes the terms of the piece, sets things in motion and then steps back.
He likes to becomea spectator, and to watch spectators experiencing his work. With Bouquet Final 2, he sees a straightforward feeling of enjoyment. Yet over the course ofa night people would come to experience it in very different frames of mind and that changes the nature of their response.
It could well be applied to White Night as a whole.
If all has gone to plan, it may well be the debut of an iconic event on Melbourne's cultural calendar, with the Premier planning to stage further White Night events in 2014 and 2015.
It appeared the only hiccups were technical ones - the festival's website and phone app crashed and were offline for a period yesterday afternoon as web traffic peaked.
Human traffic, however, kept flowing through Melbourne's long artistic night.
With PHILIPPA HAWKER, MARIS BECK, DEBBIE CUTHBERTSON & KYLIE NORTHOVER
❊ Web Links ❊
→ White Night Melbourne Wrap
→ Source: www.theage.com.au
→ Disclaimer: Check with the venue before making plans...
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