White Night, a one night only festival in Melbourne’s CBD (downtown), is a celebration of colorful lights, live music, and good food.
White Night is much more than that, although, it’s a little hard to explain exactly what it is. When someone first explained it to me I dumbfoundly scratched my head.
“Wait”, I asked, “They light up the city, by projecting pictures of buildings….on buildings?”
I was confused, yet intrigued and White Night instantly went on my list of things to do in Melbourne.
When the day finally came in late February, excitement filled me as I exited the train, unsure what the city would look like.
The first thing I saw when leaving the train station was tourists, locals, and expats. Thousands of them awe struck and staring at the building I was leaving.
I turned and looked at Flinders Street Station and I was shocked at what I saw. All my nervous expectations about this festival were immediately met, and for the first time I understood exactly what this festival was about.
White Night takes the city’s buildings and turns them into cartoon style art. Every few minutes, the projections change, lighting the buildings in different themes, colors, and patterns.
White Night extends throughout more of the city than I anticipated.
After a few minutes of walking, I had already seen several performers on stages, people walking around in colorful outfits, and others starting dance parties by pushing through the crowds while carrying boom boxes on their shoulders.
All Melbourne’s downtown shops, businesses, and bars host vibrant and lively celebrations each doing a different theme.
White night goes from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., but I would head to the city around midnight. You will have to fight fewer crowds and all the exhibits are still open.
White night was everything I wanted and more.
Melbourne is already a great city with a progressive, and cool vibe, however, the city takes on an extra buzz this during this festival, and if you are around Melbourne, or planning a backpacking trip to Australia around February,
White Night should be on your list of things to do in Australia.
The only down side about this night is you have to fight through thick crowds during the first few hours.
At some points I was crammed so tight that someone’s elbow was in my check and later someone laid their head on my shoulder because they had nowhere else to put it. I mean, I like meeting new people, but buy a guy a drink first. Gezzz.
I suggest going a little later, no earlier than ten. It will make for fewer crowds while still getting the most out of the night.