Melbourne: White Night 2016

White Night is a yearly event held in the Melbourne city on a Saturday night in February. From 7pm to 7am, the city is wide awake, with streets and gardens transformed by lights, exhibitions, performances etc. I visited White Night for the first time in 2014, the second year it ran. I was there from early in the night until about 3am, wandering down every road of the city. Last year I briefly visited around 1am and walked around for probably less than an hour. This year again, I wasn’t planning to make a night out of it, but I wanted to just have a little walk through the city.

We arrived at the northern end of it all, at Carlton Gardens. At 7pm (the time White Night technically starts), it was still very bright and it didn’t feel “white” nor “night”.

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The daylight slowly but surely disappeared though.

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And just like that, it was dark.

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Since I had not perused the program and had no any idea about what was happening where, I was just following the lights – going where it was the brightest. I had expected more around the greenlands on either side of the Yarra, but there was a lot less around there than the previous two years. I heard others were frustrated too, and there was meant to be much more happening north of Flinders St to alleviate congestion.

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To be honest, the city looks like this most nights anyway. Isn’t Melbourne pretty? =]

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I loved the National Gallery of Victoria’s facade illumination, Still Here by Josh Muir, telling the story of the Aboriginal people from pre to post European settlement. It was so bright and vibrant, and its intensity was amplified by the illuminations mirrored in the water.

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Despite the attempts to ease congestion by reducing programs around Flinders St and Swanston St, the roads were incredibibly choked up. You couldn’t walk through the crowds, only (very slowly) with the crowds. The Flinder St station intersection was absolutely ridiculous! I’m glad I didn’t have to take a train to get home!

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