White Night Melbourne 2016: the Low-Down on a City Lit-Up

As dusk falls on Saturday the 20th of February, all Melbourne’s creative energy will gather in its heart and bloom into a sparkling and sprawling celebration of the arts to be experienced only up until sunrise the following day. A movement of Parisian origin, White Night provides the unique opportunity to experience the vast array of Melburnian creative talent in just one ephemeral evening, including street performance, illuminations, installations, film screenings, live music, exhibitions, dance, circus and interactive events, with the city’s major cultural institutions also running special programming alongside.

Where should I go?

Delights for all five senses will await discovery from the NGV on St Kilda Road, right along Swanston Street and branching laneways, through to the Melbourne Museum and Carlton Gardens. With literally more happening than you could possibly see in just one night, White Night is best experienced in the spirit of spontaneity.

When should I rock up?

While the official hours are 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., White Night is best enjoyed after nightfall, under the enchanting multihued glow of a city dressed to impress. However, be prepared for a thick sea of attendees (of numbers known to exceed New Year's Eve), with peak attendance between 9:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. If you’re particularly adverse to large crowds and/or extensive queues, this may be one of those rare occasions an obscenely early Sunday morning jaunt may actually be worth it.

What’s there to eat?

Food vans will abound and a huge number of restaurants will be keeping their doors open for White Night travelers seeking to refuel with a midnight feast.

What should I bring?

Comfortable walking shoes are advised, as is a water bottle. Equip your (charged) phone with the event guide and map. Instagrammers would be wise to wield the official hashtag #whitenightmelb.