White Night Melbourne

Last year I had a little twinge of envy when friends told me they had been to White Night Melbourne. I love an event, especially if it includes lights and quirky happenings. White Night was not going to escape me this year.

White Night Melbourne is a difficult thing to sum up. Basically the city is alive from 7pm to 7am. Buildings are lit up, buskers abound, events happen, galleries are open. All sorts of quirkiness. Just up my street, alley and lane way!

Unfortunately much of Melbourne was as excited by the idea as I was. The crowds were enormous and in places they were a dangerous crush.

My White Night experience began on the train. We stuffed ourselves into a carriage at Malvern station, jammed up at the door. But we were near a group of delightful, wacky 20 somethings. Some were dressed up as characters from Toy Story and they entertained us all the way into town. They weren’t staying in town, but hoping to catch the tram to Albert Park for some sort of disco fun run. Good luck with that plan ~ getting to a tram would have been difficult!

We flowed out of the train at Melbourne Central. This took us up to the northern end of the city. Most of the action was at the Flinders Street Station and we knew that that area would be jammed packed. From all reports it was. At least at our end we could move around fairly easily.

Photos are a much better way of telling my story, so……

We came out of the station opposite the State Library, a beautiful Victorian building. It’s facade was changed by a fantastic light display.

State Library, Swanston St (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

State Library, Swanston St (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

At the next intersection, La Trobe and Swanston, there was a huge crowd around some buskers.

Watching the buskers, but not seeing much! (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

Watching the buskers, but not seeing much! (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

The music was amazing. I craned my neck to see but only caught glimpses.

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

People were videoing them. My brilliant idea was to watch the event as someone else recorded it. That didn’t really work very well!

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

(Just realised that those two guys in the photo must have been twins!)

All worked out in the end, because we came across them later on, set up on the footpath. It allowed a much better view. Two young guys, playing percussion and keyboard with a computer recorded background. It was great.

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RMIT was exhibiting material from Australian bands in the 70s and 80s. Lots of Skyhooks memorabilia, including these costumes worn by Shirley, the band’s lead singer~and male, hence his nickname.

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

More great music being performed in the gallery. There was a light show too. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

More great music being performed in the gallery. There was a light show too. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A very different event was an ongoing lecture on ethics. People came and went. The reasonably comfy chairs were nice to rest in for a while too!

We watched a light projection on the RMIT wall. It was of paint (or was it blood?) running horizontally across the wall, with a hand pulling it back.

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

Crowds down Swanston St ~ and it just got thicker and thicker! (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

Crowds down Swanston St ~ and it just got thicker and thicker! (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

We made our way across to Elizabeth St and then down to the station.

Past the GPO with all its splendid lights

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

Flinders Street Station was glorious!

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

But trying to get any further to the intersection of Flinders and Swanston St would have been ridiculous. We hived off into Degraves St, a little lane that is full of tiny coffee shops and eateries. There were people sitting on every seat!

Looking north up Degraves St, away from the station. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

Looking north up Degraves St, away from the station. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

Looking down Degraves St, to the facade of the station. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

Looking down Degraves St, to the facade of the station. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

By this time, we had had enough of crowds. Down into the station via the Degraves St entrance. But wait, there was more happening down in the subways! This projector was set up in a quiet corner.

I don't quite know what the images were, but there were lots of things like this around the city. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

I don’t quite know what the images were, but there were lots of things like this around the city. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

My last delight was a zine store,  Sticky Institute. Who knew it was there? They had a challenge for the night. It was a zine making marathon. “The photocopier will run hot, and the staplers will clatter as 25 hardcore zine makers each make an issue in the space of a single night for White Night Melbourne.” Good luck to them!

The shop, a hive of activity (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

The shop, a hive of activity (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

The window display. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

The window display. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

A peek through the window into the zine world beyond. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

A peek through the window into the zine world beyond. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

The outward bound train was just as packed as the inward bound one, but again, there was such a good camaraderie.

Would I do it again? I did enjoy many of the quirky things. I would have liked to look into Sticky Institute’s zine challenge. There must have been other things like that going on. So may be I needed to be better prepared. However, my brilliant thought for next year is to hire a hotel room right in town. Then I can have rests in between explorations, even leaving at 2 am to go wandering. Good idea, hey?!

 

 

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About anne54

Botanic artist
This entry was posted in Melbourne and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to White Night Melbourne

  1. metan says:

    Staying in a hotel sounds like a good plan to me, getting home without having to brave the train would be much nicer.
    It looks like a great event, I was watching it on the news and some of the ideas were amazing.
    (I think the city needs about twenty Earth Hours to make up for all the lights left on now though! 😉 )

    Like

    • anne54 says:

      It was a showcase of interesting ideas, and I liked that. But oh, it was so crowded. Not a place for families — way too squashed. :(. I did see a woman with 2 dogs, which I thought was rather stupid.

      You are so right about the electricity consumption. I love the idea of White Night one weekend and then No Light the next! 🙂

      Like

  2. It looks like a lot of fun, sans the crowds. The lights are spectacular.

    Like

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