25 Feb 2013

White Night Melbourne

I have been so excited for White Night Melbourne over the past couple of weeks.  However, the night was not what I expected.  I expected a small scale, cultural evening.  Whilst there was a lot of culture, it was certainly not small scale!  I was shocked at how many people were out, it was even busier than New Year's Eve.  Anyhoo, this will be a picture heavy post and some of the pictures (as you'll see) are awful quality.  This I blame entirely on the crowds, I couldn't stop to take proper pictures for fear of getting lost!

So on Saturday after a pre-evening nap (best decision of the day) I went into the city with fellow blogger and Melbourne local Marlee and a couple of her friends at around eight o'clock.



We decided to go to the museum first, a venue which I hadn't visited yet.  When we arrived they weren't letting people in because too many had gone in already.  After a twenty minute wait we finally got in only to find the queues were far too big to wait in for any of the activities.  Still, it's a pretty good museum so it was fun all the same.

Magical and serene lighting




Beautiful photography of old Melbourne





Documenting the colonization of Melbourne
The wait to get in was a sign of things yet to come.  The number of people who would attend had obviously been severely underestimated!  Still, I think this is a good thing.  White Night Melbourne being such a huge success on the first go bodes very well for future events.

After leaving the museum we tried and failed to board not one, not two, but three trams!  They were all too full.  We ended up walking to Fed Square instead, upon turning the corner from Collins St down to Russell St we were left speechless at the sea of people swelling along Flinders Street.  Our plan to visit Fed Square was immediately scrapped and we instead marched up to Little Lonsdale St for a much needed beverage.

Five dollar glass of wine at Little Peninsula - good wine too!  So good I had a second glass ...
After a couple of hours of recharging our batteries we made our way back down to see if the crowds had dispersed a little.  I think the problem was that the website made it difficult to know exactly what was on and when, so the majority of people all turned up at the start.

We found ourselves on Elizabeth Street and the sights were not pretty.  All we could really see was mass amounts of litter, vomit and general drunken behaviour (reminded me a little of university bar crawls...).  The atmosphere at this point wasn't nice to be honest, but once we got closer to the event locations it got better.  We stopped at Degraves St for a spot of jazz.  This was great, the atmosphere was just lovely and the musicians were very talented!







After this we wandered the streets for a bit ending at Fed Square and Flinders Station.  The lighting was amazing, the city felt magical and fairy tale like.







Crazily busy Swanston St
My favourite building in Melbourne lit up all nice




















After taking it all in we walked down the river because Marlee had spotted something pretty in the water.  When we arrived six circular screens were displaying a random sequence of images and were accompanied by very ambient music.  We sat down amongst the crowds and waited, then suddenly the cinema screens went blank, the music picked up and a huge jet of water erupted from the middle of the river.  What began was an incredible light projection display.  Together with the music it was just beautiful.















After this we walked to the Arts Centre and were lucky enough to nab some comfy seats.  Marlee and I enjoyed a really great coffee - all the more impressive as the one girl making them had a long queue of caffeine deprived Melburnians to serve - and we all spent some time looking back on the evening and people watching.  We eventually decided to head home at about four in the morning, not actually arriving home until over an hour later and finally in bed and just about drifting off to sleep some time before six.

White Night Melbourne was a great night.  I am a little sad I didn't get to see more and even sadder that I probably won't be here next year to see it again.

Did you go to White Night?  What did you see and what did you think?